Where are we going with social media? That question is asked very frequently by businesses that want to know what they can do to be ready for the future. Before looking too far ahead, Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group recommends that businesses first look at what is currently happening.
Although social media adoption is increasing, many brands are still struggling to be effective with it. Businesses have to understand what consumers are doing now in order to be successful moving forward.
One trend that businesses need to grasp is that “real-time is not fast enough.” Customers are quick and companies, no matter how big the staff, just cannot keep up. Owyang advises businesses to create advocacy programs to address this issue. An advocacy program is a group of customers that act as a company’s “army” and take care of problems that arise. Since most companies already have a group of people that support them, all they have to do is enable them for the task.
Another trend is that most consumers find corporate websites irrelevant. As a result, businesses should utilize platforms such as Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect, and Twitter Connect to bring a social experience to their own website. In addition, businesses have the opportunity to personalize its content for customers.
Predicting the future is nearly impossible. But if you look at what is happening around you and integrate it into your business, chances are, you will be just fine.