Get Social

In the past few weeks, I bought concert tickets, watched a bit of a live interview with former President George W. Bush, learned about two friend's engagements and read pages of news - and I did it all on Facebook. If you think social media is a fad where people simply write about what they had for lunch and brag about photos of their children, you are missing the mark. Facebook and other social platforms are becoming much more than a stream of status updates.

In fact, three fourths of the people (75%) who find news online get it either forwarded through e-mail or posts on social networking sites, and half of them (52%) forward the news through those means. That means people are turning to social networks as a hub for their news and information - making them the perfect place to also find information about brands and ask for customer service.

Start developing your social media strategy today. Start by simply listening to the social conversations happening around your brand. You don't have to engage right away (nor should you unless you plan to stay for the long haul) but you should begin to analyze what's being said on social media and to what degree you could impact the conversation if you engage. It may just be a trickle of conversation when you start listening, but as more people start to utilize social media, and your brand engages, it will continue to grow. The key is to become engaged from the very beginning - before that trickle becomes a flood of chatter that you're not acknowledging.