I often discuss brand strategy with people and since I also focus on social media, I usually end up explaining my point of view regarding how social media can be used as part of an overall brand strategy. I’m happy to say that we (Microsoft) are now going public with this point of view. Keith Lorizio, from Microsoft Advertising recently posted a blog entry about social advertising. A couple of great quotes from his blog that touch on this idea that social is part of a brand strategy are: 

We advise our clients to use MSN Homepage takeovers, our custom branded entertainment sites, and our award-winning IAB Rising Stars ad units. These creative solutions make your brand story the foundation of your campaign and allow you to add social components in an interactive and impactful way to add authenticity and believability to your brand message.

We recently announced People Powered StoriesTM, a new suite of social advertising solutions that incorporate real peoples’ stories to help increase believability and amplify word of mouth. The first People Powered StoriesTM ad solution incorporates people’s real product ratings and reviews. Check out Jenn Creegan’s blog to learn more.

So when people ask me about a “social strategy” I can share my opinion, but I’ll most likely try to step back and discuss the brand strategy and how online owned, earned and paid media should work together. Social is one component to integrate into that strategy.