I had a good conversation today with three friends who work in social media. (This was an old-fashioned conversation, sitting around a table at a coffee shop and chatting). One topic was how do companies use social media, or how should they use it?
Three strategies we’ve seen in businesses using Web 2.0:
- Talking. Some companies are using Twitter, for example, to issue 140-character summaries of press releases or marketing pieces (with links). I heard another social media maven say recently that getting comments from other people isn’t the goal – it’s about getting your message out. He said the communications platform is what makes it “social.”
- Listening. Other companies are listening intently to chatter in blogs and social networking sites, gleaning from these online conversations feedback about their product or service – and then fixing it. Or they’re hearing about the unmet need of consumers that could become their next big market.
- Engaging. And then there are companies who really are creating a conversation. (“Conversation” is the social media buzzword that not all participants actually do.) These businesses are talking and listening. They may be systematically listening, which goes by the sinister-sounding verb “monitoring.” They answer questions. When they see someone complain about their company in a networking site, they reach out and offer to help. Almost like an old-fashioned conversation.
So what’s your opinion: In the world of investor relations and corporate communication, what is the goal of blogging, Twittering and other-2.0-ing? Should a company talk, listen or engage with financial or corporate audiences online?
And now you can engage: Click where it says “comments” at the end of this post. No name needed. And, of course, there’s no right or wrong answer – at least not in my book.