As I have said many times before the secret to success in the conversation economy is to keep quiet long enough to hear what others are saying about you. That’s why, despite all the hype surrounding Social Media [SoMe], I still suspect it is far more cost-effective to build your brand offline and monitor the results online.
Take a look at Apple, a company that chooses not to invest any of its Advertising and Marketing resources in being social. It continues to be universally recognized as the world’s Most Social Brand.
The same again in 2009
And now again 2010
Of the other leading Brands only Sony has more than one Brand name in the Top 100 list (i.e. PlayStation).
In the end trying to control and manipulate the global social media conversation is a fool’s errand. The problem with social media is you can choose to engage with it but you cannot control it.
The secret to Apple’s success is it focuses its energies on the things it can control and it leaves it up to its loyal customers and product champions to do the talking. Therefore I would suggest that you would be better off allocating your limited organisational resources to the task of solving the problems discovered while monitoring the conversation rather than wasting valuable resources trying to engage in the conversation.
After all the customer doesn’t want to waste their time in conversation with you. They just want the satisfaction of knowing they have bought a product or service that exceeds, or least meets,their expectations… and as we all know setting exceptions is what Brand Management is all about.