6) Risk of the unknown. Human conversations are great; you never know where they will turn. For companies that are very logical, planned and methodical there are some elements of the unknown. One thing is for sure, the more you get involved with a conversation in the start, the less risk you’ll have over time.
7) Social Media goes deep in the organization. This tool will change how executives communicate to employees and the public. Support teams will start to engage customers using social media, Middle Management will integrate these tools into program plans, and the rank and file will often be first generation adopters, it’s often bottom up and distributed. Social media is already beginning to be a line item in the 2007 budget.
8. Social Media goes wide in the organization. It’s not just about marketing or PR, the Internet, Extranet and the Intranet will be impacted. You can reduce support costs; build better products with engineering in near-real time. Decrease the sales cycle through education, and even reduce recruiting costs and attract the top talent. This web by nature is global, there are more Chinese internet users than all of North America, and for some time, Japanese is a more common language in blogs than English.
9) Social Media spans time. Savvy companies are learning how to use these tools across all phases of the customer life cycle. Awareness, engagement, education, pitches, negotiation, deployment, support, product research, customer feedback, market and competitive intelligence, and then repeats. This public conversation will be archived through as long as the internet is accessible. Google is the memory.
10) Social Media is neither magic nor voodoo. Use these tools to open and reach out, use these great web tools to reach and connect to customers, everyone can contribute. Learn the tools, experiment internally.