This week I listened to a discussion between Mark Ragan and five different panelists, which can be heard here. Ragan “[took] on the role of a CEO trying to get answers to his concerns and objections around the adoption of social media communication channels.” The five panelists included David Biesack of SAS, Shel Holtz, Vida Killian of Dell, Terry McKenzie of Sun Microsystems, and Jim Ylisela or Ragan Communications.
In the podcast, Ragan’s CEO starts by portraying a CEO who knows nothing about blogs and social media and the benefits/negativity it could have on a company, and is asking his panel what the benefits are, how he should go about starting it, and why. It was very educational and beneficial to listen to the different professional viewpoints.
Something very important that was brought up throughout the discussion was what if something comes up that shines negativity towards your company and products. Does the company try to take it down and attack the person for posting it, or let it be? The panel discussed that it’s okay to see negative reviews and discussions out there, because “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” as one of the panelists added. Customers are still building publicity for the company and building relationships with the company and even the negative can be used for good, especially when seen by the company so that they can fix issues seen by a mass of people.
The panel really hightailed it into discussing blogs in the beginning of the discussion. The panelists all seemed to have good things to say about it, while the CEO felt confused and worried. Ragan begged the fact that he would have to continually post updates on it, which was returned that not only he would be the one posting. Other employees would be posting on the company blog, updating customers on the going-ons of the company and up and coming events. It is also a way to communicate to and from customers and the company, getting feedback from people who use the products your company puts out, etc.
Something very important that I heard Vida say about a third of the way through was that all the Facebook messaging and sorts like it that Ragan said he saw going on throughout the day wasn’t in fact all college students talking to each other, but people talking to other friends around the world about various things. This is important to remember, that just because Facebook is advertised for college aged adults to keep in contact with each other, it is also a very important tool for companies to keep track of, as it is another tool of review and discussions, and companies are entering a stage where they need to realize that.
All in all, I think social media and blogs are essential to the way businesses are run now, and are very important for the success of products, and I am very interested in seeing where it will be in the next few years.