Blog: social media

By Avery Faller

Speaker: Sandy Carter
Company: IBM

Sandy Carter HeadshotOver the past fifty years there have been several major breakthroughs in the technological world.  First there was the shift from main-frame computing to desktop computing.  Then there was the revolution that was the internet.  And now, says Sandy Carter, Vice President of Social Business and Collaboration Solutions Sales and Evangelism at IBM, we are in the middle of a social revolution that is changing the way we do business and experience the world.

Social, Good in Moderation

During her talk Sandy told a story about a CEO who she had met in her travels.  This particular CEO had told Sandy that his company had “opted out of social.”  Sandy proceeded to google his company to prove to him that you can’t opt out of social.  Even if you don’t blog about yourself, if your company is in the public conscience, your customers and competitors will blog about you, and they won’t necessarily represent your company in a positive light.  Therefore the best way to handle the social revolution is not to ignore it but to take control of it. 

IBM LogoIn all your online dealings it is important to build up a high level of trust amongst your customers.  There are several main strategies you should employ to do so.  The first is a high level of transparency and openness.  Nowadays, with the world’s information a Google search a way, lies are likely to be exposed for what they are, so its best practice, as well as common sense, to remain honest and forthcoming.  Another important strategy to employ is to be responsive and consistent across all platforms your company uses.  If a customer writes a complaint or a compliment on Twitter about one of your services, tweet back to them in a timely manner with an apology or a thank you.  They’ll appreciate it and others will see it, increasing your customer’s satisfaction.

The Takeaway

There is no reason that a consumer-based company should have to fear social, and there’s honestly no way to avoid it.  Take control of your company’s online image, by instating an effective employee contract to ensure that they represent your company in a positive light.  Be truthful, transparent and responsive in all of your online dealings to build a social media presence.  And, don’t be afraid to let a little character slip into your online presence.  Even though you are spreading your message with bits and bytes, it’s still nice to see a little bit of humanity slip out from time to time.

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