Engage: Chapter One

29 Jan

The first chapter of Brian Solis’s Engage! focuses on the necessity of businesses and PR specialists to make the switch to social media.  His message is clear:

According to Solis, for those who do not adapt to the changing way that we communicate (publicly, openly, rapidly),  the future is dismal.  The one-way road of communication has now been opened up, into a multi-lane two-directional expressway.

Throughout the chapter he uses strong, symbolic language to stress his point and I can’t help but scoff at it.  Maybe I am “old fashioned” but I still haven’t accepted that this gravitation to social media is anything more than a phase.

Solis states that a “fundamental shift in our culture is under way.”  He also says that businesses will evolve and brands will humanize–“with or without you.”

I understand where he is coming from but I just can’t believe that the only way to survive in this world is by abandoning all of the old “tried and true” methods of customer service and marketing and focusing your efforts into 140 character messages and clever hash tags.

Twitter marketing does not always end up the way companies might hope.  McDonalds, for example, just realized this with their recent #McDStories trend.  For at least the next couple months, people will enjoy looking at the fast food giant’s social media faux pas as the perfect example of what not to do.  For a huge brand like McDonalds, a little (or even, in this case, a lot) of bad publicity is not going to mean much in the grand scheme of things.

For the little guys, however, some sort of social media gaffe could mean the end.

As discussed in my previous blog, social media as a tool is still a foreign concept to me.  Brian Solis, as of chapter one, has yet to win me over.  Maybe, of course, I am just stubborn.


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