Thursday, February 17, 2011

Are Your Doors Open?

     How are you using social media today?  Are you reaching out to your customers via Twitter or Facebook?
     If you remember the dark ages before instant communication, you may remember a film entitled "Raiders of the Lost Ark."  Or one entitled "Ghostbusters."  In both cases, the film's studios thought they had probable clunkers on their hands, so they limited advertising.  In both cases, word of mouth made them into instant hits.
     Twitter is word of mouth advertising.  So is Facebook.  Social media is being used to topple regimes and to create a quick flash mob to see Lady Gaga.  Social media is your portal to the outside world - more than a portal, it's the outside world rushing to you and your business.
     Are your doors open?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hello? Anybody home?

     Let's face facts:  it's a 24/7/365 world.  Long gone are the days when a brick and mortar business could survive by just holding to within regular business hours.  How many of you bank online 24 hours a day, every day?  Now, how many of you who are in business can say that your business is truly available 24/7/365, be you large or small?
     The great web retailers like Amazon and EBay blazed the path.  Now, you can shop anytime at almost any retail institution.  I buy electric trains at Charles Ro Supply in Massachusetts anytime I want to go online and visit.  Of course, Charles Ro also sends me notices that they might have a sale, too - and that's where the proverbial line in the sand is being drawn.
     The point is, are you using your firm's social media capability to communicate with your customers in a proactive fashion?  Are you maintaining a social database?  Are you on Facebook?  Are you on Twitter?          As this is written, there are many more such transmission vehicles available, but for simplicity's sake we'll focus on the best known.
     Are you devoting the needed resources to keeping your social network for business alive?  If a customer sends you an email, does that customer get answered NOT within 24 hours, but within a business day or less?  Are you responsive enough to the changing social media landscape - are you proactive, not reactive?
     If you are, a big hurrah for you.
     If you aren't - well, don't worry about it too much.  After all, there's another business out there who is.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hosni Who?

For anyone who doubts the power of social media, and I'm talking to any of you out there who are poo-pooing this as something you don't need to get involved in -  look no farther than what has happened in Egypt. It's a powerful tool. If we look at history, we see first the telegraph...then the telephone...then radio...then television...then internet redefined by social media. Yes, we will continue to need video produced to use on the internet and elsewhere, but the groundswell that turned into the Egyptian tsunami is based on rapid exchange of thoughts and ideas. Any company that thinks they can get by without making this change -- without making any changes -- well, anyone remember a movie rental outfit called Blockbuster?