Social media are developing much the same way. There are examples of how businesses have made money using blogging, Facebook, Twitter and other tools. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that social networking, communication and communities are not only not going away but increasingly are where consumers are spending their time and how they are communicating. Business must figure out how to integrate and use these tools strategically.
Direct selling is not likely to be the highest and best use of social media for many companies but if you are waiting for that to be the case before you justify committing to social media you’ll simply be behind your customers the same way that you would have been if you waited until you figured out a profitable e-commerce plan before you built a website.
Social media can be used to facilitate customer service, communications, marketing, R&D and can be used for internal purposes as well including human resources management, team building, and R&D. I’ve seen and heard stellar examples of each of these cases.
As I talk to companies I am learning that many companies get that they need to figure out how to use social media, social networking and a variety of digital strategies but are having a hard time figuring out how and where to begin to integrate and how to build there teams. It is clearly a challenge for many businesses but one I think is well worth undertaking. I’m encouraged by what I’m hearing and seeing start to take place and I’m excited to see the evolution continue and unfold.