This is the time to go your own way by briansolis

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									This is the time to go your own way
By Brian Solis, industry-leading blogger at BrianSolis.com and principal of research firm
Altimeter Group, Author of the highly acclaimed books on social business The End of Business
as Usual and Engage!




I was recently asked to write the foreword for Social Media Geek-to-Geek by Rick & Kathy Schmidt
Jamison. I was delighted to help and as always, I requested to publish the foreword here when the
book was released. Now that the book is available on Amazon, I’m excited to share the foreword
with you here…




(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis
When I’m asked to research and present success stories and best practices in social media, I often
ask a bit more about what it is they’re specifically seeking. After a bit of interaction, it usually comes
down to two words, creative inspiration.

At the moment, social media represent something new, something we understand personally buy
have yet to comprehend professionally. The unknown is just that, it’s undefined. And as such, the
paths for exploring new media are uncharted. Rather than find our own way based on the unique
needs of our markets, we seek direction from those who have ventured forth on the roads most
traveled. Eventually these expeditions require cartographers to map them, creating a series of charts
to “what we know” versus “where we should be.”

Social Media represent change. Change evokes fear and sometimes that fear can paralyze us. Yet,
all we need is a better understanding of how we got here in order to plan for where we need to go.

As much as I would love to tell you otherwise, there is no social media playbook for guaranteed
success. There is no template to consistently satisfy customers. There isn’t a common recipe for
delivering ROI. The only set of instructions that matter are those that you write based on the reality
of your business, the needs of your customers, and the state of the market.

Everyday people, not businesses, embraced social networks. Champions and innovators introduced
social media into the organization, from the outside in, because they believed in its ability to reach
customers…to reach real people. Through experimentation in day-to-day listening and engagement,
social media gained momentum from the bottom-up until it reached a boiling point. The reality is that
there is no IT department for social media. Most of the time, there isn’t a Chief Social Officer residing
in executive row to help execute against your vision. And, the leadership of the organization is not
touting the vision for a more people-focused mission.

Social is either a playground for the young and restless or it’s cost center. Either way, it’s up to us to
intimately understand how social media impact the bottom line and how we can steer experiences,



(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis
conversations, and action in our direction, while delivering value. Without engagement, we can not
compete for relevance. Without relevance, we can not compete.

This is your time to find the answers to your questions. This is your time to become the experts you
once sought. This is your time to lead the way.

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+




(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is
globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published
authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and
influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and
culture. His current book, The End of Business as Usual helps companies rethink
business strategies to lead, not react to, the new consumer revolution. His previous
book Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and
measure success in the social web.




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(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

								
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