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CK:

I still cannot help but think that engaging with customers online and offline is directly proportional to the amount of business they will willingly give you and refer your way.

You also highlight a trend I've been observing not only on the front lines of social media. Many other customer facing functions are carried out often by quite junior staff.

As in my cases above, the benefits are often intangible at first and then translated into tangibles over time. If you have an experienced person handling the conversation, they will more likely manage to build value sooner rather than later.

An important question being that they likely don't know what they're missing...always happens as they miss the boat (or the boat sinks). Orgs will likely need to get smaller. And orgs have to stop posting junior talent or, eek(!) summer interns against blogging (happens more than you think).

The publicity on social media has indeed increased - that helps. The benefit argument and how CORE these relationships and conversations are to their business success and biz model viability (not the darn technology, many biz's get side-tracked with the tech, it's about people).

As for specifics, publishing more on the revenue argument for social media is important. We need, IMO, to keep hitting on what's core to marketing and that's value creation. How better to create value than to benchmark what's truly of value to them (customers) than to involve them?

All that said, I do think that co's will come online. It's a process. A lot of fear but starting is the toughest part. The challenge is maintaining yet, again, once it becomes core and the benefits are realized, the medium (and the value of the relationships of the medium) are hard to pass up. I also pose how cost-effective it is to clients--though I advise them on the time commit.

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