As many of you already know, social media is changing the way companies do business. Have a problem with a certain product or service? There was a time when you would simply call customer service or write a letter. Now you blast that complaint out to a wide audience on Twitter or Facebook. Do organizations under attack have the ability to respond? Or is someone else defining their brand, often in an incorrect or unflattering way? Is your company still hesitant to create a Facebook account? Unfortunately, someone may have already used Wikipedia and Facebook to create a page for you. See below, RULE 1 of our Rules of the Road for Social Media.
Some companies also learn, the hard way, what NOT to do on social media. Just ask clothing designer Kenneth Cole, who last week was under attack for an inappropriate tweet that linked unrest in Egypt to the availability of his fashion line. The tweet was deleted, but not before it became the latest social media gaffe. It also made news around the world. See RULES 2 and 3.
We all dislike the sometimes impersonal and robotic manner in which companies deal with those of us who use their goods and services. Now imagine having the ability to share those feelings about such a company through Facebook or Twitter. Social media makes interacting with the public on a human level essential for any company that hopes to flourish—or even survive—in today’s environment. See RULE 6.
Lastly, in a crisis, social media can be a scary and overwhelming place. You can have thousands of posts about your brand, millions of hits on a YouTube video and blogs across the board. Be sure to step back and measure the impact. Detractors can be loud, but sometimes that can make the crisis seem bigger than it really is. Be cautious. See RULE 9. Along the same lines, there can be a time where you stop engaging those who will never see your side. There is a time to say enough is enough. See RULE 10.
If you have questions about any of the rules provided, feel free to ask. Social media is changing—and so will the rules, so we will keep you “posted.”
Now is the time to build your online presence.
Social media is actually its own media.
A post lives forever.
Don’t sound your trumpets at full blast all the time.
Listen, learn and respond.
If your knowledge is not advancing, your abilities are decreasing.
Online relationships lead to offline collaborations.
Caution, online threats may appear to be much larger than they are.
Sometimes enough is enough.