Do You Really Want More Companies Using Social Media?

August 4, 2009
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question-markAt this point we are seeing tens of thousands (if not more) of businesses using tools such as Facebook and twitter.  Many of these larger businesses (such as Dell) have around a dozen employees tweeting and engaging with people via social media. Sounds great right? But are we going to get to a point of business social media saturation? Will we see more businesses (and employees) than customers? (And yes, I know that customers work at businesses and are customers themselves as well, but the way an individual uses social media and the way someone that’s representing their brand uses social media are very different.) In fact, I’d love to see a current breakdown of a platform such as twitter to see how many of the users are on there as individuals or as brand representatives.

We say that we want to engage with businesses via social media, but have we really thought about what this means in the long term?

Let’s say I’m a customer looking to book a flight somewhere in the United States, naturally all of the airlines that can solve my travel needs and that are on social media channels are going to want to help me out. So let’s say I’m on twitter and say something like “I want to


question-markAt this point we are seeing tens of thousands (if not more) of businesses using tools such as Facebook and twitter.  Many of these larger businesses (such as Dell) have around a dozen employees tweeting and engaging with people via social media. Sounds great right? But are we going to get to a point of business social media saturation? Will we see more businesses (and employees) than customers? (And yes, I know that customers work at businesses and are customers themselves as well, but the way an individual uses social media and the way someone that’s representing their brand uses social media are very different.) In fact, I’d love to see a current breakdown of a platform such as twitter to see how many of the users are on there as individuals or as brand representatives.

We say that we want to engage with businesses via social media, but have we really thought about what this means in the long term?

Let’s say I’m a customer looking to book a flight somewhere in the United States, naturally all of the airlines that can solve my travel needs and that are on social media channels are going to want to help me out. So let’s say I’m on twitter and say something like “I want to book a flight to Vegas,” what do you think all of the airlines out there are going to do? Probably start sending me tweets trying to get me to book with their airline. Granted this type of behavior hasn’t happened yet, but it certainly will. Why? Because the airlines are all competing against each other online.

Imagine that almost every business is using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. Anytime you send out a tweet about anything that relates to a particular business you’re most likely going to get a barrage of tweets. Talking about computers? Well then here come tweets from: Best Buy, Dell, Apple, Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, Sony, and probably a dozen other computer manufacturers. Since social media is still new and since we definitely haven’t seen every business adopt this new medium, we really don’t know what to expect, but here are a few ideas:

  • Eventually social media will have to take a more opt-in approach, meaning instead of companies being able to contact me when I tweet about something, I’m going to have to contact them if I NEED something (which so far looks to be working).
  • We are going to need an in depth business directory of companies using social media tools and what industry they are in, where they are located, etc. That way when we want something, we can go out and find them. Furthermore social media platforms are going to have to help create these directories and I’m surprised that they haven’t already.
  • Users may start heavily blocking/ignoring many of the businesses that jump on the social media bandwagon.
  • Business or brand representatives are going to have register themselves as such when they create accounts on social media profiles, then users are going to select whether or not they give permission for businesses to contact them.

What are your thoughts on this?


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