Social MediaI introduced a number of new social networking applications and wrote about the impact of LinkedIn, Spoke, Ryze, Jigsaw, and YouTube on our daily lives. Since social media has become so ubiquitous in the past couple of years and now there is a plethora of books available on social networking and social media, this has provided me with the opportunity to take a different path—one of asking how social media is affecting our relationships. What are some best practices for organizations to craft a compelling social media policy? How will social media create new roles and realms of responsibilities within and external to the enterprise? And as evidenced by one of my most popular blog posts, what will tomorrow’s social leaders look like?

Let me start by saying that the worst thing you can do on social media is to sell; doing so unequivocally turns everybody off. Most people will disengage when confronted with overt and covert sales pitches—personal or professional.

If you want to promote your brand, you must add value, create intrigue, or provide a contrarian perspective.

If you want to sell your product or services, use social media to solve customer service issues, provide additional ideas on how your consumers (business-to business [B2B] or business-to-consumer [B2C]) can get even more value from your products or services they’ve already purchased.

The best thing you can do on social media is listen, engage, and influence.

Attend any social media conference, and countless examples—from @comcastcares on Twitter, to State Farm’s Get an Agent campaign on YouTube, to Chase Community Giving on Facebook, to Coke’s and Starbucks’s masterful loyalty marketing online—all point to a real-time medium to get a candid finger on the pulse of your target audience. What they’re thinking, what they find of value, and what information they put to use can all dramatically affect how you do business in the decade ahead.

How well do a group of individuals work well together in a team-based environment? Take our Free Relationship DNA assessment to identify the team attributes in one of four quadrants with a high level profile and a set of recommendations.

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