Understanding social media isn’t about understanding Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare (okay, I’m being a little bit of a devil’s advocate). It’s a realisation that the water cooler is now a digital and highly-networked meeting place. Previously you might discuss your weekend trip to a few colleagues over lunch, but now you’re sharing the details online with all your friends and the wider public through reviews and Tweets. The impact of word of mouth is huge in this new world.
A brand shouldn’t concern themselves with creating a flashy Page or amassing followers, they should first and foremost try to identify where their customers are talking and to join in those conversations. You don’t create social media, it’s already happening. Your task is to encourage, converse and ultimately engage with your customers, using these tools and platforms to make it possible.