The Social Future

BJ Emerson, Social Technology Officer at Tasti-D-Lite, offers insight into how brands must take advantage of opportunities to engage with customers in new ways. The competition is heating up and the bar is being raised as businesses battle for fans, friends and followers throughout this new media frontier.


"The Social Future" by BJ Emerson, Tasti-D-Lite

I’d like to offer 4 things that I believe will separate the winners from the losers:

1. The ability to listen effectively - Understanding these opportunities begins with education and you won’t learn anything with your mouth open.

Looking for examples of this? Perhaps one of the most famous is the @ComcastCares twitter account. Created in 2008 by then director of digital care (and Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies speaker ) Frank Eliason, @ComcastCares actively listens for customer complaints and addresses problems directly. It also helps contain negative groundswell when consumers realize they’re interacting with an individual, not a faceless corporation. Now in 2011 @Comcastcares is piloted by Bill Gerth and is still going strong.

2. The ability to engage creatively – Remember the half-naked man in the Old Spice videos? Of course you do. Get creative. There is no box to think outside of, so go for it.

The humorous voice made famous by Isaiah Mustafa in the series of Old Spice commericals can also be found tweeting @OldSpice and at By offering unique content on each channel Old Spice continues to creatively engage with its audience and extend the reach of a successful viral video campaign.

3. The ability to execute locally – Be prepared to offer a consistent experience between your online presence and offline activities. Use the technologies that exist to bridge the virtual-physical gap.

Looking for an example? Look to Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies speaker Damien Smith of Yelp. By rewarding Yelp “elite” users with local parties, including free food, drinks or experiences Yelp extends their brand experience offline, keeps their core members engaged and offers additional exposure to their advertising partners.

4. The ability to embrace transparency – Social media gives consumers a glimpse into the culture and people behind those products and services they love. What does that picture look like for your organization?

Kellie Parker, Community Manager at SEGA talks about transparency some in her guest post here on the Community 2.0 blog. By mixing a human aspect with necessary marketing messages you continue to engage your audience and create a fun community that people want to join in on.


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