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How Businesses Learn the Value and Impact of New Media: Uh-Oh vs. Aha Moments

In celebration of National Small Business Week

This year, Social Media marketing will gain significant support in resources and investment across businesses of all shapes and sizes.

So what’s new?

Now, a line is being drawn between edglings and underlings. Where we choose to stand affects the presence of our brand and value in new markets and our ability to capture attention where and how it is focused – both online and in the real world,.

On one side of the commerce quandary, business owners will have either flirted with or grasped the new media landscape and how it fits in with conventional touchpoints. On the other side, we have everyone else, those who will witness the possibilities and importance of the social Web via a pivotal “Aha” or “Uh-Oh” moment.

Aha’s will arise when the “consumer” that lives dormant inside each one of us finally awakens. Yes, outside of our business focus, we actively search for products and services. We are, in addition to many other things, consumers as well. We ask friends for recommendations. We research options. We make purchases. And, we share our experiences. Yet, we tend to neglect this useful and invaluable perspective when we operate in business mode. Suddenly everything we see, hear, and say is filtered through the eyes, ears, and voice of someone with a bottom line, responsibilities, goals, and not necessarily purpose and resolve.

Consumers are taking to the social Web to seek and offer advice and direction. Businesses win and lose in those conversations every day and as such, decisions are made with or without us.

Now, the Uh-Oh moment on the other hand, is inevitable and with it, a sense of urgency is thrust upon its unsuspecting victims. This occurs when we suddenly realize that our competitors are unusually succeeding while our revenue flatlines or even worse, declines. Or, depending on circumstances, we suddenly face an eruption of negative commentary and reviews that propagate detrimental experiences or sentiment.

In both cases, new media provides us with the tools and lenses that allow us to find and steer experiences, transactions, and sentiment. It just requires acceptance and dedication to learning, participating, and tracking how the creation of these new social touchpoints contribute to customer acquisition and retention.

Even though we make an official investment in something that’s not only new and uncertain, we expect a return on time, money, and energy. While experimentation is part of the process, dedication to improving our bottom line is something that doesn’t lose significance – nor should it. Therefore, our efforts must be designed with intention, purpose, and value in mind. Everything is measurable and as such, what it is we want to measure must not only be defined, but also balanced with the interests of the communities in which we participate.

The dichotomy between intention and outcome is defined by our actions and words. Ergo, the experiences we induce are measured by the reactions of those we engage.

Once we decide to focus our efforts and ultimately how, when and where we socialize service, marketing, communications, sales, and community development, essentially, every part of our business, we begin the beginning of our future.

This is your time to become the expert you seek. By answering our own questions, we can participate in social networks in ways that boost visibility, attract customers, and empower a community of customers and advocates to create new business opportunities, improved customer service, and also a more valuable service offering as tuned by our stakeholders.


Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google Buzz, Facebook

Please consider reading my new book, Engage!

Get Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and The Conversation Prism:

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64 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “How Businesses Learn the Value and Impact of New Media: Uh-Oh vs. Aha Moments”

  1. Thank you so much for that nicely written piece of text.Why do you need to hire the “best SEO company”? Well, why not hire the best? I mean, if you're going to do something, you might as well do it right. I asked Matt Cutts, and he said that if he was going to hire a SEO company, he'd hire one that used conservative strategies. Bergstrom-seo is one of the top SEO companies because they don't do anything that could get you blacklisted. They focus on adding content to your website, on-page SEO (fixing internal linking, page titles,etc,) and getting links back to you. They don't put any outbound links on your site. No outbound links means you can't get blacklisted.


    Prasen Dutta a community member at Search Engine Optimisation Consultants

  2. Techwatch says:

    Its the interactive part that has made it so popular, people talk back to their TV but it doesn't do any good,

  3. Nehal Kazim says:

    You make an interesting point with the correlation between intention and outcome. The way I'm looking at intention are as objectives. When that objective is clearly defined, it's much easier to determine if the social media efforts are worth the time and resources.

    With the addition of raw passion for the business, it becomes effortless to execute on social media related tasks. Here's my article on the effect that passion has on the success of social media initiatives:

    Thanks for the article Brian!


  4. Great article, Brian!

    Best point: The experiences we induce are measured by the reactions of those we engage.

    Very true.

    LR Hand

  5. Rachel Vincent says:

    To add to this, I think we need to be willing to step our there and take risks, whether as consumers or businesses. If we fail, we fail fast. The other half of that is that we need to forgive those around us, consumers or businesses, or little fails in order to allow the freedom for people to feel safe exploring, going out on a limb, and possibly failing.

  6. Halina says:

    My Aha moment became so much more “operational” after having read “Putting the public back into public relations”. Read it in one day (yesterday :-)) – will be benefiting from the read for a long time, I feel. Engage is next. Thank you thank you thank you.

  7. Omar Alam says:

    Still amazes me at how businesses (esp large corporate madhouses) are so inept at using new media to do the simplest thing with it: engage and connect with people.

    What I am not amazed or shocked at is how so many unknowns and pure hustler types (the best!) are dominating and making stronger connections to people and their markets in general better and faster than people already in businesses.

    Either innovate to survive get left behind to die wondering why those outdated beliefs and mindsets don't work anymore.

  8. raduprisacaru says:

    very well
    information you write it very clean. I’m very lucky to get this information from you.

  9. Michael Ellison says:

    I certainly agree that social media is fast emerging as an essential tool in the competitive business landscape but I am curious about your thoughts on how the social media landscape itself is changing. I recently read an interesting articles about the idea of co-creation combined with social media and both used as tools for CSR.

    This trend strikes me as especially compelling as we see the first major examples emerge like Pepsi Refresh, Noki ChangeConnections and others. These initiatives are clearly intended to be socially responsible but also seem to indicate a trend towards a level of engagement that is greater than traditional social media methods. Is this the beginning of web 3.0 or just the natural progression of a web 2.0 world? I am a huge fan of your work and would love to see you write a post about it sometime! Please feel free to check out the original article that inspired my thinking if you want –

    Thanks for listening!

  10. juliacassidy says:

    Very good article. I belive that you are right when you mention that being part of social media is not only necessary for itself nowadays but it is also important to know where to stand and what image, based on what message will be the one for a business. When it comes to risks when investing money on social media. Of course there are risks on those investments, just like in all the other investments types. Thanks for sharing!!!

  11. akashpai says:

    Great article ! Just started reading your book. Very impressed so far. Deep understanding and insights.

  12. Brian- Thanks for sharing!

  13. Mary O'Brien says:

    In order not to fear the social media revolution that is taking place, businesses need to actively develop and deploy a social media strategy. While anyone can setup a Twitter account or Facebook fanpage, utilizing these tools in a meaningful way is not as simple. The first tenet business should abide by is to remember the function of these tools — they are SOCIAL networks after all. Merely having a presence in these spaces is not enough — to take full advantage of these tools, business need to engage with customers. Encourage them to interact with your brand, participate in product development or advertising campaigns, and, above all, address customer concerns or complaints.

  14. Wellons Communications says:

    It is important to consider the issue and understand what messages social media gravitate toward.

  15. llc Colorado says:

    Nice book, very impressive topic. I learned a lot on investing.

  16. Phil says:

    Michael…..web 3.0 certainly not so soon but it seems it progressing very rapidly towards that….big brands seems more serious towards their reputation in SM networks

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