Yesterday morning, I presented my company’s experience with social media at an event sponsored by Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Business. I presented three social media examples: (1) blogging, (2) twitter, and (3) user-generated product reviews.
You can click on the slide show above to see the slide deck I used. This is essentially an excerpt from my Social Media 101 half-day seminar. Please note that my slides are a complement to my talk and were not intended to be a stand-alone presentation.
In preparation for my talk, last week I asked my Twitter followers to tell me how my use of social media has changed their perception of my company, Thomas Nelson Publishers. I received more than one hundred responses, including numerous direct messages and some rather lengthy emails. All but one were positive.
As you might expect, there were recurring themes. As I sifted through the responses over the weekend, I catalogued five specific ways Twitter has positively impacted our brand image.
- Visibility. Our use of social media has raised the visibility of Thomas Nelson in the marketplace. I had several tweets from people who said they had never heard of our company until they started following me or one of my colleagues on Twitter.
- Personality. Generation X and Y have a fundamental distrust of institutions. They connect with people rather than organizations. Our use of social media has put a “face” on our company and made us more real and personable.
- Connectivity. People don’t often connect with publishers. In fact, they rarely know who published their favorite books. However, social media have enabled us to connect with our customers in a way that makes them feel like they are a part of what we are doing—and they are.
- Loyalty. Connectivity is good. Loyalty is even better. Many people responded that they actively seek out our products as a result of connecting with us on social media. This is something I never thought I would hear customers say about a publisher.
- Leadership. Finally, our use of social media has positioned our company as a leader in our business segment. While many companies are sitting on the sidelines in fear, we have jumped in with both feet. We’ve certainly made our share of mistakes, but, regardless, people perceive this as leadership.
There are other benefits, but I think these are the major ones we have experienced. Perhaps these will help you sell the powers-that-be on why your company should get off the sidelines and jump into social media.