How good is your social branding? Are you influencing enough of the right people? Are you using social media to determine your ongoing strategy?

Some 83% of companies worldwide use social media, but fewer than half of those have teams that use social media to influence proposition (service or product) design, creation, or strategy.

In a recent Forrester report, it appears that 72% of consumer product strategy (CPS) professionals claim that social media will enhance their existing capabilities of using customer input to shape product strategy. They talked about how social co-creation is an important opportunity for consumer product strategy (CPS) professionals — and it’s something that some, but not all, of those companies who are active with social media use.

In a discussion on the topic among Before and After 6 business network members, it was obvious that social branding was the topic of the day. Apart from leveling the playing field, it allowed companies to carry out a form of dialogue with clients, colleagues, friends or simply “followers”. Linkedin, Twitter and facebook topped the list of social networks in use, although there was a difference in opinion on their effectiveness within the target markets, especially for service providers such as lawyers and accountants. In fact, many saw it as an extension of their business networks and networking initiatives. Whatever their industry though, it was the undoubted decision that social media cannot be ignored from a branding perspective.

We are currently working with clients to help them navigate the social branding arena. We help them build their brand, determine their positioning and extend the brand online with relevant pages and groups targeting their markets. In this way, at least they are harnessing the phenomenal reach of this medium, even though it may still be early days for them in terms of active conversions from followers to clients.

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