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Has Social Media spoiled us? It is a corporations responsibility to reply to every mention on Twitter or every video complaint on You Tube? I am torn with these questions and am curious how others feel.

I understand that corporations should be interacting in some way/shape/form online. Some are building their own communities and others are creating a strategy so diverse that they are on Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and other Social sites in order to reach their audiences. Some are also conducting focus groups and including their feedback within internal processes. I say good for them. Great for them! They may have the manpower and bandwidth in order to execute such a robust strategy. But what about those that do not? Are we to discredit a company because they do not reply to us on Twitter? What if I post a question on Twitter (my choice) rather than go through their support forms? Maybe I am doing it on purpose because I know that I will get an answer quicker. Is that fair to the other members with questions in the Support queue, since they will have to wait longer while the company re-assigns resources? What if they do not have a Twitter process, am I to assume that they do not care?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a Social Media guy through and through, but I do not expect corporations to bend over to my individual needs, based on my choices. If a company has a webform, then I would expect that they have a process in place to reply and track the form with their support tools. They track the issues and make any necessary changes based upon sheer numbers. If I circumvent the system, how can they track my issue and make any necessary changes to their processes to resolve the situation? We work through processes on a daily basis, some work and some do not. For the ones that work, why should they change for ME (I may be the only one that thinks they need changing)? Should I assume that they do not care because they are not on Twitter?

Don’t forget about what they say about the word A-S-S-U-M-E.

I realize that there are situations where Twitter can be the first line of defense for a company, and there are benefits of participation and interaction. But we should not condemn those that are not, or expect those to interact because that is where “I” am.

The truth of the matter is that we should work directly with those companies to help them understand their deficiency. Write to them, let them know what they are missing, rather than condemn them initially saying that they do not care (and tweeting that to your 1,000 friends). By condemning, you are in fact prolonging their acceptance of Twitter as a communication channel and are scaring them away. Not what you were trying to do is it?

Think before you Tweet ;)

Thoughts?

Mike

I have posted many updates on twitter over the last year or so (over 1,000). Some updates include my travels, some updates include different places that I go to eat, while others are focused around Social Media questions – all of the posts have a different focus and require a different interaction from others. I had heard businesses wonder about Twitter, and what effect it may have on them, and while some “get it”, others can not make the connection. I wanted to highlight 2 different ways that Twitter’s platform can have a positive effect on your brand.

Brand Awareness
The other day, I posted that I was going to the Boston Celtics basketball game. Within 10 minutes or so, I was followed by The Bulfinch Hotel

.

Now I did not post that I needed a place to stay in the city, or that I was looking of a restaurant to eat at, I just posted the Boston Celtics, and the hotel decided to follow me. Now my curiosity got to me, so I looked at their profile and went to their website. I learned a lot about where the hotel is and what their costs are. In the future, when I go into the city and need a place to stay, I will probably give them the benefit of the doubt and stay with them based on their eagerness and aggressiveness of following me on Twitter. By setting up a simple search on Twitter for “Boston” The Bulfinch Hotel is able to see everyone that posts that within their tweet. They can then take the initiative to follow those people if they feel the need, and their scalable, cost-effective Social media campaign is launched.

Customer Support
Last year New England had a “wicked” ice storm that paralyzed the area for many days, and weeks in some cases. We initially lost power on a Thursday afternoon as I remember. During the first couple of days, I did not call our electric company PSNH

too much (after the initial report), as I was sure that they were on it, and that they would restore power as soon as they could. When I got to work on Monday, I began reading about the storm through local websites and news outlets. Within the articles that I read, the electric company promoted the fact that PSNH was on Twitter and if you wanted to report outages, or stay up-to-date with updates concerning when power was going to be restored to your area, to follow them. I followed them immediately and again reported the outage in my area. I was then contacted by a representative of the company on twitter letting me know that they were aware of the outage and that it would still be a couple of days for them to resolve my specific situation. I was in contact with their twitter account over the 7 days that the power was out for. Because of this, I did not call their support lines, or have to listen to dreaded on hold music while waiting for a support person to not tell me anything that I did not already know.

Now I do not have a huge reach within the “blog-space” and do not have thousands and thousands of readers. I may not be able to have any effect on their bottom line, but these 2 companies understand the importance of communicating with their audience 1 person at a time, which, when it comes down to it, is just what it takes to make a difference.

I remember when I was a kid, at the end of every GI Joe episode, they ran a nice little segment that taught kids many different lessons, and then the characters would say, “…and knowing is half the Battle”. Now how am I going to relate this to Social Media you say, well here goes…….

knowing-is-half-the-battle

I love Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Media/Networking applications and platforms because it helps me learn a lot. Within Facebook it is great to see what my friends are up to, living all across the World; Twitter allows for the immediate gratification fix; for LinkedIn, it is crazy to see where people are moving within their professional careers, and potential business/job opportunities that can spawn out of those contacts/networks…you get the picture.

Now, I am rather new within Ektron, and I do not know anyone here. My 1st order of business was to check out the Intranet. Now the intranet has the typical information that you may find on other sites, announcements, events, documentation, you get the picture. Low-and-behold though, Ektron is eating their own dogfood (or drinking their own champagne) within the Social Media/Networking aspects of online communities, as we should be. Immediately I was able to review profiles of all of the employees – think of Facebook (photo’s, Updates, Twitter feeds….) – but for the organization.

At first I was very selfish in thinking how great this was, I could get up to speed rather quickly – getting to know who else on staff liked the same TV shows or local dining establishments in the area. I was very focused on the personal aspects of my new landscape and not thinking about how this could be beneficial within my “job”.

The Ektron intranet:

  • offered me a comfort level that I have not felt when I was hired by any other company
  • provided me insight as to the projects that were happening, and their status
  • immediately informed me as to when documents were being changed, and allowed me insight into what those changes were, and who made them
  • let me know who was on vacation, where they were going/when they were coming back
  • provided me the tools that I am used to using in my personal life, in a professional manner

Think about the last time that you had to print out a employee contact list because it was too hard to find; not know that someone was on vacation because they forgot to put their OOO on within outlook and go weeks before you got an answer; sent an email with a document that had been updated but not had “track revisions” on it; there are many other situations that can be described here.

Here is the question:

How important to you is it to keep up to date with someone that you have not seen in the last 10 years, and become part of their Mafia vs. Awareness within the decisions and on-goings that happen on a daily basis within your professional career and being able to affect the results?  

From now on, I will do BOTH (except for the Mafia part). 

Have you had a similar experience or wish that you had? As always, thanks for reading

If you are in the Social Media space, whether it is on the client or vendor side of the equation, you have probably seen the following image published by Gartner, as well as many other vendors:

gartner-magic-quadrant-social-software-workplace

If you are on the Web Content Management side of the house, the following graph is probably familiar with you as well:

168694_0001

You probably know at least 1/2 of the companies listed in each of the 2 graphs, but what about the others? Why do you now know about them?   How great would it be if you could have a partner/vendor/provider with robust tools for both external and internal websites? To empower your members/customers to purchase more and create brand awareness, and/or to create efficiencies within your employees base to make your decision-making process faster and more effective? A single solution for your entire corporation….

I only see a few companies that are included on both graphs above, IBM, Microsoft and Ektron. Pretty good company eh? So to answer the question, that is why. 

*(update – I apologize for the oversite, but Open Text is also on both graphs. They did not contact me, I rechecked the graph)

Mike

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