Why aren’t more companies leveraging the power of social networking?
Here are the obstacles:
- They don’t understand the benefits
- They are afraid to empower employees who don’t normally network or market or represent the company
- There’s no nationally recognized solution for training Fortune 1000 companies how to do this
So let’s go through these point by point.
The Benefits of Social Networking for Your Company
Here’s where I’m going to tell you WHY you should let more of your key people use Twitter and Facebook as agents of your company.
- Marketing/PR: Build Brand Awareness and Manage Company Image
- New Business: Find Business Opportunities and Expand Into New Markets
- Innovation: Inspire and Drive Innovation
- Customer Retention: Increase Customer Loyalty
If you read through those functions carefully, you’ll see a lot of your corporate goals.
Social networking works on many fronts:
- Get new ways to get marketing and PR messages out
- Learn from your customers
- Provide customer service to people who fell through the cracks of your existing customer service approach
- Prevent negative word of mouth by meeting problems in the public arena
Your employees get to talk to peers, which…
- Keeps them on their toes,
- Continues their education (they hear about the latest ideas, products, and tactics), and
- Gives them an opportunity to lead the industry in their role.
Fear of More Employees in The Public Eye
This I completely understand. Not everyone at your company should be in the public eye. Not everyone can do Social Networking well, not everyone has the talents to be good at it and some people are just going to embarrass the heck out of you.
So let’s start with this idea:
More of your employees should be on Twitter and Facebook using Social Networking to benefit your company. But not all your employees. And some should be forbidden from doing it.
If only those who have the talent and training are doing it, if they’ve taken a class and are following the policies you’ve developed, then what’s left to fear?
Could even savvy, trained, professional employees make a huge gaffe that turns into a PR nightmare and causes your stock price to plummet?
Look at the Motrin Moms blowback. Even the negative opinions social media moms had about Motrin didn’t affect their bottom line or stock price.