Engage | Brian Solis

Summary of: Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web
By: Brian Solis

Introduction

Step into the world of ‘Engage,’ the definitive guide for businesses and brands to create thriving connections and success in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Author Brian Solis delves into the complexities of social media, unraveling its hidden potentials and exploring how it has dramatically changed the way businesses operate. This summary will shed light on the global expansion of various social media platforms, how consumer behaviors have shifted, and the endless options available to businesses seeking to make their mark in the online sphere. Stay tuned to learn how brands can develop meaningful relationships with consumers and harness the power of social networking to stay ahead of the competition.

Social Media’s Global Impact

The explosive growth of social media has affected every business, and already more than 50% of business-to-business companies plan to increase their social media investment. Research shows that 70% of consumers use social networks as their main source of brand information. Furthermore, spending on social media is set to hit $3.1 billion by 2014, compared to $716 million in 2009. With the emergence of options such as blogs, forums, videos, and wikis, many companies are overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Despite this complexity, companies must produce and post updates that are insightful, enriching, and entertaining to build a trusted following.

Social Media Intelligence

Marketing departments have failed to understand social media’s purpose, causing them to struggle in engaging with users. As a result, social media landscapes become more complicated, and companies that can’t keep up will suffer from a competitive disadvantage. Most marketers fail to discern the democratic nature of social media, leading them to adopt ineffective and self-promotional strategies. In contrast, smart marketers use quality content and social media dashboards to engage with prospects, build relationships and facilitate conversations. When used correctly, social media transforms into a vital tool that creates social capital that is commensurate with time, resources, and money employed.

Maximizing Social Media Presence

To excel in social media marketing, companies must understand their audience and adapt accordingly. This involves discovering the most influential social networks within their industry, identifying key online figures and learning their communication tools. Constant online participation and active listening are also key factors in gaining attention and building relationships. Utilizing search engines such as Collecta to track brand mentions can provide valuable insight into audience perception. By shaping online content to align with brand identity and communicating with influencers and users, companies can maximize their social media presence and attract a wider audience.

Mapping the Social Media World

The Conversation Prism, crafted by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas, maps the social media world as a graphic. It categorizes social networks by “subject, intent and capabilities” to help you determine where and how to enter the social media discussion, and engage the right audience at the right time. The hub-and-spoke model places your organization at the center and shows how to listen, observe, evaluate, and respond to online activity while identifying where your targeted consumers converse online. Active listening using ethnography and searching for the right keywords are crucial to effective social media outreach. The Conversation Prism offers a conversation index, a guide to building relationships by understanding the online community and engaging in bottom-up “unmarketing” strategy.

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