Part of my studies in social media is to read a book on the subject. I chose 'Spin Sucks' by Gini Dietrich. I can tell you that this will not be the only book I read from this author!
The book was extremely insightful and provided so many real life examples to support the theories provided.
A few hilights of the book include how the author repeated that content was the key to a successful brand. No matter what the brand, or how good the images, appearance or marketing you could create, if the content was not good then the consumer would soon find out.
It struck a cord to me that the social media person is the brand in that they need to be authentic and real. The consumer is too smart and has too many avenues to pursue if the brand is simply not that.
No longer do we preach to the consumer in only telling our story. With social media it is now a two way street and we need to be prepared to open the dialogue up to the consumer/reader/customer.
They want to be heard and can be heard through various social media platforms and brands need to be aware of that and work with that. It is a dialogue that needs to be created with the consumer, real life conversations back and forth.
While it may take more time, it is providing authentic real attachments to your brand. Slowly but surely this is the way to do well. Social media will improve, google will start showing you as an expert and you will come up to the top on search engines and ultimately profits and sales will increase.
The book also provided some really helpful insight into dealing with online criticism. As we don't get the private phone call to complain, often it is much more amusing to post it online. I had no idea that there was a term for these individuals - TROLLS!
The author gave fantastic tips in how to deal with them and broke it down in a series of steps with examples.