To Tweet or not to Tweet – The Brave New World of Social Media

It’s everywhere—on the news, on your favorite websites, on your cell phones—social media platforms that provide instant access to your fans, friends, and favorites.  But, does Social Media have a practical application in business? 

A year ago we began talking about social media at CertainTeed.  Back then we didn’t know a tweet from a twit, Facebook from Digg, or a Wiki from an RSS.  We “dipped our toes” in the water and decided to give it a try. 

What we’ve learned is that there is no rulebook for businesses that want to get involved.  Just sign up and start listening to the conversations.  The key here is that social media are not meant to replace traditional forms of communicating.  They are just new ways; alternative ways—and we as businesses need to understand that our customers, whether they be consumers or the trades, are participating.  How involved they are is still the question, but the fact is, engagement is growing.

People are tired of being blitzed with unsolicited email blasts and spam emails.  Social media allow people to communicate on their own terms in groups and communities of friends that “allow” you to join in.  It is our job to “listen”—to find out who is talking and what they’re talking about.  Then we can engage as long as we are honest as to who we are.  You’ll find that your customers or clients will appreciate your honest interest and engagement.

Today, we write our Building Knowledge blog, then Tweet the blog on Twitter, which then feeds our Facebook wall, which is sent to our fans out in the Social Media world.  Then we monitor it all on Tweetdeck. Sure, there’s a whole new lingo, which makes this fun.   And we approach it that way.  It allows the personality of our company’s employees to come out, engage, and be “real’ with customers and the customers are enjoying it too!

We’re still feeling our way along, and we’re having a blast doing it.  We’re writing the rules as we go. 

I’d love to hear what you’re doing.  How is your company engaging?

Mike Loughery is Director, Corporate Marketing Communications at CertainTeed Corporation.