Have you ever thought it strange to see a Lowes open up near a Home Depot? How about a CVS situated just across the street from a Walgreens? Or fast food places clustered together? Jayson Demers over at Inc. explains that the reason rivals set up shop in close proximity to each other is because customers are attracted to locations with more than one store. What seems like it should be a battleground for fierce competition turns out to be a peaceful home where rivals benefit from each other's existence.

Demers explains that shared social media campaigns can work in the same way. When building a company's brand, it's often important to try and add a human element into the mix. Nothing comes off as humanizing quite like silly, witty banter on Twitter or Facebook. Demers uses the example of a recent Twitter "feud" between KFC and Cap'n Crunch (admittedly two non-competing businesses). The two companies mustered considerable buzz by simply poking a little fun at each other online. Something similar happened between social media stalwarts Taco Bell and Old Spice. Their amusing antics led to a lot of good vibes and increased brand visibility.

Demers thinks these strategies would work just as well for companies that compete more directly than those in the examples above. As part of the "humanizing" factor, customers will view a simple social partnership as an example of good sportsmanship and sense of humor. There's strength in numbers online and almost any publicity can be good publicity on Twitter.

Take a look at Demers' full piece (linked below) and tell us what you think.

Read more at Inc.

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