The ubiquity of social media and mobile technology has rendered everything we do, think, eat, wear, read, watch or itch a social event.

Photo by AcererakYour lunch. The movie. The packaging. Customer service. That rash that won’t go away. Technology has shifted not only the ease of sharing, but also the norms. It has become instinct for most of us now to create a realtime narrative about minutia.

The store is too cold. My waitress is hot.

We are a culture of share-everything, which means social media can’t be kept in a box. You can’t control what is shared, anymore than you can control what is said. Social sharing happens whether you want it to or not. Whether you planned for it or not. Whether your brand has a Facebook page or not. All the good stuff, and all the bad stuff, it’s all being shared by people who care enough to have an opinion.

You can’t control it. Don’t try. Instead, think of how you can influence it. Feed it. Make it easier. Be a part of it.

It’s not surprising that 73% of the Fortune 500 have a corporate Twitter account. It is surprising that 27% of them don’t. Is there some expectation that because they aren’t there, the conversations don’t happen? Is there really a product, technology or service that nobody talks about? Worse still, less than 20% of Fortune 250 companies have CMOs on Twitter. Can it really be true that these marketing leaders don’t understand or value this space well enough to see that it is a direct pipeline to their customers, and their competitors?

Every touchpoint a customer has with your brand or product, from how well it works, to how much it costs, to the box it came in and the guy who sold it to them, is a moment that is captured and proliferated on social media every day. The fact that so few CMO’s are on Twitter reflects an imperfect understanding of how pervasive this is.

Brands have a choice. Talk with your customers, or let them talk about you. Plan that every touchpoint is a social moment, or miss out on a million opportunities to influence what is shared.