As I meet with local Tallahassee businesses, I find companies are still trying to figure out what to do with social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.
The debate is whether these sites are just a trend or are they new channels of communicating in a modern digital era. Regardless where a business stands on the social media platform, the answer is that millions of new users are exploring these sites every month. Social media users are not just teens, college students or businesses either. It’s everyone from every demographic.
With the growing number of newcomers to the digital communities, the world has become a more connected planet. The once essential long distance phone plan barrier has been removed and replaced with open lines of communication.
With keyword search capabilities built within Twitter, it is very easy to jump into the specific conversation topic you are most interested in. Rather than having to search Google page after page looking for websites for information, keywords are now delivered straight to your desktop: Getting in on the latest trends and updates has never been easier.
If it is so easy to gain access to this information, why are some business locking the doors to these social media channels? Just because people spend personal time on the phone, do you take the company phones off the hook? Just because employees send personal emails from work, do you turn off the email servers? Just because staff members often hang out in employee offices for long periods of time, does that mean you lock all the doors until 5pm everyday?
No. In each given situation, a progressive company views each channel of communication as a way for people to connect with the business or organization. A proactive company will develop a strategy of how to best use each channel and provide training for maximizing each channel. Whether it is direct policy or an outline of best practices, the best use of communication tools should be developed and optimized.
If you have locked Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace out, who else have you locked out of being able to interact with your company or products? One huge benefit of social media sites is the fact that they are open 24/7. Leveraging social media can allow your clients and/or prospects to weave in and out of the purchase or service life cycle. Just because the front doors are closed after 5pm, doesn’t mean the customer has to come back later. In fact, they might just go down the street, or in the digital world just click to the next tweet if you keep them out!
What is your Social Media Strategy?