Almost everybody (and their dog) would have a social media presence, be it on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, LinkedIn, or blogs and forums. In a world where consumer online profiles are ubiquitous, it makes sense for companies to leverage on social media to reach their customers.
The challenge, as Jane Perry, GM of BBDO Proximity Shop pointed out, is that consumers do not want to be sold to. Instead, they prefer companies to meet understand their needs, interact with them on their level, and provide additional value that is unique to new media. Social media channels should thus serve as platforms for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) akin to a trusty old corner store rather than a hyper-efficient but cold and unfeeling megastore.