Large companies and social media #tweetomania

Things have changed to the better, even for us back home. The dialogue within social media is lead by us – the individual users amongst ourselves, although we have been joined by large companies as well. Why is this important?

When we talk to each other about pleasant themes or problems, that’s one thing. However, when we talk about this to organizations, brands and companies that are directly involved in our conversations, that’s something completely different -> and something that completely speeds up the quality of the dialogue!

  • This means that we managed to remove communication obstacles and buffer zones
  • This means that companies are treating us (well, at least some of us) as significant players as well as equals
  • This means that someone out there is readily keeping an eye on what we say and then thinks and worries about what we say or ask
  • This definitely concludes that this entire social environment is becoming a better place (for this whole) society!

Some of us don’t want to engage in a dialogue with companies, and that’s totally legit. I see a few reasons… it could be that we like anonymously talking smack by firing empty shots and making a lot of noise, or we simply don’t have enough self-confidence to directly speak with those that are concerned or responsible for our problems, or maybe we’re not so staunch (negatively) about what we have to say… or perhaps it’s something completely different.

I’m writing this post based on my experiences. I work with large companies, as well as some smaller ones but mostly with really big ones (1000 + employees). It was tough in the beginning. You have no idea :( But I was persistent. Mostly because I am passionate about what I do and I’m aware that this is a communicational revolution, well actually, more of a social revolution that places real things in the right place -> people and their lives right at the center of things! Likewise, I know how to address the process which will continue to develop and I’m confident enough to face large companies with the fact that there will never be less internet users and social networks than there are today! Only more! And to be clear, this is an excellent job for me: both the perspective and the potential are simply immense!

Concerning negotiations, I have prepared myself by answering all (of their) potential questions and fears in terms of opening up their companies towards the social web and its community.

What are the biggest fears causing companies to delay their inclusion within the social web dialogue?

1. Negative public reaction! Critique, trash-talking, hate… What else did they expect?! For decades they’ve opened channels only towards words that wanted to hear! Most even didn’t want to hear out their own employees, not to mention the broader community. Many have conceptualized their business strategies by coordinating it with numbers and graphs, instead of with people and their needs.

Once the floodgates open, everything pours out! It’s only natural…

What can help -> People talk (even if it’s negative) whether you’re there or not. If you’re there, the rush and the crowdedness will disappear over time… Be there and be consistent! At the beginning do this with a reinforced interaction team that will solve anticipated problems with which people will come to you.

The real question in terms of negativity of the community is what will the company do over publicly divided issues? Will you say: “Gee, thanks for the question/critique. We appreciate your concern and value your opinion… bla bla bla” or: “The matter is complicated. We don’t solve things case by case. Tell us everything. Everything that you say will help us to solve this particular and/or similar problem once and for all. Oh and yeah: we’ll notify you about what has been done, based on your (this) input!” The catch isn’t replying to negative comments, but in solving the cause of the problem in a systematic way! It’s about reshaping the business policy, as well as the procedures and business culture in relation to the shifts and expectations of the users that are actually doing you a favor by lining up on your doorstep and giving you hints and pointers on how to help them.

2. The fear of losing control over a brand

Oh really? So you’re a brand controller too? The brand doesn’t belong to you, that’s why it’s a brand. The brand belongs to the users. if it wasn’t so, it wouldn’t exist as a brand. This is sort of like you not seeing the brand being torn apart or picked up by people (even now) both online and offline, and you acting as if you have your hands over your eyes – like a two year-old child thinking you’re invisible, even though it’s only you who doesn’t see the dialogue. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It means that -> people already control your brand.

What can help -> What do you think of Bank of American having only ONE twitter account @BOFA_help which serves the sole purpose of answering client-based questions and problems! There’s no mumbo-jumbo corporate story, beating around the bush, the PR message -> six people behind a single BOA account talking ONLY about user problems! They solve them live (24/7). We all have difficulties with banks and red tape, however BOA is the only that solves them live in real time! That’s why they’re better than the rest. They’ve accepted the obvious in the most transparent way. They solve things! They make them better.

There are more fears and doubts. Who and how should do this inside a company, how would the “outcome be measured”… We’ll talk about that, but…

Now I’d like to talk a bit about us who are waiting for these companies within the social web.

A certain number of us believes that WE own this space, with the companies being the bad guys, free-riding on a wave of changes, and that it is us who are important, influential and with a ton of rights. Well you know what, it’s not quite like that, or should I say – yes it is, however they have all that too! That really is the point of the dialogue and its democratization using the following tools: they’re important, influential and have lots of rights -> the same rights as us!

“Public figures and GMs should be support at this stage of discovering twitter. The easiest thing is to attach them #tweetomania”

This includes the right to respect, the right to dialogue, the right to constructiveness, the right to politeness, as well as the right to equal opportunities and chances as the individual user. I fully support Dragan’s and Varagić’s opinions brought out at yesterday’s #tweetomania, in which they argue that these rights are especially deserved by those who are joining now, playing the role of modern pioneers in comparison to 99% of other companies out there comfortably sitting in silence hiding behind a veil of mass media and enjoying the fact that the proactive ones are being crucified on out there on social networks.

Let’s get one thing straight, negative critique, complaints, comments, hate and trash-talking – YES! Always a YES! A certain YES on every possible channel, including the social web. The question remains though whether you’ll show your support just as affirmatively by encouraging and sharing the positive aspects as well? It’s just a question of objective balance, really.

The should get what they deserve – both the negative and positive pieces of the pie!

I often write about large companies. I can be vile, but always argumentative. I always consult the other side and suggest a constructive solution. Take a look at my posts concerning GAP, Splitska Banka, and Komercijalna Banka. I can be positive too, as well as compliment and defend! Just remember my post about Banca Intesa and the well-intentioned citizen or the one about G17 (large) + for the reaction. This is what I would call objective balance!

In conclusion, I also asked Mr. Branko Radujko, the CEO of Telekom Srbija, as well as Mr. Dejan Tešić , a member AIK Bank‘s Executive Board, what risks they see associated with the opening up of new companies towards the social web and what role does the support/critique coming from individual users mean to them:

Branko Radujko -> If a company has a strategy, there’s no reason for fear towards opening up to the social web. This applies even to those employees that don’t understand this strategy. This reaction encouraged us. The architecture of trust isn’t simple, but the acceptance within this society is very encouraging.

Dejan Tešić -> Every feedback coming from the users, whether it is positive or negative helps the bank improve itself. Malicious or biased comments will be sought through, and instead of working against you, they will work for you!

Greatness is validated by pushing things for the better, not just by merely pushing them. For further developing the dialogue, each of us must take care of (at least) one grain of responsibility.

ddj

Komentari (14)
11-17-2011
14:51:28

Odličan članak kao i obično od Dragane.
Možda mali dodatak – loš komentar vrijedi kao i dobar ako ga se dobro obradi. Svatko tko prati kako se komunikacija odvija vidi sebe u poziciji da bi mogao imati problem. Ako se komunikacija s lošim komentarom dobro odradi, onaj jedan loš može donjeti puno novih klijenata. Stoga loš i nije tako loš :)

11-18-2011
00:57:28

Odličan članak, do skoro nisam participirao u blogosferi, ovim postom postajem redovan čitalac ovog bloga! 

11-18-2011
01:10:00

Neki od nas i ne žele dijalog sa kompanijama. I to je legitimno. Vidim nekoliko razloga… više volimo anonimne prozivke i lajanje na zvezde; ili zapravo nemamo dovoljno samopouzdanja da pričamo direktno sa onima koji se tiču/odgovorni su za naše probleme, ili možda i ne stoji tvrdo baš sve (negativno) što imamo da kažemo… ili nešto sasvim treće.
 
Malo karikiranje razloga zašto neki ne žele da komuniciraju sa kompanijama. Ali dobro. Evo nekolicine iz ugla mene kao konzumenta :)
1, Ne interesuje me šta kompanije misle, vole, gledaju na tv-u. Interesuje me proizvod koji prave. A o tome ću pričati sa korisnicima. Čak sam lenj i da im kažem šta mi se svidja a šta ne (pod uslovom da nisu monopolisti)
2, Ne razumem kako razgovarati sa logoom. Da li da persiram, kako da menjam kroz lica i šta uopšte ima da mi kaže… :)  3, Hoće li me kad im udjem u prodavnicu prepoznati i reći “Hej, dobra ti ona fora sa plavušom i slatkovodnim grgečom na TLu” ? Neće. So why bother :)Ako oni sa mnom komuniciraju online kako bih ja kupio nešto njihovo offline valjda je u redu da bude i uzvraćeno.4, Ja ne znam šta hoću. Verovatno samo bolju verziju onoga što već poznajem ali nisam siguran. Samim tim kompanija nema šta pametno da čuje od mene. Bolje da mi proizvodom pokaže šta mi je nedostajalo u životu o čemu ću pričati sa svim prijateljima i pratiocima.
 
5, Šta god i kakav god odnos uspostavio sa nekom kompanijom on je uvek i isključivo kratkotrajan. Čak i sa dilerom Kie. Svakih 15K km dodjem na servis. One night stand i odemo svako svojim putem. Samim tim, svaki pokušaj uspostavljanja veze sa mnom na duže staze završiće fijaskom i totalnim padom samopouzdanja druge strane. A bilo nam je tako slatko…
 
Relationship? Relationship!? Sorry Corporations, Consumers are just not that into you

11-18-2011
01:33:23

Stvarno se trudim ali moram da dam negativan odgovoron na sve ovo. Direktor Telekoma časka oko IPTV da li će biti tenis ili ne a ima toliko ogorčenih radnika koji nemaju odgovor na tonu pitanja i on ne može da ih upristoji odgovora.Sve će ovo trajati dok je u uskom krugu ljudi, kada bar 10 radnika saznaju za TW i da je on tu uništiće ga i on će naravno zatvoriti nalog.Svaka čast na hrabrosti, meni je samo žao zašto radnici nemaju hrabrost da se izbore za svoje pravo. Da li znate da u Telekomu postoji čovek koji ode u 8h na posao i dođe sutradan u 13h to je 29h sati rada i on ćuti!!! Užas!!!Gago ti si divna ali jednostavno moram ovo negde da napišem gde bi to neko pročitao.

11-20-2011
19:43:08

Hvala na jako vrednim inputima u komentaru!

11-21-2011
12:26:18

Treba nam sto vise ovakvih! Strucnih i dubokih analiza u svim drustvenim sferama. Hvala Dragani za vizionarski pristup. Sto se tice komentara potpisanog sa Jelena – svi zaposleni imaju e-mail pristup i sluzbenu adresu, za cetiri godine nijedan mejl upucen na brankoradujko@telekom.rs (koji je takodje poznat svim zaposlenim) nije ostao bez odgovora. Dakle, Jelena, cekam Vas mejl, da vidimo o cemu je rec i da resimo.

11-23-2011
09:40:54

Možda je dobro da vam pojasnim zašto je moja kompanija  (Zavarovalnica Maribor, Slovenija, skoro 900 redovno zaposlenih i more saradnika) angažovala Draganu da uči zaposlene upotrebe društvenih medija i zašto smo počeli uopšte da podstičemo takvu angažovanost naših kolega. Razlog je u biti jako jednostavan – društveni mediji traže promenu organizacione kulture jer svi znate koliko je reagovanje tu važno. Time naši ljudi, mogao bih reći na neki način kroz “igru” menjaju svoje navike i u off line životu. A baš to bi morao biti i ključan razlog za sve one koji gledaju na ulazak kompanija u tu sferu sa podozrenjem da pokažu malo veću fleksibilnost i tolerantnost i da jim pomognu. Na kraju krajeva će time najviše pomoči sami sebi jer će kompanije menjanjem svoje kulture rada biti sve više fleksibilne i sve više će odgovarati na potrebe koristnika. Jer ako ljudima ne pružite mogučnost da stvari rade biolje zato što je to lakše, zabavnije, koristnije, onda će pružati otpore i učiniti sve da izbegnu promene. A pogledajte samo koliko to izbegavanje nužnih promena košta naše društvo! I kako zbog toga na neki način svi lošije živimo – čak i oni koji više nego pristojno zarađujemo jer okolina nije takva da bi mogli živeti još bolje.
Mogli bi učiti od kriminalaca. Najverovatnije znate da su oni več davno shvatili sve mogučnosti koje pružaju ti alati i da jih obilato koriste. Ne zato što bi jih ko terao nego zato jer je to koristno. I kod nas se je na prvi poziv za školovanje prijavilo 10% zaposlenih. I ono što me najviše raduje da su to sa najviše strasti prihvatili oni stariji! Pa sad svi vi koji svoj život živite on line pokažite da stvarno želite pomoči tvom društvu i podržavajte napore onih koji dolaze jer to koristi svima, pa i vama! Umesto da jih “rasturavate” za svaku njihovu grešku pokažite jim kako raditi ispravno. Prije ili kasnije neke od kompanija će shvatiti da je pametno angažovati nekog ko zna da jim pmogne jer kao što je rekao legendarni trener američkog nogometa Vince Lombardi: “Samo vrhunski trening stvara vrhunsku praksu”

11-24-2011
13:04:38

@Miloše još jednom ću izdvojiti tvoje reči iz komentara koje si dao kao odgovor na pitanje o mom angažovanju na Zavarovalnici Maribor:

Razlog je u biti jako jednostavan – društveni mediji traže promenu organizacione kulture jer svi znate koliko je reagovanje tu važno. Time naši ljudi, mogao bih reći na neki način kroz “igru” menjaju svoje navike i u off line životu. A baš to bi morao biti i ključan razlog za sve one koji gledaju na ulazak kompanija u tu sferu sa podozrenjem da pokažu malo veću fleksibilnost i tolerantnost i da jim pomognu.

Moram priznati da je ovo toliko snažan razlog da je i mene kao konsultantkinju zaista povezao sa firmom i moj posao učinio igrom! A kroz igru svi i najlakše učimo, to si me ti, opet kroz igru vrlo dobro naučio ;)

12-5-2011
23:45:28

Pročitao sam već nekoliko puta ovaj Gagin post, poučan i inspirativan kao uvijek. I dalje stojim kod tvita i teze zbog koje sam u postu citiran da u je ovoj fazi popularizacije Twitera veoma važno uključiti generalne dirketore, srednji menadžment, načelnike opština pa čak i ministre i narodne poslanike.

Naime, znam mnogo direktora marketinga i PR-a koji su uništili svoje kompanije ili ih bar limitirali u razvoju i tržišnom uspjehu. Znam mnogo onih kojima je odgovarao “komunikacijski jaz” sa top menadzmentom za plasiranje filtriranih informacija u oba smjera.

Nedavno sam jednom GM-u pričao kako smo ga prije 2 godine zvali kao predavača na jednu konferenciju a da se nikada nije udostojio ni da nam pošalje odgovr. Naravno, nije ni mogao kada je njegova PR menadzerka procijenila da to njemu nije zanimljivo.

A zašto? Pa zato što bi tamo naučio nove stvari o kojima ona nema pojma, zato što bi uvidio na konferenciji da njegova firma uopšte ne prati nove komunikacijske trendove, zato što bi uvidio da se njegovi ogromni oglašivački budžeti troše bez adekvatnih rezultata po prodaju ili jačanje imidža, zato što bi shvatio da neke stvari mora mijenjati ali i to da njegovi kadrovi već odavno nisu u toku sa aktulenim komunikacijskim tehnikama i alatima.

A promjene nikada ne odgovaraju “bijelim medvjedima” u srednjem menadzmentu koji ponekad namjerno stvaraju jaz sa top menadžmentom.

Twitter, kome svi  mi koji smo aktivni možda u ovom trenutku poklanjamo više pažnje kao i svim drugim novim komunikacijskim alatima, donosi ključnu prekretnicu.

GM-ovi, šefovi, načelnici i drugi rukovodioci mogu da prate komentare i reakcije. Zato ih moramo podržati u uključivanju u društvene mreže.

Još se nije našao nijedan rukovodilac koji će moći pozitivno odgovoriti svim zahtjevima kupaca/korisnika usluga, nezadovoljnih Klijenata ili čak svojih zaposlenika. Rekao sam to i u panelu na Tvitomaniji da nam Twitter u ovoj fazi najviše može pomoći da saznamo “loše vijesti i komentare” jer su potrošači kao i radnici mnogo slobodniji da izraze nezadovoljstvo na internetu.

Zato i kompanije i individualni Twitter korisnici trebaju da prate, uče i pokušaju da aktivno učestvuju u on line dijalogu. 

1-16-2012
00:13:14

Управо тако! Негативни утицај друштвених мрежа је оно чега се највише боје. Мада, свако привлачење пажње је реклама, као што је пример са GAP предузећем показао.
Још један страх је и тај да ће “одати” конкуренцији како је Интернет посао исплатив и да им не дају добре примере како да и они то исто ураде. Једног клијента нисам успео да убедим у рад на социјалним мрежама.

Dodaj komentar

Pošalji komentar →