In social media who get to ask the questions?


I’ve written a lot about the need for listening on the part of brands if they want to engage consumers. Brian Solis wrote a great post yesterday on whether brands have any answers even if they do. Valerie Maltoni wrote a really insightful post about the three types of listening that are critical to brands.

The point is, however you approach the issue, social media has created both a feedback and feed forward loop between users and that is dramatically changing the power dynamics between them. Specifically, it means brands can’t simply eaves drop on the chatter of consumers about their brands, but rather customers get to ask questions that they must answer.

With this in mind I thought it was about time I practiced a little of what I preach. While each post I write invites its own conversations and retweets, the discussion about social media and branding today is very different to how it was a year or even six months ago. Brands are more confident, engaged and adventurous in their use of tools and consumers are more organized and vocal.

So here are 3 questions I wanted to share to hear your thoughts on what are the most pressing issues for brands around social media in 2011:

1. What is the biggest fear that brands have with social media now?

2. Of those that use it, what is their greatest frustration?

3. What do brands most want to achieve through social media?

Thanks for your input and I’ll be quiet now…