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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
I spend a great deal of time working within the B2B sector, among other things, and social media is a growing and or pervasive program within a comprehensive, integrated communications and service strategy. In almost every scenario I’ve encountered, executives, marcom and service executives, and brand managers have generally assumed that social and interactive activities and programming were ideally best suited for consumer applications. However, as we recently explored, in Social Media, it’s not just business, it’s business-to-business.
Good friend Richard Binhammer of Dell (@richardatdell) reached out to let me know that the company is releasing the latest financial figures for its @DellOutlet account on Twitter tonight.
Last December, the company generated over $1 million in revenue through @delloutlet by posting special offers and also nurturing customer relationships on Twitter. Today Dell reported over $2 million in sales through its popular @delloutlet presence. @delloutlet currently boasts close to 625,000 followers seeking exclusive deals available only on the micro community.
Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired and also author of The Long Tail, is someone whom I deeply admire and respect. We’ve linked to each other in the past and for the most part, I agree with his views and observations.
Every now and then Anderson discusses the state of PR and when he does, it causes nothing less than a full-blown blogstorm that reverberates across the entire industry. But, what matters is that we all learn from it.
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.