MediaPost – Brands gain new respect for social media but must realize it can also conceal

If there is any bright side to the recent United Airlines fiasco, it’s that marketers are now more aware of the power of consumer-to-consumer sharing through social media to make or break their businesses. According to a recent New York Times article, “United and Pepsi Affairs Force Brands to Respect Social Media”, social media has now captured the serious attention of the highest levels of corporations, providing them “with unprecedented access to consumers while also exposing them to new risks.”

This is an important step forward and confirms what marketers have known for some time but their C-suite counterparts may have been skeptical of — that social influence plays a critical role in helping propel brands forward via positive brand advocacy, or amplifying mistakes and causing severe damage.

However, it’s critical for these same top executives to understand that social media is only a part of the social influence equation. Equally, if not more important, are the conversations that take place in living rooms, at the office water cooler, and on the sidelines of children’s sports games—and those conversations only occasionally resemble what’s happening in social media.

For the full MediaPost article, click here.

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