Is Social Media Turning Corporate America Into a Service Industry?


Brain Solis
 recently posted the transcript from an interview he did with Capital Magazine on his blog about the rise of Generation-C, or “Generation-Connected”. Brain explains how the rise of this new generation has changed the way we craft our media strategies, and how businesses must decide when and where to use social vs traditional media. (Check out the interview here)

     This new generation of connected users is unbound by demographics and exists in a constantly evolving digital world. Relying heavily on mobile and tablet platforms as their window to the world, Generation-C is shaping the way that businesses interact with, and most importantly, treat their customers online. In short, these online customers demand the same treatment online as off. Creating customer-centric social strategies that deliver an engaging interactive experience, beginning to end, is necessary to developing meaningful Generation-C relationships that garner support and loyalty; ultimately, leading to sales.


     All of a sudden, companies who’ve never had to deal with answering their customer’s dissatisfactions directly are being called out via social media. They’ve been forced to join in on the social conversation and treat their customers with the respect and attention they deserve, or be left behind. It no longer matters if your product is tangible because Social Media visibility has become a benchmark for brand legitimacy. One user left a comment on Brain’s interview that I feel describes the Generation-C perspective perfectly: “If there are no reviews, no FB page, and no Twitter account, I am less likely to trust the product and company. It’s as if they are hiding.” No Trust, no purchase.

     Social media has equaled the playing field by taking a large portion of brand perception out of the marketers control; delivering your marketing message is no longer a one-way street. In order to regain control over that message, marketers must now create genuine interactions between the consumer and the brand. Starting to sound like a service industry isn’t it. Every company from small diner to large corporation can be publicly criticized or praised on the Internet. And unlike conversation between friends, once something is on the Internet…it’s there for good. Word of mouth marketing will always be one of the most powerful forms of marketing, and for Generation-C, social media is just an extension of WOM into the digital sphere of their lives.

     Social media matters, it’s a great way to communicate with customers and monitor the conversation around your brand; but it is not replacing traditional media. Your new job, based on how your customers consume different types of media, is deciding how to balance the two and create an effective strategy. This can be difficult, so in our next blog, we’ll go into detail about the differences between different social media channels how you should utilize them.