Social networking: The missing link?
Posted by Lori R.
I grew up somewhere between two eras, part Gen X, part Gen Y. I was introduced to computers at a fairly young age but they weren’t commonplace until my teens. Once they were a part of everyday life, I embraced technology and have enjoyed being a part of several key technology-related projects throughout my college years and into my professional life.
One area where I’m lacking in tech-know-how is social networking and social media. Sure, I peruse Facebook everyday on my Galaxy 3 and I have a LinkedIn profile that I try to update often. I watch YouTube videos and even try tweeting from time-to-time (@lrott99). I feel like I haven’t truly tapped into the power that these sites hold, though. My struggle has mainly been finding the time, but a lot of it has to do with lack of understanding on how these sites can be more than just fun time-wasters.
This is exactly what Qualman talks about in our text. He says that “wasting time on Facebook and social media actually makes you more productive” (p. 4). From a business perspective, I have started to understand this much better over the past year and this class is helping me think about it even further. It goes beyond just posting news links and updates to a corporate Facebook page or Twitter feed to keep your buyers up-to-date. It can be truly proactive. The story in the Molisani article this week about Comcast’s Frank Eliason is a perfect example. This guy took the initiative by reaching out to customers that were complaining about Comcast on Twitter and offered his assistance. Now, that’s customer service!
Unfortunately, I think the company I work for is not anywhere near this sort of level. Not because we lack the knowledge of how to monitor social networking sites, but for the following reasons:
• Our company is still relatively small. Fewer customers means lower probability of negative experiences to be shared on the web.
• A large portion of our customers are not Internet savvy. I would estimate that less than 10% have LinkedIn accounts and only a handful probably use Twitter. A large number of them still don’t even have their own company websites. A few don’t even use email so when I need to contact them, it’s always has to be via telephone which slows down the communication process because I usually just get voicemail.
If my clients are even further behind than I am, how can I make social networking and media work for me? I know it could be a useful tool, but figuring out how is still in the works.
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