Welcome to the (R)evolution, a new series that connects you to the people, trends, and ideas defining the future of business, marketing, and media. In episode 8, I proudly welcome Frank Eliason, senior VP of Social Media at Citibank.
What may sound like buzz words or mere hype, is actually the beginning of the end of business as usual. Welcome to the rise of the social consumer and a new era of social commerce. Look at the picture above and think about how physical and online stores can integrate the social graph into the shopping experience right now. The possibilities are limitless and we can introduce everything today.
Brands are racing to create a social presence on Facebook, Twitter and the hottest social networks of the moment. The initial goals, of course, are to increase brand awareness and build community. To do so however, takes a holistic approach that extends beyond the regiment of broadcasting messages to silent audiences. Now, brands must establish a social equilibrium whereby the 4C’s of community drive measurable and mutually beneficial activity and engagement through the thoughtful introduction of content curation and creation, conversation, context, and continuity. More importantly however, brands must now find creative means to recognize the role of a more informed and connected consumer and the varying influence they wield in the social ecosystem.
The business of Twitter has grown more in this last year than it has in its brief four-year history. It’s a light year versus calendar years and now Twitter is flying high with almost 200 million users releasing 100 million Tweets per day.
Recently we were introduced to the “New Twitter.” Today, we’re greeted by the official presentation of Twitter with the release of “New Twitter, New Look”
Facebook Founder and Chief Executive Office Mark Zuckerberg describes Facebook as a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, families and coworkers. Indeed, Facebook is so much more than a social network. As a social utility, it changes the dynamics of relationships, how we communicate with one another, and how we discover, share and learn. Facebook and Social Media are redesigning the information super highway, forever altering how information travels and how people connect. The world is literally becoming a much smaller place and as a result, businesses are forced to compete for attention where it’s focused. Otherwise, the concepts of Digital Darwinism and the need to Engage or Die most certainly become reality – out of sight, out of mind.
Facebook is, at the moment, the most important social network in the world. Over 500 million people connect to one another in the “Social Network.” And, with the introduction of the Open Graph, we are interacting with our Facebook connections on our favorite websites where our social graph and the corresponding activity of Likes, interaction, and commentary become the centerpiece for social curation and more importantly, our focused attention. We are putting our social network to work and we are learning how to share, discover, and collaborate in public.
Actions speak louder than words. And as such, we have the responsibility to lead desirable and mutually beneficial actions through meaning engagement. It’s difficult to do so however, when we focus our efforts on cultivating communities where success is derived by their respective populations. From views and impressions to Likes and Retweets to the count of our Friends, Fans and Followers (3F’s), we miss sight of what’s truly important, connections, outcomes, and the experiences we define and nurture.
Four-and-a-half years ago, Jack Dorsey sent the Tweet that would eventually spark a social revolution. At just 24 characters long, Dorsey and the Twitter team introduced us, one by one, to a new medium for connecting and communicating with one another. It would forever change how its community shared, discovered, and learned, setting the stage for a new era of influence and relevance. And in just four short years, Twitter would emerge as something more personal than a social network, it would serve as a human seismograph for facilitating, tracking, and measuring human movement and experiences.
Listening is only the beginning. Engagement is the beginning of the end of business as usual. Once we hear, truly hear our customers and the people who influence our decisions, effective engagement is inspired by the empathy that develops simply by being human.
We start to see things through the eyes of our consumers.
We feel their pains, frustrations, and also happiness.
We sense what it takes to encourage positive sentiment.
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. More so, he humanizes technology’s causal effect to help people see people differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation and innovation.