The key to social media success isn’t having a facebook/twitter profile. It’s what you DO before you start to talk. Social networks are not just there as another channel to tell the world what you’re up to. Brands are great in telling one dimensional stories about their great products for many years on traditional media.
For example, in 2010, the Nestle facebook group were swarmed by “fans” expressing their opinions through comments regarding its unethical practices. Nestle seems to think people on their group want more PR releases about Nestle’s great products or CSR programs. The comments posted on Nestle’s Facebook group was quite straightforward: which is for someone in the company to talk with them.
On the other side of the fence is another brand people love to hate: Telstra. The big pond team is doing great on twitter changing brand perception one customer at a time. Negative feelings are changed to positive through listening and a real passion for fixing customers problems.
The key to social media success is to be credible, authentic and honest.
It will also pay to give something to the community, listen to people and do the right thing by your customers as social media is much more about customer service than marketing.