As part of the activities of the Social Media Club in Bahrain, we organized a number of events during the last two months. We realized that the most common factor among individuals and businesses who attended our events is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of lack of privacy. Fear of negative response or comment. Fear
from the feedback they receive. Like walking in the dark and likely to be eaten.
However, that suggests something exists that would cause negative feedback, or it is simply lack of knowledge about the Social Media networks and false assumptions about what kind of information you are required to share. I believe that the fear of public engagement is greatly exaggerated.
A good key for any company using social media is honesty, transparency and clarity with customers and consumers. If you have something to hide and it is revealed,
there will be negative feedback. In any forum, however, there will always be negative feedback. Social media did not invent criticism and criticism is inevitable in any industry. Social media is giving your followers a new platform to talk to you. It’s just like picking up the phone or responding to an email from an angry or frustrated customer. Social media is just another communication channel for people who are trying to reach you. So it is very important to be responsive.
What companies don’t realize that negative comments can offer a great opportunity to explain why your business does what it does. It’s an opportunity to clarify misconception and misinformation about your business. It’s a way of regaining and winning your clients back and nurturing your relationship with them, as well as attracting and converting potential prospects.
Businesses of any size can benefit the most from social media, more than any personal usage outside of self-promotion. Because there is money to be made. How? It’s basic economics. First, Social media is affordable and there are resources and people to help in developing platforms. Second, social media audiences are getting
older and now is a great time to reach a larger audience, sell more products and services and make more money. There are companies that are currently thriving as a result of social media. Others wouldn’t exist right now if not for social media. Self promotion is another great side benefit as well.
Social media does require time and effort. If you can’t afford the time and the effort,
don’t do it. But do not use fear of social engagement as an excuse. Having said that, the payoffs are simply too great. For the survival of your business, you can’t afford not to use social media. Your return on investment with respect to your off-line promotion is getting less by the day. I would suggest that you begin to integrate social media slowly into your business. So you don’t have to do everything at once. Planning is very important and businesses should select the social media tools that would help meet business goals and objectives.
In conclusion, my advice is to leverage the reach of social media to become a trusted source of useful content, which will, in turn, help promote your brand asset and build a following and a stronger community. Start by overcoming the lack of knowledge.