So I recently have been trying to come up with an analogy for social media. This idea of social media being like a campfire has really stuck for me. There are three things you need for a campfire, a campground, people and a fire.
These three things are similar to what makes up social media. For starters you need a platform for people to speak on e.g Facebook/Twitter (campground), you need members to populate this platform (people) and then something to talk about, a reason for being there (fire).
This also defines the three areas that brands can get involved, they can create the platform (Branded Community) – it can be as big as a whole website Pepsi refresh or jump on the back of another platform such as The Contender Page on Facebook.
They can be the members of the community (Customer Service) company can just listen to the conversations going down and then respond. e.g Big Pond Twitter account or Dell Hell
Lastly they can be the social glue (social idea) between two people, the reason they talk e.g iSpyLevis or Dove Inner Beauty.