Posts Tagged ‘consumer’
Social media represents a new frontier in customer engagement. Not only can companies participate in conversations, a dizzying array of tools now help them listen to conversations as well. This isn’t news though. Everyone understands the importance of social media in business right? We all know that customers are demanding that businesses use social media to listen to ideas, engage them in conversations, and also solve their problems when in need. As I’ve often said, the best listeners often make the most engaging conversationalists.
I’ve always admired TED’s approach to presentations. More importantly, I appreciate how this approach inspires its presenters to in turn inspire audiences in the room and around the web. This evokes the concept of having an “audience with an audience of audiences” where those on stage break through the fourth wall to speak to and through audiences to extend engagement to social networks. TED stimulates the sharing of inspired experiences and it’s the nature of those experiences that foster greater dialogue in and around each event.
Chris Silva, my colleague at Altimeter Group, released a useful report today that I wanted to share with you here. Mobile is important and I believe you know this. However, when we consider mobile, we often think about the experience when and where it begins. But, we often miss the opportunity to lead a more meaningful journey as it may travel from small screen to larger screens across laptops, desktops and beyond. And along the way, we must now determine our role in this journey to provide information, shape decisions, and influence behavior.
Earlier this year, I announced that I was writing another book. I left clues here and there, but I had yet to officially announce the title or the focus of the book. The truth is that I didn’t want to give readers of Engage 2 the impression that I was ready to move on.
So finally, it is with great pleasure that I share with you the name and also the semi-final draft of the book’s cover.
Over the years, social networks have lured us from the confines of our existing realities into a new genre of digital domains that not only captivated us, but fostered the creation of new realities. As George Bernard Shaw observed, “Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” Such is true for social networks and the digital persona and resulting experiences we create and cultivate. It was the beginning of the shift in behavior toward an era of digital extroversion, self-defined by varying degrees of sharing, connections, and engagement.
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What may sound like buzz words or mere hype, is actually the beginning of the end of business as usual. Welcome to the rise of the social consumer and a new era of social commerce. Look at the picture above and think about how physical and online stores can integrate the social graph into the shopping experience right now. The possibilities are limitless and we can introduce everything today.
Brands are racing to create a social presence on Facebook, Twitter and the hottest social networks of the moment. The initial goals, of course, are to increase brand awareness and build community. To do so however, takes a holistic approach that extends beyond the regiment of broadcasting messages to silent audiences. Now, brands must establish a social equilibrium whereby the 4C’s of community drive measurable and mutually beneficial activity and engagement through the thoughtful introduction of content curation and creation, conversation, context, and continuity. More importantly however, brands must now find creative means to recognize the role of a more informed and connected consumer and the varying influence they wield in the social ecosystem.
Influence is bliss…
The socialization of media is as transformative as it is empowering. As individuals, we’re tweeting, updating, blogging, commenting, curating, liking and friending our way toward varying levels of stature within our social graphs. With every response and action that results from our engagement, we are slowly introduced to the laws of social physics: for every action there is a reaction – even if that reaction is silence. And, the extent of this resulting activity is measured by levels of influence and other factors such as the size and shape of nicheworks as well as attention aperture and time.
Twitter is a human seismograph and it represents a transformative channel where everyday people possess the ability to affect actions. The cloud of collective consciousness that houses our thoughts, experiences, and conversations is also a data trove for experts to measure and mine serendipitous and organized behavior and events.
Social media didn’t invent conversations, it provided us with tools to surface and organize them. Conversations about brands predates the mediums used to connect messages and aspirations with consumers.
The motivation for brands to engage in social networks varies based on the culture and agility of each company, but what is constant is the aspiration to connect with customers and prospects to earn awareness, attention and connections. On the other hand, B2B and B2C consumers have also expressed desire to connect with those brands whose intent is genuine and beneficial to the each engagement and the overall relationship. The time has come to not only engage, but do so in a way that’s mutually beneficial to individuals, brands, and the ecosystem at large.
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.