If you want to get a glimpse of the economic future, focus on the emerging trends driven by those defining the evolution of the social Web.
Social media is not only democratizing influence and upsetting the traditional media ecosystem, it is now an indicator for a potential economic resurgence. Leading metrics firm, comScore, released its Q1 U.S E-Commerce Spending Report recently, finding that online retail spending approached $34 billion in Q1 2010, which represents a 10 percent boost compared to last year. The surge also symbolizes the first time that growth rates hit double-digits since the second quarter of 2008.
In business, we learn through everything we do and it influences all that we try and repeat. When something new comes along, we tend to view it with either enthusiasm or skepticism, or in some cases a bit of both. Such is true with the advent of Social Media.
One of the most sought after answers in Social Media is whether or not engagement in social networks such as Twitter or Facebook directly correlates to customer acquisition, retention, and advocacy. Before we can earn customers however, we have to recognize that at any given time, there are also prospects. And, prospects require information and confidence in order to make decisions, in your favor of course. The answer to our question lies in social engagement.
I recently hosted a discussion on the need to lessen, not eliminate, the emphasis we place on the social media case studies and “how to” posts that are now universal, as they won’t apply to the specific circumstances or context of our challenges, opportunities, and market dynamics. I believe that we should use them solely for inspiration, but not as templates for our work. The best advice that I or anyone for that matter, can offer, lies in our ability to help you define the questions you must ask and answer yourself.
With the pervasiveness of social networks and the conversations that take place within each, many had hoped for either the reduction in volume of traditional email or the socialization of the inbox. Instead, email remains as the world’s largest untapped social network, with Gmail and Google Buzz offering a glimpse of the integration that looms on the horizon.
While many are on the verge of filing email bankruptcy, innovation is focused on how to make email productive once again while introducing alternatives for collaboration and communication.
Social networks and blogs are changing how consumers find places and services, how and where they share their experiences, and eventually, where they will spend their time and money. Without an understanding of, and participation in, social networks, you can miss shaping and contributing to the decision-making process of those who define the success of your business.
What follows is an edited excerpt from Engage!
Anyone who has ever worked in corporate marketing, advertising, and branding is more than familiar with a brand style guide. It’s how we ensured that the brand was represented as intended through marketing aesthetics and messaging – including detailed usage instructions on font, style, color, language, placement, positioning, etc.
It is our bible and adherence to its tenets and instructions is strictly enforced.
In the spirit of sharing dialog that transpires outside of this domain, I would like to invite you to read a recent discussion with good friend Jacob Morgan, co-author of Twittfaced (I contributed the foreword). While the discussion centered on Engage!, as you’ll soon see, it expanded to analyze the effects of social media in the enterprise.
Why is sociology and anthropology so important to understand for social media?
In June 2008, I presented at a conference in Southern California where I debuted The Essential Guide to Social Media. While it seems like a lifetime ago, I remember this event distinctly because a couple of the questions at the end of conference addressed luxury brands specifically. And, they’re questions that many ask or have yet to ask today.
What role do luxury brands take on the social web and what is the corresponding voice and personality associated with the activity. When do luxury brands engage and does interaction take away from the stature and prestige of the brand?
What follows is a modified excerpt from Engage!, the complete guide for businesses to build, cultivate, and measure success in the new Web.
Social Media is reinventing marketing, communications, and the dissemination of information. For many businesses and organizations, social networks represent hallowed grounds, bringing together customers, prospects and the people who influence their decisions in a shared, balanced, and interactive medium. While businesses now have access to these rich channels, the true promise of social media however, lies in the direct connections that are forged between people who represent companies and the people who define markets of interest.
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.