The Social Media Revolution, written by Tom Smith back in 2009, has a number of pertinent points in the social network including the growth of social access points which now seems dated (read, the demise of MySpace), the listening economy (customer engagement is the new research panel, according to Smith) and what this means to research.
The point of research and embracing the opportunity to use the social graph / social design as one closed door one way mirror research forum / panel is where I would like to suggest another point of view: the social graph is an unparalleled opportunity for brands to engage with their customers in a way to yes, build communities and more importantly beyond that, be original, experiment, share and have a purpose for your customers (in essence your brand advocates) to come back to your page / social experience again and again.
Here’s how Social Media can engage and foster that engaged community:
- Audience framework – the key is participation
- What is your brands “social experience” –
- brand’s purpose – what is the reason for the FB page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, SlideShare presentation etc
- values – have the audience understand your values through your social activity – what’s important to your brand that your customers would also want to know
- personality – your brand’s voice – social media is about sharing, commenting and reviewing – spread the word by ensuring your personality (funny, serious, provocative) is seeded throughout every tweet, post, video etc
- motivation – above all your fans will see through the hype if your brand’s motivations are not transparent – if you serve the interests of your audience you’ll have a loyal following – broadcasters, radio and magazines understand this so social media shouldn’t be any different should it
Smith proposes that the social network is an opportunity for research panels – it is and it isn’t, social media is more than just research, it’s engagement through being original and ensuring that your brand is “social” – talk, listen and be involved with your network.