Good reads: Issue #2 – The power of social media

One thing I really like about Twitter is that I come across links to thought-provoking or helpful business articles I would not have found otherwise. I mean, there is only so much time one can spend surfing the Net, but with Twitter, you have other people doing it for you. Of course, you can also go to AllTop.com, a great site that aggregates articles under roughly a zillion topics. But something about the serendipity of clicking on links that look interesting on Twitter and finding a really good blog post pleases me more than doing my own trolling for information and advice.

Here are two good articles on social media that  I happened upon last week on Twitter:

“Consumers are the new ad agency,” in which Simon Mainwaring, a branding consultant, advertising creative director, and blogger who formerly worked for Nike and the giant ad firm Ogilvy, explains the reasons why the rise of consumer-generated content puts consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to promoting products – as opposed to the relentless ads on TV and elsewhere. The impact of this shift in power means that small businesses can use social media to even the playing field with their larger competitors since having a huge ad budget is no longer essential to driving consumer choices. You can get your customers to tell your story for you. (Of course, if you don’t please them, the story they tell will be negative, which only increases their power over the message about your company that is available to anyone with a computer.)

So once you’ve read Simon’s piece and decided to jump into social media (that is, if you haven’t already or you’ve only been dabbling), you need to read “9 Things to Do Before Entering Social Media,” by blogger Lisa Barone, who heads the Internet marketing firm of Outspoken Media, Inc. It has been my observation that many companies skip some of the important items Lisa recommends doing before jumping into the social media pool and thus their strategy and intentions are murky. So give her post a read before you make that mistake.

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