Where is social media headed? Its a common question posed by businesses leaders I speak with who want to know how they can prepare for the future. Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group recommends that businesses start by understanding what is happening today. See his video below.
Many brands and organizations are struggling to be effective with SM despite its rapid growth. Businesses have to learn what consumers are doing now in order to be successful going forward.
A concept that is critical is to this evaluation is that “real-time is not fast enough.” Customers are quick and organizations, no matter how big their staffs are, cannot keep up. Advocacy programs must be created to address this issue. An advocacy program is a group of customers that act as a company’s “army” and take care of problems that arise. Since many organizations already have a group of people that support them, all they have to do is enable them for the task.
Another important consideration is that consumers find corporate websites irrelevant. Businesses should, therefore, utilize platforms such as Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect, and Twitter Connect to bring a social experience to their own website. In addition, organizations should personalize content for customers.
By keeping these points top of mind organizations can be far more effective in creating and deploying effective uses of social media to grow their business and achieve their mission.