Using Social Media Effectively
Social media in the workplace can be a blessing or a curse. With past publicity debacles showing an ugly scene of personal networks in a business setting, one must wonder why any company would want to risk its online reputation. But according to John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing,
“When used properly, social media can be a great tool to help your business reach untapped, potential customers and stay connected to current ones.”
But how can social media be used effectively in the workplace?
World of Mouth
Erik Qualman believes that social media has turned “word of mouth into world of mouth.” A person’s circle of influence has expanded from friends, family and co-workers to online connections all over the world. A company can utilize each employee’s personal network to gain “monumental returns” says Qualman.
When an employee uses social media to “speak” positively on behalf of the company, it creates a good return on reputation investment. Soon, the employee’s personal network is involved in building consumer trust. In turn, this allows the company to connect with consumers on a more personal level. And the consumer will become a mouthpiece for the company.
Creating Positive Interaction
Some companies are caught up in creating a façade of perfection, seeking to prevent negative interaction on social media sites.
Employees have the opportunity to deal with negative interaction directly through the effective use of social media. Instead of “erasing” negative comments or responses, employees can engage the consumer in personal dialogue. This is far from the typical setting of phoning the automated customer service line. Dialogue can be instantaneous and beneficial for the improvement of the organization and the trust of the consumer.
Revealing the Whole Picture
The company that engages consumers through social networking can become more transparent in the eyes of the consumer. It becomes “OK to fail”and show the human side of the company. Employees can take initiative in admitting mishaps and responding to consumer needs. In addition, they can post photos and videos from the workplace and give consumers an “inside” look of daily happenings. Giving consumers a reason to engage personally allows them to see the entire picture of the company.