This week, I discovered this powerful video, “Bigger than TV? Social Media’s Power Shift” produced by Radian6 . I’d like to pass along and summarize my interpretation of that message here.
Is the Social Web really all that revolutionary? Or is it a fad?
Make no mistake, we’re in the midst of a revolutionary shift in how brands and customers do business. If you don’t start taking this seriously, you will find yourself lonely and without a voice.
Let me explain.
If you’ve studied marketing, you’ve heard the phrase: “The medium is the message.” This is stunningly true. The medium itself has a significant social impact on business and in our lives regardless of the message being communicated through that medium.
It’s changed our work lives. And, it’s not because of a particular email that we’ve received. It’s just the fact that we have email that’s changed the way we work and how we do business.
Here’s the thing. Up until now, the medium has been owned and sold by the gatekeepers who controlled it.
Think TV, radio.
It came at a price. With your purchase, you got to tell the story the way you wanted to tell it. And for a long time, that worked. But the Social Web is very different because it’s owned by the Community. No one controls it, you can’t buy it, and everyone is an equal participant.
Now, a customer has as much of a voice as the brand. That is a revolutionary shift in power.
The messages are no longer controllable.
The days of sitting in a room with your Executive, PR and Marketing teams, defining a message and pushing it out there, are over.
Your brand is defined by the conversations that are happening about it. Communicated in the language, shaped by the voice and in the words of your customer. You can influence it but, ultimately, your customers will shape it.
The reign of the dominated, one-way conversation has come to an end.
And you’re better off for it. Because when you isolated the conversation, you never really knew what was happening on the other end, whether people believed and trusted you, if it struck up a conversation, if it inspired an action or idea.
Now, in real time…at your finger tips…if you choose to tune in…are all the reactions, all the ideas, recorded and living here on the Social Web. Right. Now. You have the opportunity to talk directly to your customers.
You’ll have to humanize your brand. You’ll have to be more authentic and more engaging to earn their trust. You’ll have to care enough to listen, and do so fanatically. And, you’ll have to be ready for disappointment, be open to change, because what they tell you may not be what you wanted or expected to hear.
If you do, and if you are, one day you’ll look back and see that this single medium has revolutionized the way you do business.
I’d like to invite you take action now and join us in Dallas February 24th and 25th for TR Live: Designing Your Companies Social Media Strategy.