“Social Media: Friend or Foe?”

I have to be honest, I often find it hard to listen to long, detailed podcasts. However, when listening to Shel Holtz, Mark Ragan, and others discussing concerns of social media, I became extremely intrigued by their statements.

By listening to this podcast, there were a variety of things I was able to take away from this segment. Using our “three-prong” approach, I will first discuss what I learned.

In the beginning of the discussion, they discussed the importance of blogging. By blogging, you are ultimately showing customers that you care about their thoughts.

Blogging also allows organizations to learn about their customers in new and innovative ways, rather than just utilizing typical marketing research methods. Social media allows organizations to go on to build further relationships with customers.

I really enjoyed the segment on how employees should not be frowned upon for using social media while on the job. This was a subject that directly applied to me and I could relate to.

As an employee at Aloha Tanning, our owner Karen, often asks me to be on Facebook to update our page and respond to customers. Thankfully, I have a boss who understands the importance of social media and building these relationships.

It is a key component to having a successful organization. I also liked the emphasis they established on listening to both your customers and employees.

It is important to listen and respond to this feedback, even if it is negative. Employees tend to have further insight on the organization of course and can therefore, help create innovative ideas and allow you to better serve your customers.

A few things that surprised me while listening to this podcast, was the topic of “transparency” within your company.

I guess I just have always assumed there are going to be certain aspects of business that customers should not be exposed to. However, this podcast suggests that a company should lay everything out on the table for their customers to know, that way there is no hidden information that could potentially harm their reputation down the road.

Although it makes perfect sense, it still surprised me and was something I would not have thought companies regularly did.

I also found it surprising that companies should not have fear of criticisim at all. The podcast goes on to suggest that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”

It is important to allow your customers to discuss mistakes and flaws within the company, that way there is an opportunity to respond to the criticism. Having this type of “open” relationship, ultimately helps to build consumer trust and develop lasting relationships.

Although I gained a lot of knowledge from listening to this podcast, there were still a couple of questions I was left hanging with.

They discussed the future of technology and where it could potentially be in 5 years. With no way to predict this, it really made me begin to think about where social media will end up in the near future.

With that being said, I think it is important for organizations to utilize plans on how to prepare for these changes and what to expect from them. The importance of flexibility and adaptability are key in this situation.

With social media playing such a key role in organizations today, I thought this podcast was very beneficial in explaining how we can utilize it and adapt with it in the future.

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