Of all the social networks competing for our online persona and social graph, Twitter is special. The culture and self-governing rules of engagement shaped by the “me” in social media, create a personalized experience that looks and feels less like a “social” network and instead, creates an empowering information exchange.
We are now down to the second-to-last video where Chris Beck, founder of 26dottwo (@26dottwo) and I examine the state and future of social media.
In this segment, we outline the importance of connecting offline and online experiences. Brands must now introduce a connected series of touchpoints between traditional and new media programs to define paths and bring desired outcomes to life. However, to connect the brand strategy to the individual requires a personal approach that starts with the “First Mile” and connects in the “Last Mile.”
We’re approaching the last bits in this series of conversations where Chris Beck, founder of 26dottwo (@26dottwo) and I examine the state and future of social media.
In this installment we review the various aspects and formalities of bringing a brand alive, truly alive in social media. Everything begins with establishing the rules of engagement in order to define the boundaries, context, and objectives for conversations. Guidelines such as “don’t be stupid,” “use common sense,” “stay positive,” are not the most useful approach to steering representatives or consumer experiences.
The spirit of social media is enlivening industries, refreshing marketing, and humanizing businesses. While the steps to the social revolution are gradual, so are the budgets that fund innovation. Progress is underway however, and with every experiment and pilot program, we learn the answers to the questions that serve as the gateways to change.
Early experiments are sparked within various forward-looking divisions and funded by other resident or surrounding programs or departments. As social media permeates and socializes the frameworks of the modern businesses, finances and supporting resources will shift to advance expansion.
Social Media is greater than the sum of its parts, but it is these parts that define the socialization of business. Today consumers are interacting with peers, brands, and influencers in social networks at varying levels across more industries than you might possibly believe. The answers of who, what, when, where, how, and to what extent are out there; we just need to spend a moment searching for the insights necessary to galvanize meaningful social media content, branding, and engagement programs.
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.
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 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?
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish 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. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.