Ten Social Media Strategies to Define a Successful 2012

Welcome to another New Year! While everyone else is busy thinking about or already breaking their New Year resolutions, it’s time for us to take a moment to rethink what it is we can really do better now and over the next 12 months.

I’m sure you heard it everywhere last year. Experts found the highest blog mountains and social network skyscrapers to Tweet in concert, “You need a Facebook brand page! Why are you not on Twitter yet? Have you checked-in on Foursquare? Hurry up and get set up on Google+. If you don’t get on social media, you’re going to go out of business!”

And, here you are…still in business, I presume. But like any keen business leader or entrepreneur, you’re avidly thinking about your next move and your social media strategies for 2012.

You already know that running the show in a mode of “business as usual” is not only limiting, it’s terribly complacent.  But if you are to change, you need to better understand exactly how technology is influencing the behavior of your customers and why.

The truth is that you can create your company brand pages on every social network you can imagine and you won’t succeed unless you know whom you’re trying to reach and where, what it is they expect and value, and how these channels represent a meaningful opportunity for you and your consumers to connect.

You first must answer what’s in it for them and what’s in it for you.

Defining your Social Media Strategy

Social networks, smartphones, tablets, review sites, gamification, geo-location, et al. are producing a new breed of consumer, and businesses are largely missing them altogether. In fact, the emergence of this more “connected consumer” is forcing the end of business as usual.

At the same time, the decision patterns of these connected consumers has ushered in an era of risk where any business, large and small, is vulnerable to digital Darwinism — the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to adapt.

Ten Social Media Tips

In 2012, consider yourself a digital anthropologist or sociologist as you immerse yourself in a day in the life of your connected consumer and seek to close the chasm between you and them.

There are many professional social media analysts, researchers and strategists who can help you find the answers you seek.

Starting now and forever, technology and empathy are now part of your business strategy. To what extent disruptive technology impacts your markets will depend on your industry and the rate of adoption within it.

Priority areas for your social media strategy should include an understanding of the following:

1. Social Networks from Facebook to Twitter to Google+ and how they’re connecting to influencers and businesses

2. Geo-location check-in services such as Foursquare and Facebook location updates to share locations and earn rewards or opportunities for discounts.

3. Crowd-sourced discounts and deals including Groupon and LivingSocial and what’s valued and why.

4. Social commerce services like Shopkick and Armadealo and how they create personalized experiences that are worth sharing.

5. Referral based solutions like Yelp, Service Magic, and Angie’s List to make informed decisions and how shared experiences can improve your business, products, and services.

6. Gamification platforms such as Badgeville and Fangager, and why rewarding engagement improves commerce and loyalty.

7. How your consumers using mobile devices today and what apps they’re installing. Also, how they’re comparing options, reviewing experiences and making decisions while mobile?

8. The online presence your business produces across a variety of platforms such as tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops. You must realize how consumers are experiencing the online presences you create and whether or not they deliver a holistic and optimized experience for each platform.

9. The consumer clickpath based on the platform consumers are using. Are you steering experiences based on the expectations of your customers? And are you taking into consideration the device or network where the clickpath begins and ends? Are you integrating Facebook F-commerce and m-commerce into the journey?

10. The expectations of connected consumers, what they value in each channel and platform, where they engage and how your business can improve experiences and make them worthy of sharing.

This is your year…

2012 is the year for you to grow your small business while earning relevance among a growing class of connected consumers.

Regardless of technology, the future of business isn’t created, it’s co-created. To succeed, it takes a culture of customer centricity and the ability to recognize new opportunities and adapt based on what they present.

In the words of Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+

The End of Business as Usual is now available
____

Originally published on Monster.com
Image Credit: RedKid.net

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  • Allenzcw

    Thanks for this nice post. 2012 is absolutely going to be a social media year, we need to be familiar with all the social media tools.  I agree with the point that the future of business isn’t created, its co-created. 

    Recently, I just created a Google+ account, because I don’t have many friends on there, so so far I’m still figuring out about getting people attention. However, I feel Google+ and Facebook are a little similar, but Google+ the circle function is very good to be used in business area. it makes you actually can connect with you consumers more tightly. 

    You mentioned about Yelp, through Yelp, we can read the comments to decide which one its good or bad. But, in the past summer, I was interning with a small company, one day I got a phone call from somebody, he asked if we want rise the rating up on Yelp, they can help us out. That’s about ethical communication problem, it’s everywhere, for money people could do everything. Anyway, I still trust Yelp, still love it, I believe it’s a very important social media strategy for business.

    Social media provide a giant platform for people interact together, and today is the time we need to use this platform to do in our business.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1564080546 Layla Alamdari

    YOUR SITE IS SO USEFUL. I adore it. Thanks for the hard work! Why not share the wealth of info with others? : 

  • http://www.upforit.com/ adult chat

    You blog is really interesting and usefull, thank you! And as you said – this is our year, so wish you best!

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  • Gloria Justice

    This confirms that those who have grown comfortable within a certain path and content with its predictable rewards will have a more difficult time succeeding than those who are willing to switch directions, change priorities, and start anew… because, I agree, it is the end of Business as Usual. Thanks for continuing to get us thinking about where we need to head and why we need to be ready for a few surprises.

  • http://callboxinc.com/ Judy Caroll

    Hi Brian, 

    I agree with almost all of your points here.  When using social media, we really  need to understand  that we’re trading something of value for something of lesser value from our customers. We need to give more than what we can get.

    Thanks,

    Judy

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  • http://www.socialmediamarketingmall.com/facebook-invites Facebook Invites

    Your thoughts toward this matter are over-all impressive. I agree that being able to adapt as fast as you could on technology is such a great help for your business. Regarding these, I, myself before never thought of how social networks can influence my business. I just thought of it as a waste of time and for teenagers who have nothing to do with their lives. And I stand corrected when I found out how my friend was able to increase her profits for more than a 100% than she actually earns a month ago. This is really a great post. Best regards and more power to your blog.

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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