Social media works because people self select what is of interest to them- it’s a system free at the point of use.
Like any activity people are motivated by a few psychological drivers: the need to belong, to be engaged, and the need to grow. We know that people interacting with brands on line do so to fulfill their own needs, rather than the needs of the brand. Brands thinking of using social media should consider what consumers might want from it, and how their brand can adapt to fulfill audience needs.
Like it or not users are beginning to drive brand agendas in social media. Brand positioning and responses therefore ought to be robust enough to accommodate digital turbulence. If you are prepared to let the outside in, be generous, virtuous and interesting and willing to interact with people on their terms, you’ll get the benefit. On the other, it’s not hard to identify sectors and organisations struggling in this new landscape, but at stake are reputations that can be made or lost. For once, it pays to be virtuous and empathetic.