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Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web by Ashton Kutcher, Brian Solis

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Chapter 12. The New Media University: Social Media 403

We travel through many places in our expedition toward social media adeptness, and most of it is unfamiliar territory-from digital anthropology and psychology to active listening and linguistics to experiential marketing and engagement rooted in empathy to social architecture and engineering and everything else that emerges in between. But this is why these times are so inspiring, exciting, and promising.

We're about to review a topic that is instrumental in defining the face, voice, and personality of a brand in socialized media and the ideas and lessons that materialize will most likely impact your next steps.

ESTABLISHING AN ONLINE PRESENCE AND DEFINING THE BRAND PERSONA

In the era of the Social Web, we are all brand advocates and managers-whether we know it or not.

While I spend a significant portion of my time sharing the importance of listening and observing to noteworthy conversations and the enveloping cultures that define relevant online communities, when it comes to participation and engagement, identity and branded personalities are often an afterthought.

The challenge, however, isn't necessarily how to convince management of the need to outwardly engage online. The real obstacle is defining and reinforcing the brand personality as it either existed prior to social media and/or how it should display and present to those across the Social Web. This is only complicated by the addition of human personalities into the equation, ...

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