Social media continues to grow globally in terms of adoption, usage, interest and impact in a massive way. It’s undeniably changing the way that content and information work particularly in terms of the publishing of consumer opinion. This has transformed the way that consumers relate to brands and the way that brands should operate, driving direct interaction, transparency and a more consultative approach.

However, we still operate in a system defined by the old media world and consequently big brand involvement is still in the main tentative and sporadic. From my experience of trying to get big brands to embrace the social revolution, there are a number of reasons why they have yet to embrace the real opportunities that involvement can deliver:

1.Social Media-just another marketing channel: It is of course so much more; it is a completely different approach to others.You can advertise in a social media environment, but the true return on investment comes from developing communities, creating content to be shared, and talking and listening directly with consumers.

2.Push v/s Pull Stratergy: To build community, distribute content, or get people actively involved in an application takes time. Marketing and PR work on short time frames and are wedded to sets of individual campaigns or short term objectives. Social media is not a campaign, it’s a permanent approach.

3. The metrics are new: Advertising is measured in booked exposures, i.e. page views, while social media is measured in direct interactions, i.e. number of friends, number of views or number of users. These numbers will always be smaller, but not necessarily any less measure of success.

How do big brands take the proper approach to social media?

Fundamentally, there should be a social media department, which is responsible for a company’s long term approach to open their companies up to consumers and have a permanent social media presence. They should also work with marketing and PR to make sure that advertising, product development, research and communications all fit into the social media picture and all aspects of the company and the product are socially optimised. Companies like intel and ford have already tried it and have seen results.

Lastly, companies need to look long term and understand the value that social media can bring to cultivate lifetime advocates of their brand. This is about permanent positioning.

Source Mashable

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