Unless you literally run your business with your ears plugged and your eyes covered, you are aware of the importance of social media and its impact on both brand and bottom line. However, while social media is the topic du jour in mainstream news, on blogs, in books, at conferences and at your local Starbucks, we may still underestimate its overall promise and potential.
I recently sat down with Chris Beck, founder of 26dottwo, a digital media agency in the San Francisco Bay Area for a in-depth discussion on the state and future of social media. We examine a broad range of topics that explore the impact of the social economy on business, culture and the democratization of influence.
In this installment, we discuss “people” as the 5th “P” in the marketing mix. While this is a subject that’s been discussed over the years, the 5th P serves as a defined pillar in the newly published Hybrid Theory Manifesto.
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.
Nicheworks are highly coveted or soon will be as no brand is an island. Attention and interests are focused within social streams and as individuals are empowered to define their online experiences, connecting the dots proves pivotal. If conversations are markets, nicheworks represent the glue that binds disparate conversational ecosystems. And through effective engagement, we make inroads towards community and being the construction of bridges between our brand and each desirable market.
In the book Engage!, I use music as a metaphor for the business approach necessary to execute socialized programs flawlessly. I suggest that today, many organizations approach new media with the style of jazz improvisationalists. They possess an incredible ability to jam independently and also together, but they often drift into wild, wonderful solos that may or may not lead the audience back to the heart and soul of the brand purpose and mission. Instead, I suggest that we assemble a team of virtuosos who can perform the dedicated requirements of their roles to contribute to an organized and powerful performance designed to engage and stimulate its audience.
Hybrid Theory |ˈhīˌbrid thee-uh-ree |: The fusion of creative and communications, combining earned and paid media to enliven ideas, unite communities, amplify stories and spark desired outcomes.
Part One of Three…
Marketing, advertising, service, communications, and business dynamics in general is undergoing incredible transformation. The innovation transpiring across the board however, wasn’t ushered out of vision as much as it was pressured through the democratization of content and the equalization of influence. After years of the socialized media changing how individuals find, create, consume, and share information, we are approaching the cusp of following markets to leading them.
Social Shopping is not new, but it is indeed gaining significant momentum. In fact, it represents the latest leaf in the new Conversation Prism infographic set to launch next week. Twitter too, is gaining velocity in a direction many skeptics didn’t think possible, the ability to monetize the stream. Twitter is set to introduce a new ad-powered program, @earlybird – a service that appears to emulate the daily deals powering services such as Groupon with the direct to consumer link proved by @DellOutlet.
I’m working on developing ideas that originated when writing Engage. It didn’t make the deadline, but wanted to share them here with you for your review and also to seek your feedback…
Everything begins with a shift in perspective from viewing stakeholders as a separate entity, “us vs. them,” to a singular view of “us ” as this enlivens a new era of community-focused marketing and engagement.
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.
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.