In corporate reputation, insights, social media

The Wall Street Journal published an excellent article (linked here)  about how 3 different companies – Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, and Best Buy – use Twitter to engage their respective customer bases.

The biggest lessons to draw from the article:

  1. No one strategy fits every company. The definition of successful social media engagement varies widely between companies.
  2. Companies that ignore clear guidelines – and simple common sense – often do great harm to their reputations.
  3. Twitter is built on two-way dialogue, meaning that successful companies use it to help their customers rather than simply as a sales or promotions tool.

In our experience, fear is the biggest hurdle companies face when choosing whether to engage on Twitter or other social networks. Fear of the unknown.  Fear or customer backlash.  Fear of investing time and resources in unfamiliar technology.  To overcome this fear, set down simple guidelines and strategic goals before you even publish your first tweet.  It’s a great way to overcome this fear and offer customers value on the social platforms they use most.