This polar vortex thing has us thinking… Who ever heard of a polar vortex until about a week ago? Then who might have predicted the state of marketing today, with the impact, and ever-changing climate, of social media? As the polar vortex descended upon us from the great white north, we have no choice but to adapt or die. I’ve heard that exact choice voiced over businesses’ acceptance of changes in marketing strategy brought on by social media.

And on the topic of value – to the business, and, even more importantly, to the consumer, what intrinsic value is there in a social media connection? In a ‘like’, or a ‘follow’? Perhaps none. It is but the beginning, a moment when some one thought ‘Oh, that’s interesting’ or even, ‘Heck, why not?’ It is up to us, each of us , in our dual roles as marketers, consumers, readers, buyers to MAKE a social connection valuable for ourselves and for each other. On the business side, that takes energy and investment in doing the right things to capture the moment, the imagination, maybe, of our prospective customer. And it takes something from the audience (the customer) too. Eventually interest leads to dialogue, to purchase, to loyalty and even advocacy.

Q1) What can businesses do to draw consumers into their brand community?

Q2) Once a connection is made, what do they do to nurture that into a meaningful relationship?

Q3) Which side bears the weight of driving the relationship?

Q4) Keeping in contact is tough – how does one acknowledge ‘dropping the ball’ on something important like a complaint?

Q5) What level of automation is acceptable in dealing with customers in the social sphere?

Q6) We all have our strengths – how do we manage to keep communities on platforms where we connect best?