Marketing Pilgrim reports that most consumers want to interact with companies via social media but that most businesses aren’t equipped to do it. Primarily, it’s because they’re not interested. But they should be.
MP cites a Yankee Group study, but doesn’t link to it. According to the study cited, 30% of companies don’t have a social media policy or program in place. I find that hard to believe. I’d think that figure would be higher.
Here’s a question for business leaders. Do you still see social media as a time waster? Are you blocking Facebook and Twitter? Tell us why and be prepared to defend it.
In a grand conclusion, MP states:
Social media isn’t going away. The companies that succeed will be the ones who set down proper policies and procedures for marketing and dealing with the consumer feedback across all of the channels. That also means installing tools to monitor stats and taking those Facebook blocks off their employees’ computers.
I agree, but I’d also add that you shouldn’t worry too much if your employees are getting too personal on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Customers like that. They see it as being in touch with a real person. Even though interactions on social media take place through wires and digital transfers, consumers would rather meet with a faceless stranger through a virtual network than with a computer robot or automated system in person. It may sound odd, but it’s true.
One more quote:
My advice. Stop worrying if Fred in accounting is Tweeting about the burrito he had for lunch, and start worring about the customer who just posted a Facebook photo of the poor quality product he bought with your name on it.
In fact, start encouraging Fred in accounting to tweet about the burrito he had for lunch, and his kid sister’s softball game too, if he’s into that. The more personable Fred appears to your customers and potential customers then the more likely you are to draw people toward your brand through social media. And the more likely you are to resolve customer complaints as they hit the social media airwaves.
It’s a different world than your father’s. Act on it.