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    Social Media Obsessions

    I haven’t written much about social media in the last month, or so, and have chosen instead to silently observe macro trends that interest me. Trends that transcend “Tool of the Day” obsessions with Twitter , Friendfeed or whatever else…
    Toby and I were speaking day-before and here are my continuing & current obsessions:

    1. Impact of social media and blogs on purchase decisions– That there is impact, I don’t have any doubt about now. What’s been your experience – which categories are you seeing most impacted/ influenced?
      In fact, Hasan, from IIM – Indore, who has been in touch for the last few months and whom I have tried to help structure a study around the subject, should nearly be done with his fairly comprehensive study and am looking forward to read the findings. Based on his comfort, I will try and share some with our readers.
    2. Crisis will Hit – Where blogs allowed people to express themselves with ease; social networking sites are allowing them to express themselves, and also collect as groups; viraling the message has never been easier. Many corporations/ brands are finding themselves hit by crisis, sometimes purely possible because of social media environment, many others are finding the message travel much – much faster and further.
      Last month, I was approached by an executive from a PR agency representing one of the largest Indian corporations. The group had been hit by outreach initiated by an environmental group – the impact was compounded by social networking sites and blogs. The Agency/ Corporation were thinking tactically about how to stop the spread. My point was you need to strategically agree on your commitment to environment and then take tactical initiatives to showcase your work, rather than do a ‘spoof on a spoof’ as was being suggested (yes, I was amused).
      This demanded a long-term approach – the Agency wasn’t sure if they were ready for it and nothing happened thereafter. However, more and more corporations will initiate their social media programmes after being hit by/ or in anticipation of a crisis.
    3. Brand Stalker cometh – I have spoken about it earlier. Essentially it’s about support being garnered by a blog/ community, led by a person/group, to launch an attack on the brand with ‘malicious intent’. The only addition to this theory at the moment is that the stalker may not just be an individual, but can also be an organization – and no, I don’t mean just the mafia . Remember, power corrupts!! :)
    4. Conversational Marketing & Communication is not about online (just) – “… the point is that online enables conversational marketing like nothing else, thanks to its interactive nature, speed, reach but Conversational Marketing is about real people and two-way interactions first. What we do with them is up to us. That it only starts online and the relationship extends offline is clear – doesn’t it work exactly that way for us too, with a community building around our blogs, soon enough we are meeting over coffee, at events and before we know…there’s relationship and trust.” Read the story here.

    Any current obsessions of yours? Not the tools, the trends.
    Keep writing.

    Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.

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