I view social media as an opportunity to gain “corporate therapy“. The way I see it, social media is a means of going through the KFC process:
K: Know what you want (or who you want to be).
F: Find out what you are getting (or who you are at the moment).
C: Change what you are doing until you get what you want (or become who you want to be).
Social media can provide feedback and empowering tools to support this KFC process. As a growing business, social media can be an opportunity to help customers and prospects see your strengths. It’s also an excellent way to bring a positive light to your vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
Social channels can help you gain valuable feedback from your customers. If you are a business manager, you know that customers can be brutally honest about your weaknesses. They will tell you exactly who they want you to be. But don’t take it personally! Customer feedback accelerates the evolutionary process, helping you Know who you want to be. It’s an opportunity to Find out who you are. Knowing who you want to be, and finding out who you are now, is a key to success. Now you know where you want to go, and you can “Change until you get the results you want.
At the same time, you can turn your vulnerabilities into strengths by providing honest insights to customers to help them understand where you are in the process. Customers may not like your weaknesses, but they’ll be happier if you are on the path to positive change.
37 Signals provided a great example of this process. When their Campfire product was going down for intermittent periods in 2010, they used social media as a way of interacting with customers. They told customers that they were actively working on the problem. They asked for feedback about how to compensate customers for the problems. And they provided regular updates until the problem was fixed. This was a type of therapy, both for 37 Signals and their customers. 37 Signals’ method of handling this problem fostered stronger loyalty in customers and made the employees proud to be part of such an honest, communicative company.
Are there ways that you can use social media therapy to develop a stronger image and better serve your customers? You bet…. maybe it’s time to reach out to your current customer base and ask for their help to become a better, stronger company.