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I slept on this and if I may finish the thought . . the use of social media should be that trailblazing, um, laser gun! Not merely a response medium. So if companies large & small wish to communicate meaningfully with their current & potential customers, then yes, social media use should be a part of their strategy, as Sales Cooke suggests.
re: "you go where your customer goes… you (try) to speak how you customer speaks… you live where you customer lives… you are on their turf..." . . .
Man, I don't know. From a very traditional standpoint, hell yes. But think about Starbucks. Customers 12 years ago did NOT know they WANTED to stand in line for a $5.40 cup of coffee. 20 years ago, customers did NOT know they would want to pay $12.50 to overnight a package.
Even recently, I believe a guest post on your blog suggested the advantage of 'creating new needs' with an I-Phone example (adding accessories, etc.) which creates new avenues, new products, and exponential sales with existing customers.
My point - which has been partially learned from you - is that consumers want thought leaders. They want to be told A LOT of things - where to go, what's hip, what to buy, where to buy, etc. So I'm not sure it's airtight to suggest we follow the lambs around for our next move as an organization.
Maybe it's nitpicking, but I'd rather blaze a trail than study trends all day.
Thanks for your continued posts! Always insightful and a great learning resource for me . . .
While I appreciate and sometimes practice the "feet firmly planted in midair" approach, we've got to understand the purpose of a tool like SM, else there will be abuse; e.g. if you handed a cell phone to a cave man, he might use it as a hammer.
I'm no authority on social media (and even if I were I'd never admit it). But I have to disagree with this section: "We can no longer control the organized chaos of the consumer. The consumer now controls the message. If we do not let nature take its course… we will be left holding a balance sheet.."
I'm not entire clear what that means. I know you like to keep your posts short for the readers' sake, but this needs more qualification.
You mentioned the importance of having a strategy for use of SM - without which you are toast. You have also in prior posts broadcast the need to embrace SM for marketing, building relationships, innovation, and staying relevant to your customers. I agree! But none of these can be done apart from having an infrastructure (e.g. plan, organization, systems) that supports your vision (what you're really here for.)
That message doesn't change. And while I do understand that the medium IS sometimes the message, the core message should never change.
Brandswag IS a message. Oberata Consulting IS a message. Kyle I've read enough to know that YOUR values/message don't change by the whimsy of consumers. Hell, you're the very merchant of cool in all things SM. But your post suggests that since there are hungry velociraptors on Main St., we should take our hands off the wheel and look for a spaceship.
I agree, though, that the medium to communicate our expertise and value are changing (thankfully!). This is one reason I've followed your content with such curiosity . . .
The main idea is that people will always pay for value. And yes it is our job to jump into the stream where those we serve best are . . wading / waiting :) This seems opposite to the statement of "letting the community drive the strategy" . .
Thanks for your research and hard work, and I look forward to hearing more from you.