Increasing numbers of people are growing suspicious of official messaging
from company web sites, so instead they are turning to social media
networks for views and news.
It is frankly amazing how many companies know that people are talking
about them through social media but still they do not take any actions
based upon what is being said.
Speaking in the book, What Would Google Do?, Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com, points out that social media is a live focus group that never closes. He points out that customers are having conversations about every company and its products.
Benioff says the questions every company has to ask are:
Do they want to be part of these conversations?
Do you want to learn from them?
Are you willing to innovate on the basis of what is being said?
Do you want to harness the power of these communities for your benefit?
He adds that the days of the dead-end corporate suggestion box and
corporate indifference will no longer be tolerated.
The risks of ignoring these conversations is that they could benefit your
competitors ;you could become highly vulnerable to escalating negative
speculation ; or over time you could become culturally irrelevant and
detached from the new media realities.
The key underlying change driving the emergence of social media and
conversations about companies and their products is that anyone now can
easily create and distribute content using social media tools. A hugely
expensive printing press is no longer mandatory to publish news. You no
longer need to be a rich press baron to publish information. The
professional elite who controlled traditional media and decided what the
amateurs should read are no longer in power.
No one newspaper or media outlet exclusively controls content. There is
no scarcity of content. It is everywhere across the web and being shared
amongst people. Despite advertisers trying to convince you of the
opposite so you pay over the odds for your adverts.
And the fact that more people can create content more easily does not mean that all of that content carries influence or is worth reading, but neither does it follow that none of it has influence or none of it is readable. So, on balance, it is best to listen and see what is worth acting upon and what isn’t. You never know what you might learn….