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.
The new world of Social Media is among the most actively analyzed, misunderstood, and at the same time, celebrated mediums affecting businesses today. At the very least, it introduces a renewed sense of vigor that is challenging creativity and convention and also inspiring more human connections in the process. Social Media also introduces new channels and methodologies to drive and measure sales, service, and marketing. As such, discerning business executives seek direction to evaluate the opportunity costs associated with new media as well as establish the ROI of engaging in popular networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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.
There’s a saying that good things happen when you least expect it. Such is the case this past week.
As part of its CRM Evolution ’10 conference, CRM Magazine announced the winners of its 2010 CRM Market Awards. I’m proud to say that I was listed as one of eight CRM “Influential Leaders” by the magazine, to which I am quite literally speechless. To say that this came as a surprise would be an understatement. To be included among a list of mentors whom I greatly admire is nothing short of dreamlike.
In social media, is there truth to the proverb, “seek and ye shall find?”
As our experience in new media matures, learning what it is we wish to seek and also accomplish is at the forefront of rapid evolution. Converting questions into objectives is how we grow and succeed. While the opportunities within social media in general are sweeping, one such possibility that’s largely untapped in business social networking is the ability to find customers and prospects as well as learn what inspires them to make decisions and share experiences.
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.
Location-based services are once again changing the face of social networking. Where relationships were once at the center of user experience, in the Golden Triangle of mobile, social, and real-time interaction, “places” take center stage and corresponding activities and rewards become the cast and crew of the production.
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.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, 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.