Chapter 20

Looking In

Social media's increasingly predominant role in brand marketing is becoming a given. If there is a debate any more, it has shifted from “If?” or “When?” to “How?” and there is no shortage of available answers to the question. Too many of the supposed solutions, however, still focus on the separate pieces of the complex puzzle that is social media marketing.

Instead, brands need to recognize that social media marketing is an essential part of everything they do in every stage of the process, whether it is driving awareness, building the brand, acquiring customers, increasing sales, or providing customer support. All stages are geared to establishing loyal and long-term relationships with consumers. “Social cuts across a lot of different things without some people even knowing it,” says Andy Markowitz, GE's director of global digital strategy. “Listening for intelligence. Listening for leads. Listening for competitive information. Listening for the comments and complaints that you know are red flags. Those in my world are all part of social.”

Toward the Social Organization

As marketing professionals increase their knowledge of social networks and networking, they will likely find themselves sharing their experience and skills across even more touch points, not only outside their organizations, but also within their own four walls. Indeed, companies that have previously made improving relationships with consumers and other external stakeholders their top social ...

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