Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and others used to be a great way to build community and interact with your customers. This latest crop of social networks made reaching out to customers instantaneous, easy, and most importantly, free. Not surprisingly, social media started getting a bigger share of companies’ marketing budgets and—for many smaller brands—social virtually supplanted other customer outreach efforts altogether.
Then, as suddenly as it appeared, the “free lunch” of social media was over—it quickly changed to “free appetizers” and then finally “full-price appetizers.” The corporate meal-deal ended just as marketers were really starting to understand the upsides of a social community for engaging and messaging their biggest fans and customers. (continued…)