I’m a big fan of Steve Goldner over at Social Steves Blog. He is a genuine social media expert, but he has a thoughtful cross discipline approach. He takes sense, and he really knows whats he is talking about too. I read his work a lot, but his latest post really hit a nerve for me.

Entitled 12 Social Market(ing) Factors, Steve details 12 things you need to be across in todays marketing functions, social or otherwise, and the things your social media campaigns need to have in abundance. He calls them factors, as opposed to trends as factors have a long lasting effect on businesses. Here are they are, but without Steves comments:

1.  Its about Consumer Behaviour – Not Technological platforms

2. The voice of the consumer is stronger than ever

3. Listening is more important that ever

4. Reinforcing the brand in new open ways

5. Content and publishing – All brands are now publishers

6. Curation – Its not just about your own content

7. User generated content is extremely potent

8. The web is being re organised around people

9. Mobile!

10. There is strong growth in new sharing services

11. There is an exuberant amount of data being produced (great word!)

12. Metrics are moving from the ‘Facebook likes’ type to being more aligned with overall business objectives

You can have a pretty good guess at the content of each topic but you must check the article on Steves page for yourself. Alongside his article on measuiring social media success (Know what Successful Social Media Looks like) its very important work for those of us working with their brands and using social media today.

For me the big thing to come out of Steves article is about authenticity. Steve talks about brands being open and effectively handing over control to their customers through the engagement platforms we are creating. Allowing the public to publish within our brand real estate is very risky, and it takes a stong and brave brand to do this.

Given recent (and further) developments in the banking sector over here in the UK for instance, I can really see a time, not too far in the future, where brands that are authentic and honest stand out above all others.

The wont be perfect, but they will be openly accountable. They’ll make mistakes, but will be able to process them publically and positively together with their customers. Its the only outcome I can see to balance the sleaze and negativity associated with so many businesses and business practice today.

Whatever, it will be thinkers like Social Steve that will lead the way.

Let me know what you think, and what you think of Steves blog in the comments below, or tweet me directly on @radiojaja