Fear Not

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As a tag to Beth Harte's twitter post, I wanted to share a story that is from First Hand Information. Not to digress, but My old boss, turned mentor, had one of many sayings, but one that has stuck with me is "Do you have first hand information" and to him, if it wasn't first hand information, it wasn't credible. Well, my story here is First hand Information, so I hope you find it credible.

We have fully embraced Social Media in our small business, and in that endeavor have become pretty transparent.  It is kind of like peeling back the onion, with each layer, you learn something new, and because of that specific experience become less afraid to try something else. Twitter was no different. At first it seemed kind of silly, and can devour a lot of time if you aren't careful. There are many, many more advantages than not at accepting twitter and much has been written about that. If you are brave enough to start tweeting yourself, what about your employees, are you going to let them tweet? What if they say or do something inconsistent with your brand or offering? Yikes, an employee can yak whatever they want and it may be out there for everyone to see it! Yep, it sure is, but Fear Not, the community can be self-righting and let me share how.

We encourage our employees to tweet, and with their name and our name attached, as Beth points out in item #2 "If using a business name be sure to use something like "Name_Business Name" (Jane_ABCCompany). That way more than one employee can use Twitter and represent the company." So, with each employees tweet, our name and brand awareness is attached. We have no written twitter policy. I came from Corporate America where there was more policy and procedure binders than common sense, so I did not want that in our organization. Now, to properly frame this, I have everything I have ever made monetarily invested in our Brand and the last six years of sweat equity, so it isn't taken lightly, and I can be a micro manager, but I digress.  During the election an interesting series of "tweets" evolved mid evening one night. One of our employees made a few colorful comments that could have been taken out of context. I too was watching this unfold, however, within minutes several other twitters Self Corrected the situation, some gently and some not that those tweets are not appropriate, and are inconsistent with our brand message.  It was sort of like when the mother or father down the street or around the corner corrects your child who thinks because they are out of mom and dads sight line, they can expand their mischief.

Now, to be fair I have spent a lot of time on twitter and have developed many contacts, friends and colleges, so the self-correction didn't happen by itself. However it was pretty fascinating to watch and shows the power of Social Media. I encourage you to try it, stick you foot in the water and begin to experience the many benefits it offers. Feel free to share your story here too, and have a great Thanksgiving week!



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This page contains a single entry by Eric Brown published on November 24, 2008 6:36 AM.

Communication - the Answer to what ails Small Business Ownership - Part 1 was the previous entry in this blog.

Teach 'em They Can't Live Without You is the next entry in this blog.

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