Why Social Media Matters to Your Business

I've worked with a number of businesses now that were a little afraid of engaging with customers on social media. Online. Where everyone can see.

Listen to your customers and they will listen
to you. Photo: Wayne Large, via Flickr
What are they worried about?

"Anyone can follow us!"

"We can't control what they say!"

"People can complain publicly about our product!"

"This will change our reputation!"

Sorry people. These aren't bad things - these are great things for your business.

Let's break this down, one misconception at a time:

"Anyone can follow us!"

That's right. Anyone can follow you on social networks - people who already love your brand, people who have bought from you once, people who are thinking about buying your product, people who want to learn more, AND all of their friends, and their friends, and their friends too. So, if you're opposed to this, you're saying that you really don't want to increase your reach and you really don't want to let more people know you exist. What kind of business doesn't want to grow? You tell me.

"We can't control what they say!"

That's right - people can say what they want. They can talk about ways they are using their product that you haven't even thought of, little bugs you might not have even noticed, other stuff they wish you would sell, and ask you questions about how to use it. They can also talk about how much they love, love, love what you do, and tell their friends all about it.

"People can complain publicly about our product!"

It's true. People can complain as much as they want, and tell as many people as they please. This is what most businesses are afraid of, but I promise that this is a good thing. When customers complain publicly, you have a chance to make it right, also publicly, and then that customer will thank you and appreciate you, also (you guessed it), publicly, for everyone to see. You know what your future customers want? Not just a great product, but a company that stands behind that product and makes it right when there are problems. Here's your chance to prove it.

"This will change our reputation!"

Yes it will. You'll be known for real love instead of polite disdain. You'll be known for closeness instead of distance. For care instead of neglect. For engagement instead of willful ignorance. I don't see a problem here. If you do, then you need to reexamine why you're in business to begin with.

Need help going social? Let me know.

Be social with me - I'm on Twitter and Google+.

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