Are All Companies Ready for Social Media?

I’m confused as to what readings I’m supposed to respond to. The Week 4 readings start today (Sept. 25) but we have a blog post due today, too. Are each weeks blog posts supposed to be about that same weeks readings? Anyway, I’m responding to the Week 4 readings.

All of the readings were super good today, but the most valuable one was Is Social Networking for You? by Jack Molisani. The best part of the reading was the story about Frank Eliason and how he took the initiative to find Comcast customers on Twitter that were upset about the company and how he reached out to them to handle their concerns. Every company could learn something from Eliason’s story.

Many companies don’t understand that social media is an interactive tool between the company and it’s customers. Customers don’t always say positive things about the company and that’s why Eliason’s story is so valuable. If a company wants to have a social media presence, they need to monitor what people are saying about them so they can learn and prevent unnecessary negative comments. Eliason took the initiative to reach out to disgruntled customers to solve their problems. That is something pretty rare, and it would be interesting to know how many of those disgruntled customers that posted negative tweets about Comcast went and posted something positive after Eliason contacted them.

For a company to have a beneficial social media plan, they need to hire people that are technologically literate. Old-school bosses that don’t use social media are not the people to put in charge of a social media campaign because those bosses aren’t going to know how to effectively use social media. Old-school bosses think social media is free advertising so they want to use it but social media is so much more than that. Social media is a way to develop your brand in an online environment that customers haven’t seen before. Customers are used to seeing a company’s products on TV or in a printed ad, but they haven’t always seen those products in an interactive online environment.

If a company is going to commit to a social media campaign, they need to really consider if their products are right for an online environment and if they are willing to commit to the ‘up keep’ that social media requires. It seems that having a social media presence that isn’t up-to-date can be worse than not having a social media presence at all.

About natefellows

I don't know karate but I can scream really loud.

Posted on September 25, 2011, in Workplace. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Thanks for categorizing the post and I really like your points about what a company needs to think about when committing to a social media campaign. I never like it when blogs “die” or haven’t been updated in ages, but it’s worse when that happens on a company’s Facebook or Twitter page.

    Twitter.com even suggests the follow “best practices” at https://business.twitter.com/basics/best-practices/, which include: Share. Listen. Ask. Respond. Reward. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Champion your stakeholders. and Establish the right voice.

  2. Also, above each set of readings assigned there’s a blog post due date and the blog comments due date.

  3. Thanks for the link. I love the idea of sharing behind the scene information of your company. Consumers love that kind of information. I really like it when the Minnesota Gophers post behind the scenes content on their Facebook page. It makes the teams more interesting.

  4. True. Transparency is part of this web 2.0 world but it’s understandable that some companies resist it, similar to academia that only thinks print publications should count and online journals are less credible.

  5. I feel the point you make about companies needing to make a commitment to advancing with current technology is a good one. At my previous job, the owners did not like change and were scared of new technology and constantly said they didn’t need it and it wasn’t necessary for our workplace. However, looking back now I feel that was their biggest downfall of their business. Since they refused to advance, their business slowly deteriorated due to the continued dated ways of performing tasks that had been stream lined and made more efficient through new technology.

  6. I can understand that companies want to monitor what people are saying about them, but come on! Get over yourselves! Is it so hard to believe that people might have something negative to say about you? I would welcome customer complaints. You can only improve from them. I think it would be better to actually keep the communications about your company on your turf where you can monitor it and respond to it. Otherwise you end up with http://www.walmartsucks.org/.

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