E-consultancy offers free social media briefing for the UK

The folks at e-consultancy have put together a free briefing on social media in the UK. There are lots of interesting items scattered throughout the 11-page briefing. Here's just a sample of the ones that caught my eye:

• Growth of social media, blogging and User-Generated Content has spawned a range of social media optimisation (or optimization) technologies and services.
• The challenge for companies is to find a natural way of starting conversations about their products and services online.
• There is a lot of potential for companies to get things badly wrong if they go about their social media strategy inappropriately, for example by trying to dictate a message or appearing on a forum of social network where they are not welcome.
• Although many of the principles of offline PR apply to online PR and social media marketing, there is a “real opportunity to do something that is new in a completely different way”.
• There is a difference between popularity and influence. It is important to find out who the real influencers are in a particular niche or sector.
• Building relationships with influencers can be very time-consuming and resource-intensive. It is important to have a skilled PR person doing this work. (Hear, hear.)
• Social media is becoming a very important search tactic because of the opportunities for generating links.
• As companies generally become more adept at making sure their websites meet the technical requirements necessary for good search engine optimisation (or optimization), the focus on good content (which also leads to links) becomes even more important.

Whether you spell optimization with a z, as we do in the US, or an s, as they do in the UK, you'll want to read this social media briefing. It's "brilliant" as they'd say in London -- or "wicked smart" as we'd say in Boston.