Here is a link to an Forrester blog post on social media and your business. Social media is not flat, it changes your company. It will change the way you interact with your customers if you use it correctly. Social media used correctly can be a powerful force for your company.
Here are the highlights compiled by Forrester analyst Augie Ray.
You must be proactive: Nestle knew the palm oil/deforestation issue could blow up, but did nothing about it until it did
You must improve customer support: Poor customer service now has the potential to do widespread damage to your brand. As Ray puts it, “Marketers must view their customer service organizations as a key component in brand-building efforts”
You must listen: It’s becoming more and more important for organizations to monitor online discussions to avoid escalating issues. There’s no risk – if you’re not listening to online conversations about your brand, you’re neglecting your brand
You must participate: You don’t lose control when you participate in online conversations; you gain the opportunity to be heard. What’s more, it’s easier to address an issue on a central property than in a fragmented environment, which you may have to do if you don’t have a place to engage
You must respond: As Ray writes, “how can you ignore damaging accusations that accumulate within your own Facebook group? You can’t; inaction breeds frustration, annoyance and distrust”
You must move faster: Responding to an issue in days risks the accusation of moving slowly. Expectations have shifted, and people expect organizations to respond quickly
You must realize every employee is a marketer: Your employees can affect your brand messages just as much as broadcast messages in traditional media
Ignoring social media is a detriment to growth. But it must be utilized properly to energize your target market. Social media isn’t just for teens to mess around with anymore, it’s matured into a powerful force.