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Weber’s Chris Perry: Social Media Is Moving to the ‘Center of Business’

Yesterday when we wrote about the results from “Socializing Your Brand: A Brand’s Guide to Sociability,” the latest study from Weber Shandwick and Forbes Insights, we noted a few indicators of what the study calls a “world class social brand.” Among them, creating original content, showing flexibility and “brand personality,” and responding to product and service recommendations from consumers.

Chris Perry, Weber’s digital leader, notes in his Forbes column on the study that only 16 percent of companies “consider their efforts to be … ‘world class.’”

While different companies are at different stages of bringing social media into their promotional fold, Perry told us, “generally speaking, we’re really early in a pretty big shift in how business is done and how companies interact with people in the market. Social media sits at the center of that.”

The level of fear about what could happen if a brand goes online has largely abated. An issue now is adapting internally. Perry says that companies “aren’t structured to take full advantage” of what’s out there just yet, even though senior execs realize that digital technology is important.

Not only important, but worth taking a risk on with greater experimentation.

“But interestingly, to varying degrees, they aren’t sure of the value that they’re getting out of these experiments and want to know how to use social media better than what they’re doing right now,” he said.

Nevertheless, Perry said the level of social media sophistication continues to grow to include product promotion, positive brand buzz, and customer service. Also growing — the role of PR.

“Social media is about listening, taking those feeds, and how you can use that information to inform products, react to customers, respond to problems, and make for smarter business,” Perry added.

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