If your company is in denial of the importance of social media, beware the consequences. “If you aren’t at the table, you are on the menu,” says Alex Schott, the manager of social media and multimedia communications at Entergy, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in New Orleans, LA.
He’s not wrong. If you aren’t participating in online dialogue about your company, you’re only encouraging more negative comments and more misperceptions.
Serving up customer service on Twitter may sound daunting, but it’s an important and growing customer venue. The demand for customer service via social media channels will only continue to grow. Now is the time to start making a plan for how and what you can do to provide service to customers via social media. If you choose not to delay you can create a BIG competitive advantage.
Companies are afraid of losing ‘control’ of their brand message. There are two parts to their fear. One, customers have the freedom to say whatever they want; and, two, that is only that message in the marketplace. You can see that in part two you as a person responsible for the brand message or customer communications (yes you!) can jump in and be a part of shaping what’s presented in social media.
We already know that #1 is happening. Putting your head in the sand won’t stop it. Don’t let your fear of what customers are saying stifle your willingness to work on part #2. This is where you can become the hero of your customers and business value – offering helpful messages and bringing balance to what is being presented. Plus, you can gain ideas that can help shape your business direction and focus.
The best way to overcome this fear is to engage with customers in a dialogue via social media. Leaving negative comments alone doesn’t make them better, but engaging and solving problems and responding really can. Continue reading