The lure of social media is simple: connection. In the past, branding efforts focused around building up a brand and culture that people would recognize, but it wasn't very personal. You did it all at a distance. You hoped a billboard or a TV commercial enhanced your brand, but you didn't get direct interaction. With social media, you do. Potential customers can contact you directly. You can respond to them and engage with them and evaluate their feedback. It's as close to a face-to-face meeting as we're ever likely to see. You have to know how to work your brand into the online community if you want to thrive.