Social Media—Embrace it and Hang On!

It’s a hard truth to realize that there are no more secrets.  Your customers can find out more about your company than your own employees will hear from internal communications.  If a certain new product or service is not meeting your customer’s standards the entire world will know about it within hours and there’s nothing you can do to stop the discussion.  And worse yet, you can’t control what your customers will say to your employees on a social media site and you can’t control what your employee will say in response.

Like it or not, once you decide to put your company on a social media site everyone in your organization now becomes your direct ambassador in the marketplace.  Their personal connections with people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the endless internet based options will and should impact your business decisions.  Companies like ours and probably yours now have two clear paths—establish and enforce strict controls OR embrace it and hang on.  Neither one seems too appealing to be quite honest.

But here is some good news to consider…

Customers are drawn to businesses that are real, not perfect and have a sense of humor about themselves. “Perfect” makes people uneasy and they don’t buy it anyway.

Customers not only want good products but a good “experience” for their money.  Emotional connections don’t cost a lot but customers will go out of their way for them.

Once in a while your employees will do or say something embarrassing on a social site while representing your company.  As long as it wasn’t offensive, don’t sweat it.  Customers will understand and that employee may turn into your new internet rock star.

As you’ve probably guessed, we’ve decided to embrace it and hang on.  How about you?

By Steve Benidt, Director of Sales and Public Relations at Amsterdam Printing

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