If I wanted broadcast, I’d turn on my TV

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Image courtesy: Jill Clardy

I came across this very pertinent tweet from @oscarberg the other day  (by the way, if you're not following oscar, you should start today) :

Tweet

It really made me rethink what I've encountered from different brands on social Networks such as facebook and Twitter. It's true that facebook, by construction, encourages interactions, but some use it for mere broadcast. Users on Twitter on the other hand, are very prone to such behaviors and that's just plain sad; because instead of tapping into the true potential of such platforms, people are missing the whole point.

Social Networks, and I don't know why people fail to notice, are Networks that are meant to be "social" in the first place. So If you are a Brand/Non-profit  and have a fan page on facebook and you persist to ignore your fans' comments and/or questions;  Please do your [potential] customers and thus yourself a favor and shut the thing off. It's going to cause you more damage than good.

The question that pops instantly into one's mind is: so How do you make media "social"?

Brandon Cox in an article on Social Media Today presents three major points to be considered:

Care for people –> building relationships.

Model sharing –> share something important.

Converse –>  join the conversation.

"Engagement" is actually the key word here. Engagement doesn't come from an auto DM for following, nor does it come from pretense to care. Engagement comes from conversation, from being proactive and taking innovative actions for your customers.

Here is a great example of a brand harnessing the "social" in Social Media to enhance their social currency

Courtyard Restaurant In Ottawa – Doing It Right

A great conversation indeed:

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See how the restaurant, by some few tweets, just won a new customer and I bet even few more? –since he went blogging about it and recommended it to his readers and friends…

So dear brands, if you're still skeptical about the power of word-of-mouth on "Social" Media, please have a look at the "tipping point". It surely will change your mind….

Lamia Ben

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