By now we know that Dell gets it. Southwest, GM and even Delta get it as well. Further proof of understanding social media comes from Southwest and Sprint who are engaging in campaigns for Valentine’s Day that match speed dating with social networking.
But there are still a few companies that could benefit from engaging in social media, if only just by using a corporate blog for customer relations. Why haven’t they made more of an effort to reach out to their users and listen to what they are saying?
Recent outages (again) caused an uproar this week among loyal RIM users. The fact that RIM was unable to even address the problem and provide insight into reasons why the outage happened makes it even more of an issue.
According to CNET:
It’s safe to say that RIM has built a strong reputation as a reliable service provider that has attracted bankers, lawyers and lawmakers as subscribers. But if the outages persist or even become more frequent, the company risks losing some of these very valuable customers to competitors such as Apple and Microsoft, which also offer smartphones with e-mail capabilities.
Although the CEO of RIM did make time to break from Mobile World Congress to address the issue, social media could have served as a smooth way to reach users and share information addressing the issue in real time.
Apparently it’s really hard to leave Facebook. Not because it’s a great tool and you’re enjoying all of the applications and advertisements, but simply because they make it hard to cancel and erase your account. Not great customer relations when you have to manually go in and edit/delete and clean up your profile when you decide you’re done with it.
Facebook does have a blog, but it’s rarely updated and often ridiculed. The decisions Facebook makes often misses the mark and opens up a world of criticism and controversy. Over the past year the company has dealt with everything from Beacon woes to competition of market share and even “Facebook fatigue“; the company could really benefit from having an official voice to communicate with the public.
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook says, “We are here to serve communities, not create one.” However, isn’t part of serving a popular community, participating in it?
Apple may be a strong enough brand that it doesn’t need social media in the event of a crisis, however why not use it to engage the community? Many Apple and Mac users are already brand ambassadors, touting the technological advances and superiority of ipods, iphones, itouch and now MacBook Air. An official corporate blog or user network would be a great way to get that community to interact and correspond with Apple executives.
Twitter downtime remains a problem for many users. For example, on Tuesday Twitter’s slow response time prompted some users to ask if Twitter wasn’t free, would you pay to use it? Is it a good thing it’s free? This is an issue that could be addressed through their corporate blog or even a Twitter corporate page with updated Tweets. It would help avoid seeing Tweets such as these:
batterista Twitter’s web interface just went to sh*t
jdcoffman If you had to pay for Twitter would you?
LewisG Has Twitter ever had one day when it consistently worked well? Geez! Good thing it’s free. We get what we pay for.
fleaSha Is it just me or is twitter acting like its slow ass self again?
spin Just did the paid upgrade to TwitterPRO.
BarbaraKB Twitter wonky today. Oh well. We’re used to it. Right? ((ggggrrrrrr))
What do you think? Could these companies benefit from engaging in social media and will it increase the success of their customer relations tactics?