Why your business must form a social media strategy today.

Author:Linask, Erik
Position:High Priority
 
FREE EXCERPT

There has been an unworldly volume of social media related content filling the pages of media sites of late - and you've certainly read a fair amount within the pages of Customer Interaction Solutions as well over the past 18 months. Many arguments have been made for why social media should be part of customer service organizations, and how, particularly on the inbound side. But, one of the reasons social media can be such a tremendous asset is its nature as a two-way medium, allowing businesses to follow a basic principle of marketing: In order to succeed, your brand must be where your customers are because that's where the power lies.

Where are your customers? In two places whose parallel growth is no coincidence - mobile devices and social media.

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A very recent show of power by social media comes from the Great White North, where rabid hockey fans anxiously - and in futility - anticipated a Stanley Cup title from the Vancouver Canucks. When the team was bested in seven games by the Boston Bruins, riots broke out across the city, creating significant damage and a mess to clean up.

When a new day dawned, a Facebook event calling for citizen action in helping the cleanup effort reportedly netted more than 11,000 followers, with more than 1,000 rallying to erase much of the evidence of the previous evening's unfortunate devastation. The event organizer posted: "Once the embarrassing rioting has ended in Vancouver, let's all show the world what Vancouver is really about by helping rebuild and clean up so it is better than it was before."

And throughout the day, many of them posted updates and posts via Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites:

"Papa Glenn on way with garb bags and big van for garbage. Let's clean up our beautiful city."

"Just saw a 4-yr-old boy with a cast on one arm helping to clean. Now that's what Vancouver is all about."

"Getting word that everywhere is pretty close to clean. Let's not leave anything. Let's be able to eat food off the streets tonight!"

That the city was able to be cleaned so quickly is a testament to the pride and determination of the people of Vancouver. That the event was able to be coordinated to such scale within hours is a testament to the power of social media, which is why businesses can ill afford to ignore it.

Now, take that power and combine it with mobile advertising, which is steadily increasing and predicted to eclipse $26 billion by 2016 - equivalent to total...

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