Right Here, Right Now; Contemplating Social Media - Blogging, Small Business, Web Design & Hosting Tips - A Small Orange

Right Here, Right Now; Contemplating Social Media

Social Media Revolution

We talk about Facebook, Twitter, and other social media on this blog a bit and have mentioned its become practically expected that any business, large or small, will have a social media presence and will engage with its audience, clients, and customers. This is a change we’ve witnessed ourselves since we opened 13 years ago when we were advised to “under no circumstances” have a client forum. Why?

“You don’t want your customers to actually talk to each other, do you?”

Well, now you don’t really have an option to facilitate this or not, because it’s not something anyone can control – customers, clients, readers are all talking to each other; the conversation is already happening with or without you. There is no way for you to control the discussion they’re having or the place they are having it.

But you can engage in it.

Occasionally, we point out to someone that we did tell them something in particular on the blog, or on Twitter, or in the forum, or the FAQ, and even more occasionally we get businesses that snap that they’re not on those new-fangled social media thingy and why should they be? If they aren’t on them and can’t follow what we’re doing, we can pretty much assume they aren’t utilizing them for their business, and that’s a mistake.

The video to the right gives some astounding information on this modern revolution – a revolution we believe is here to stay. If you’re still asking yourself why you should bother with social media, we encourage you to view the video.

It may give you a number of things to think about with regard to your business before you scoff at that “new fangled social media thing” and dismiss its use.

  • DN

    While I agree with you that Social Media is here to stay, and will only grow, I do think it's a mistake for businesses to communicate vitally important information through only one medium (I've seen this happen; and the business then collapsed).

    Running a Twitter contest for your followers? Absolutely. Communicating critical information that impacts your clients only on Twitter? Absolutely not.

  • Jen Lepp

    What qualifies as vitally important – and in the age of spam when so many emails get lost into the ether, which method is actually more effective, having information posted someplace that people can always find or sending an email when there is a good to better chance that email will get filtered?

  • dn

    Don't get me wrong – I think the use of mediums like Twitter, et al. are awesome, and excellent tools for business. But when you're sending out an alert, or have critical information, it shouldn't be the only method used.

    For example, I use lots of social media networks, but I don't use Twitter (to be honest; I just don't see the point – I don't carry a cell ($$) and I don't have a need to post what I'm doing all that often – but that's just me). I would be extremely upset to find out that I missed a notice about something critical for my ISP or host, because they exclusively used Twitter to post that information. I would not be upset if I missed it because they used Twitter and other methods. I'd be the same way with my clients – I wouldn't want to have them upset with me if I used a method to notify that only some, or a few, used. If, however, I posted a notice via Twitter, and outage page, an email, etc. and they still missed it – that's on them.

    And I wholly understand your point about email – I would never advocate it as the exclusive method for client notifications, but I would advocate for it to be part of package of notification methods, especially when something is critical.

    (and I just want to clarify – I'm not picking on Twitter here – it's just one of the easiest to think of, and the most rapidly growing from what I've seen)

    Where I work, we use numerous methods to communicate about planned and unplanned outages – email, web shims, landing page inserts, independently hosted/routed outage “board”, automatic pager notifications, automatic text messaging, automatic IM's, etc. Obviously these are not suited for everyone and every situation.

  • Jen Lepp

    Gotcha – think I misunderstood your first comment. 🙂

    Good points, all!