Using social media to engage with potential customers is likely to bring you in contact with a range of emotions. To be effective and, more important at such moments, genuinely human you'll need to be both confident and private enough in your use of social media to identify with them, to rejoice or mourn together.
Don't start on social media without thinking these notions through. In its post "Social Media, Emotions and Empathy," Inkling Media provides guidance on how to be present online.
Then, be mindful as well of the differences between social media and knowledge management. The Harvard Business Review blog provides guidance there. Social media is mutual (and may seem chaotic), knowledge management is hierararchial (and may feel controlled) and it's important that the two communication currents not be mixed.
Finally, a Wall Street Journal whitepaper cites examples of successful social media conversations in corporations from Best Buy, Intel, General Motors and Ford, a global field engineering corporation, Accenture and New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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