It all starts with the consumer. Know your consumers’ life cycle to best plug in which medium works best at which point of the life cycle. That’s what I say to the role of social media. Yes, social media can, and if used strategically will, have an enormous impact on the success of your marketing programs. But first you need to know where in your consumers’ life cycle social media as a medium should go. In most cases, social media programs will be only one part of the total brand conversation and experience. You’ll most likely need a multi-channel communications plan to achieve your multiple communications objectives. As Nate Elliott said it, “(social media is) merely one tool in your marketing tool kit.” Realize that. Think consumer first and then find the right place for this engaging and dynamic medium.