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Some practical tips from savvy users! One of my favorites:
"People don't want to shop where they socialize."
Kevin Oedekoven's profile photoDawn Mentzer's profile photoLarry Farmer's profile photoLaura Spencer's profile photo
Those are some excellent snippets of gold. I particularly like:
If fans distribute your content without your permission, offer to help.
Your fans own your brand.

I've always considered the social chain to go...
Social yields fans yields influencers yields evangelists
"People don't want to shop where they socialize" is an interesting one. While it does seem to ring true, it does pose a challenge. You want to build a group that provides value to its members but in a way that reinforces your brand without "marketing". I've done that on the services side but it's a bit more challenging (or, so it seems to me) when you are trying to move product.
+Larry Farmer I disagree. For brands, regardless of product or service, all social media should be seen as a means of growing awareness of a single product - the brand.

That doesn't mean being on the hard sell every post or share, it means establishing a relationship or at least a connection with those who are discovered in an ever widening circle of interactivity.
+Kevin Oedekoven Maybe I just need to warm up to the idea: I've spent my career on the services side.  With services, you're trying to demonstrate a certain level of competency in the subject matter.  Easily done in social media.  However, if I'm helpful, knowledge, witty, clever, etc. how does that translate to the quality/suitability of my merch?  It may suggest that the transaction will be pleasant or that I am willing to make right any problems, which, yes, does give me an edge.  People do prefer to transaction with someone the "know" or "trust".

I guess the bottom line is I'm not anyone's "fanboy".  Perhaps I'm just a jaded old fart who has seen too many companies wax and wane to be all that enamored of any company.  I've also seen too many companies with good marketers and terrible after sales support, i.e., the operational character of the company doesn't match the marketing personae.  
+Larry Farmer and that's exactly why brands should work to personalize themselves on social media - because people do business with people, not businesses.

Recognizing that you personally may not be anyone's fanboy, but the role of social interaction for brands (regardless of product offering) should be to grow their brand fan base by being engaged.
Hi +Larry Farmer and +Kevin Oedekoven - sorry for being absent...was on vaca and actually unplugged almost completely from social media last week! 

You had a lively and interesting conversation going. :) Both of you shared valuable points. I believe brands need to make themselves likeable, demonstrate know-how and build trust through social media - AND they need to be able to back it all up with genuine expertise and quality service. 

Hope you're both well! My apologies again for not being present!!
So you''re an instigator!? I''ll keep that in mind. ;-)
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