A few years ago that would be a totally nonsensical question, yesterday I attended a seminar in a packed room of organisations all striving to use social media to its best effect. Do you twit or tweet? I still don’t know but one thing is clear – social media offers a lot of opportunities, the way we communicate is changing quickly and you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Did you know that Facebook has been active for 6 years and has over 400 million users. Incredible. It’s a surprise that we are still able to talk. Maybe that’s something that evolution will sort out.
Some organisations are making better use of the power of social media than others. We heard about how Breast Cancer Care is listening to its supporters, developing user driven content, providing individual responses to web queries, being more transparent and providing content to other websites to get key messages to the right audience.
Organisations cannot control the information that is posted on various web forums and we need to accept that this creates an element of risk. Ten years ago I would have written a complaint letter. Today I’ll post my complaint here, on twitter and Facebook and suddenly it has the capacity to spread like wildfire. Have you seen the best complaint letter in the world ever to Virgin? That email went viral – it would not have had the same impact if it had been sent in the post. (It might not have arrived for starters).
Vodafone recently had a Twitter incident with a member of staff tweeting somewhat inappropriately; as did Paperchase when they were accused of ripping off independent designers. Organisations need to be tapped into unofficial online communities and look at this as an opportunity to develop conversations, gain insights, respond to complaints quickly and turn complainers into fans.
Social media is about people having conversations online. It’s about listening to your donors, customer, supporters and the people who don’t support you in a way that you have never been able to do before.
You have to be in it to win it – so have a go. One thing is certain, if you are not plugged into social media you wont be able to access any of the opportunities that it offers.