I’m sure in the late 1800’s when the telephone was invented and was finding its way into homes and businesses, there were some people who did not see a need for it. No doubt there were those who said “Why do I need a telephone? It’s going to take away time from customers at my counter” or “I won’t do business with a telephone–I like to speak face to face with MY customers.”
Insert the words Social Media in for the telephone above and you have the same conversation going on over a century later.
I hear business owners all the time saying “I don’t do the Twitter Thing” like resisting it is somehow a badge of honour. Not having a presence on Facebook and Twitter for your business is like not answering the phone–it may feel nice and quiet for a while but sooner or later it will catch up to you. Customers will call somewhere else.
Also, customers want to speak with humans when they call your business. We all know what voice mail hell feels like, “Press one for…” and we all desperately try to get a living, breathing person on the line if we have any kind of question. Social media is the same. Even if your business has a Facebook page and/or a Twitter account your customer still wants to know that there’s a real person behind those accounts. I am sure that most people who follow @sandraoldfield on twitter know that I am a real person–especially if they have taken the time to converse with me (too much information sometimes!)
All businesses will need to embrace social media soon so that they can join the conversation that’s already happening. Successful businesses will find a way to bring a human personality to these various platforms.
The ones that don’t do this will be sitting by their telephone…waiting for it to ring.