It’s a whole new year – literally and figuratively.

Social media is quickly changing the way we need to think about our brands and marketing. We can no longer expect to be successful if we just focus our marketing efforts on telling our target market how great our own brand is. What we – the brand – say about ourselves is no longer what matters. It’s what OTHER people say about our brand and their experience of our brand.

Brands have a challenge having effective external conversations with consumers and then truly activating them as advocates unless they evolve internally into a socially-focused organization.

Advocates are your goldmine! They are the people who go out there and “sell” your product simply because they want to — by passing links around, posting product reviews, getting the word out through all of their social media channels.

A quick way to become invisible as a brand (or worse yet, highly visible for negative reasons) is to keep your organization internally-focused. You can work 24×7 talking within your marketing group about what makes your product so fantastic … and then creating all those ads and marketing materials to try to convince everyone else the same… but unless people outside your organization are talking up your product, your work (and time!) is wasted.

In this age of social media, it’s relationships that matter: your brand’s relationship with its customers, with its customers, friends and colleagues, and with the entire social network of anyone who believes in your brand.

Why? Because good relationships naturally lead to people wanting to share their excitement about great products with their friends and the rest of their network. Good relationships – those built on trust, transparency, and honesty – create your brand advocates.

And conversely, bad relationships (or nonexistent relationships) naturally lead to people wanting to share their frustration about poor products. Be careful!

If your organization doesn’t evolve with the marketplace into a socially-focused organization, you will be left behind (if you haven’t been already).

Evolve. Your brand depends on it.

Originally Posted at: ZuberRants

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