The revolution on the internet is taking place. And whoever believes that a company page on Facebook or Google+ is the only answer is wrong. The keywords of the social web are: transparency, authenticity, honesty, and quality. “This is more like a new company strategy and not just an extended marketing plan.
“Do not go with it,” does not go in the long run.
Understand the opportunities and manage the risks.
The one half hardly uses the possibilities of the internet of the first generation and vegetates with obsolete, static internet pages in the net. This group does not actively use its own homepage as a sales and dialogue channel and monitors all developments such as Facebook, Google Street View, or mobile applications with concern and suspicion.
The other half aligns its own organization to a society and an economy that is becoming more digital and is essentially different from the situation of the past 15 years.
The Nielsen advertising research confirms that the credibility of advertising continues to decline. More than 80% of consumers no longer believe the official advertising promises. The number of convinced advertisers is increasing. More than 80% of the German mailboxes carry the label “no advertising please”.
On the other hand, people seem to lose the fear of betraying something of themselves. On the XING business network, more than 9 million detailed profiles and CVs of entrepreneurs, specialists, and executives can be read in details. The boss-home buyer from Siemens makes itself as findable and approachable as the first deputies of the Bundestage. More than 20 million Germans and 1.2 billion people from all over the world show their faces on Facebook and hardly anyone rejects a “friend request”, if one remembers the previous acquaintance.
The representatives of these companies recognize that much is changing. They also realize that advertising campaigns work less well without the involvement of customers. And they hear the impressive numbers of social networks: 1.2 billion members at Facebook. Of these 20 million Germans ….. The biggest internet sites are those, which are exclusively filled by users. You Tube, Wikipedia or Flickr are just some of these representatives.
The decision makers of these companies are also experiencing the fact that customer feedback is often more visible than the official company communication. But they fear the loss of control, which arises from public discussions.
They open a Facebook page through a advertising agency, but they ask the customers for understanding that “there is no room for expressing dissatisfaction or complaints”. (Seen at an insurance company). Often, the employees of these companies are not confessing to these companies. They refuse to use their Facebook profile for public communication. Unlike the chief developers of e.g. Dell, with their “face” in public forums discuss the current development approaches with the best users and customers in public.
They underestimate the opportunities offered by new networks with customers, business partners, employees and potential employees, because the new culture and philosophy is not supported by the board of directors and the management wars. Twitter without approval process is criticized critically and the social web as a perfect source for research to customer satisfaction or product innovation is not yet discovered.
If you do not want something negative written about you as a company, employer and person, then do nothing as bad as possible. The reputation in Web 2.0 is an essential part of brand positioning. It also consists of what others write about you.
(Gabriele Schulze’s White Paper on corporate strategies on the Web)
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