Although the social media revolution caused no raging war, a violent rebellion or a desire to end a corrupt governmental force, like any revolution, it did shake societal norms and redefined the status quo, and it did so more rapidly than almost any other.
According to Wikipedia, the term social refers to a collective co-existence between populations of organisms, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary.
In the world of media, where social is now mainstream, it is interesting that this definition holds truer than we may realize. Even though we may believe we are voluntarily intertwined, we can’t help but wonder, are our online social interactions completely voluntary?
For brands, especially, an involuntary interaction can be very bad news. If your consumers are tweeting, facebooking and blogging about a negative experience with your product and you haven’t developed a strategy, or even a platform to engage, you are unknowingly participating in social engagement and cutting yourself short of an opportunity to apologize for your shortcomings and connect with your customers- whether you like it or not.
IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, JOIN ‘EM
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it,” said author of Socialnomics, Erik Qualman. Like any major transformation, especially on a platform changing as rapidly as the Internet, speculation and criticism will inevitably thrive. Unfortunately for critics, the shift in marketing strategy by brands and the exponential increase in usership have proven that social media has made its mark.
Referring to social media as a fad in 2005 would’ve been expected and almost accepted. But in 2012, the numbers have spoken and consumers seem to have transformed this “fad” into a mainstay.
Case in point: In writing this post, I gained my inspiration from a YouTube video, researched key terms on Wikipedia, blasted a tweet to my followers for feedback, will post it on a blog and you can bet I’ll tweet a link to follow up.
BREAK THROUGH THE NOISE
With the influx of interactive media usage, standing out is the name of the game; how will your personal brand shine through your social channels; how will your opinion rise above the rest?