Buiding our own Frankenstein: Is engaging with customers via social media required, or optional?

Posted: July 27th, 2010 By: Jason Breed

Social media is the greatest boon for business since, well, the cash register right?  I mean just log onto twitter and grab some Facebook love and sit back, watch the customers start lining up and make sure your cash register is full of change.  It’s that easy.

Listen to a few “experts” and they make it sound that easy.  Some agencies focus on creating Facebook pages, widgets and applications and sell it to everyone who will buy it.  Just change the colors and voila!

The fact is that social media is not the savior for everyone.  Social media is not the silver bullet, the people behind it are.  Some companies will be poised to take advantage of new forms of engagement and new ways of interacting with customers, suppliers and employees.  Then again, some won’t.  

Just having a tool will not make you successful, the purpose, strategy and planning you do first might.  The way you integrate it into the entire campaign or initiative might.  Having a clean user experience may make poor tools perform better.  Even as simple as configuring the tools to support the initiative and not using the tool to define it.  Understanding the science of networks, the phsychology of why people participate and making that work for you and not against you is another way to make your social initiative stand out.  Once again, it’s not the tools, it’s the heft of the planning and purpose behind them.

Some companies have figured out how to make television work and some are still trying to figure it out after 60+ years.  For some companies, radio works great and is less expensive than alternatives.  Your business cannot be forced to go social, it has to be ready for it. 

So how do you know if your company is ready to go social and what do you use first?  This week’s host of the 70th edition of #socialmedia chat will help us explore just that.  Jay Baer has been weeding out the social media overgrowth for a long time and has ben helping companies figure out their right marketing mix for more than a decade.  This week’s topic is:

Topic:  Buiding our own Frankenstein: Is engaging with customers via social media required, or optional?

 Q1:  What are the circumstances when a company should NOT engage with customers via social media?

 Q2:  What are the organizational drawbacks to engaging with customers in this way?

 Q3:  How should companies modify their interactions, based on individual customers’ influence (if at all)?

Join in the discussion Tuesday 7/27 at noon eastern by following #sm70 from any twitter client or simply goto our live page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live.

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