As Tropicana, Gap, United Airlines and Netflix know all too well, the age of social media has also ushered in the age of the consumer. Consumers are now “hyper-connected and super-empowered,” and they can organize to overturn even the most strategic initiatives. In this new environment, how can organizations adapt to consumers armed with inexpensive weapons of mass collaboration? There are three essential steps. First, understand the nature of the collaboration. Second, understand your consumers’ objectives. Third and most important: Understand how to respond in a way that is meaningful and engaging.

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