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.
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?
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.
For entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, and consultants, one of the most exciting prospects of social media, lies in the ability to dramatically amplify your visibility and value proposition among existing and potential stakeholders. Social Media finally places small, local and emerging businesses in the spotlight in ways that up until this point, were largely unattainable.
Social Media is often misconstrued as a medium for business-to-consumer or B2C engagement and discounted as a viable communications network for those companies focused on business-to-business transactions. However, B2B, as in any other field impacted by online activity, is faced with a prime opportunity to not only cultivate communities in social networks and other social channels, but also amplify awareness, increase lead generation, reduce sales cycles, and perhaps most importantly, learn and adapt to market dynamics in real-time.
Following is an abbreviated excerpt from Engage, a new book that helps businesses build, cultivate, and measure success in social media.
Last year, Forbes magazine assembled a visual list for its Top 21 Twitter Tips to showcase business examples on how to use Twitter for marketing, service, sales, and ideation. The original compilation served as inspiration for a new list, one that helps businesses of all shapes, sizes, and focus embrace not only Twitter, but all social networks of relevance.
While many of the examples and quotes remain the same, the list is modified based on my observations and personal experiences.
To celebrate the release of Engage!, I was recently asked to share my thoughts on how social media impacts the advertising landscape for the current issue of Winning the Web, a popular magazine related to Web marketing. While the discussion opens with a review of the state and future of online advertising, the discussion also looks at the overall tectonic shift in new media and the profound opportunities that are unfolding.
Dan Schwabel is not only a personal branding expert, he’s someone I’ve come to know and respect over the years…and definitely someone I consider a friend. We recently sat down to discuss Engage and the resulting interaction culminated in a wonderful discussion that explored the state of professional and personal branding in the era of new media.
How do you define “Engage” and do you believe that people and business that fail to engage will cease to exist in the next decade?
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.