How Leaders can use social media responsibly and what they can gain from it
- The social media revolution is now an integral part of our lives and permeates everyone’s daily routines. Arguably, the most successful of all the new technologies that have emerged over the past decade, social media has made a significant contribution to how we communicate with friends, family members and even business associates on a day-to-day basis.
- Nowhere has this been more responsible than in relation to how businesses use such sites to interact with their customers. Social media platforms present unparalleled opportunities for companies to connect directly with existing and potential clients – provided they do so responsibly. They also offer new ways for organizations to disseminate messages quickly and reach wider audiences at a lower cost than ever before. For their part, individuals can also benefit from engaging with social media says Peter Decaprio.
- For example, people may choose to use LinkedIn (a business-oriented social networking site) in order to research companies they are thinking of working for or products that they would like to buy. Similarly, Twitter (a micro blogging platform) allows users to post short messages on how they feel or what they are doing at any moment in time while Facebook (the world’s most popular social network) offers an easy way to keep up-to-date with the lives of friends and relatives.
- Clearly, there is plenty of scope for businesses and other organizations to exploit the power of social media effectively via online engagement.
- By broadcasting regular updates about their company on Twitter, including customer service support, executives can enhance their company’s image and inspire customer loyalty. Meanwhile, by engaging in regular dialogue with their target audiences on Facebook, companies can actively shape the opinions consumers form about them
- While there is no doubt that organizations can benefit from adopting an effective social media strategy, this should not be regarded as a substitute for older methods of communication or content marketing. If businesses want to achieve good results via social media they must always ensure that their efforts are based around tried-and-tested principles of credibility and trustworthiness explains Peter Decaprio.
- For example, one major problem faced by many enterprises which use online platforms such as Twitter or Facebook is how to handle negative feedback. What should they do if this comes up? Should they respond publicly or keep comments private? Both approaches have their disadvantages.
- However, if businesses can establish themselves as being reliable and willing to listen to the needs of consumers. As well as consider them carefully, they will find that this approach helps generate goodwill. In other words, no matter how often or fervently a customer complains about a product or service online. Other people are likely to see that business as professional and composed – which will help build trust in its brand
- While social media offers exciting prospects for companies wanting to engage with a target audience more closely. It is important that businesses first learn from other organizations’ mistakes before attempting something similar. After all, what might seem like an excellent idea. Could end up causing serious reputational damage if not corrected says Peter Decaprio.
- In fact, even established organizations can find it difficult to cope with the pressures imposed by social media. For example, in early January 2013, American Airlines tried to generate some positive publicity for itself via Twitter. However, the company’s ill-advised attempt at humor was not well received by its audience
- The official @American Air account tweeted “We are preparing a welcome gift for our new friends from Sweden. A bottle of vodka and some snacks….to go….” Unfortunately, this statement appeared insensitive given that Swedish airports had just suffered their worst snowfall since 1949. Including delays involving flights operated by American Airlines
- Clearly, companies need both staff and management who understand how social media works. If they are to make wise decisions about how they use it. After all, even the most popular and successful businesses can fail to connect with their audiences. If they do not take consumers’ needs into account
- Here, it is also worth remembering that communication takes place on social media in an era of great transparency. Once a message has been posted online, it can never be completely deleted or forgotten about. Therefore, companies need to be extra careful when posting information about themselves on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
- The following article attempts to advise organizations of the potential dangers of engaging in activities. That might damage their reputations via social media. While distinguishing between some practical ways in which seemingly disastrous. PR scenarios can actually end up having a positive impact on an enterprise’s brand image
As this article has shown, social media is an effective way for companies to make themselves known to consumers explains Peter Decaprio. However, it can also be incredibly powerful in terms of influencing people’s opinions about particular brands
Therefore, businesses must use caution when deciding how to approach. The subject of social media if they are hoping to avoid causing major damage to their image. By understanding that what might seem like a good idea at first. It could end up causing them serious problems later on. Organizations will find that they are able to establish strong reputations. Which ensures successful business practices now and well into the future.