Dear Nexus Muses:
Happy New Year!
I am sure that many of you made some resolutions for the New Year. Perhaps you want to improve your health, get more exercise, or spend more quality time with family and friends. The point is that you make changes this year to be different than you were in prior years.
Change is the subject of this posting. Technology changes the ways companies can and do conduct business. I will examine one way in which technology is changing the business world.
Social media is very popular topic in business circles today. Companies are trying to figure out if and how to use it, and what policies to set around it. A recent search for "Social Media" on Google returned more than 37,500,000 entries, and on Forbes returned more than 470 stories, most written since 2007. [Google.com; Accession 2010JAN08] [Forbes.com; Accession 2010JAN08]
Social media disseminates information through social interactions. For businesses, this means that word-of-mouth, for better or worse, moves at the speed of light.
Most of these interactions are outside the control of the company. A company posting a communication through social media controls only the release. For example, your company “Tweets” about a new product feature or special offer to its Twitter followers. Some followers may “Re-Tweet” the message to their followers, and so on. Other interactions are completely outside the company’s control. For example, a customer posts a comment about an excellent service experience with your company on Facebook.
Social media interactions between a company and its suppliers, partners, intermediaries, and customers are the simplest to consider. Other social media interactions must be considered; among the suppliers, intermediaries, and customers; among candidates and employees; and, outward to the global online community. Collectively, the web of social media interactions form a tapestry
Last August, I introduced the term “Social Tapestry”. It describes the multi-dimensional interactions with customers, intermediaries, partners, suppliers, employees, candidates, and the online world. Social media enables multidimensional interactions. It also enhances and amplifies the business capabilities of other channels including portal, call center, telephony, fax, e-mail, business intelligence, and direct in-person contact.
Successful businesses must adopt a multi-dimensional integrated approach to social media. They must effectively communicate their message into the social media space. They must effectively monitor and respond to other messages about their products and services. The most important thing that companies can and must control is their reputation; the quality of their products, services, and relationships. Even if a company does not communicate through social media, others surely will.
__Joseph Starwood (http://www.linkedin.com/in/JosephStarwood)