Well there may always be exceptions to any rule, but for most the shift has been towards the individual and most will acknowledge to a lesser or greater degree the influence of the individuals within an organization or more simply put the brands that work for the brand.
Yes for companies to be a strong brand these days you need strong brands working for you, the success of the main brand is often dependent on the decisions and choices that the individual brands within that brand makes.
So what impact does this have on a relationship marketing or social media strategy within an business? Simply put it has everything because only people can give you authenticity, commitment and integrity; companies can only say this but the people deliver these values.
Social media strategies will always fail if you approach them from a brand building or a marketing point of view. They will give the old style necessary information, but they simply will not have the personality that makes up a social business.
For a social business strategy to be effective and to have long term sustainability you need to find the champions within a organization and involve them in the complete process. They are the people who are natural communicators and are capable of giving your brand it's own authentic personality.
When you freely enable people to build individual brands for themselves, you not only build a solid brand for your company due to the strength of the brands within the organization but you also save costs, become more authentic and you have a more productive engaged workforce.
Start encouraging others to build their brands and begin building your personal brand today ...
"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." -- General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army