Brands are facing a new reality: they need a social media strategy. But what does that mean? They might believe they are active in Social Media because they have a corporate blog or a presence on a social networking site but that’s not a strategy. Those are just tools. This way of thinking simply does not take into account the fact that the marketing landscape has fundamentally changed. Users don’t see one-to-many, top-down broadcasting as THE way to get their content. They get content created and distributed by their peers. That’s Social Media; an active interaction among a network of peers. Period.
Social media consumers are active participants. They create the content. They share the content. They have a strong sense of ownership over the content they create. There is a natural flow to social media activity, and passive content like banner ads or ad-sponsored widgets are intrusions to that flow.
Social Media presents an opportunity to identify and influence behavior by eliciting conversations and deriving opinions and attitudes about your brand. The full value of using Social Media to market is the ability to intitiate a dialog, contribute to it and track the evolution of a brand’s message and reputation among existing brand evangelists and their spheres of influence. That’s what makes Social Media so different – it’s about what your customers create and think, with or without you.