Customers, Companies and Social Media – Leveling the Playing Field


Share on LinkedIn

Customers don’t own the conversation. The only thing that social media has done is level the playing field.

Companies are scared of social media because they don’t control information about them anymore.

It used to be that individual consumers couldn’t get their message out massively. Only companies had the resources to communicate via mass media.

With social media, consumers can now make their thoughts and opinions heard on a wide scale. One tweet, one YouTube video, one blog post that’s all that is needed to go viral and impact a company’s reputation and brand.

And, companies never know which one it will be!

Some companies have understood this instinctively and are trying to regain a small measure of control by investing social media with their PR, marketing and customer service.

Other more enlightened companies, appreciate this change. They go out into social media and actually engage with their customers and those of others. They are looking to co-create value with their customers; to be part of society and not just milk profits from customers for their shareholders.

This is the new paradigm

As it becomes ever easier for consumers to massively interact and inform each other, the companies that listen and engage with them will become the companies of the future.

There will be exceptions. Some products will always sell without customer engagement or co-creation of value. I doubt that many people want to engage with the company that makes their toilet paper. But in the areas of our economy that really matter, that are delivering services and/or building the future, there is a sea change coming.

They might as well adapt. It has already started and you can’t take it back.

What do you think? Will companies adapt or will they try to stop it?



Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eric Jacques
Customer Excellence Blog
Customer Service Excellence Advocate -- working as a Client Satisfaction Manager


  1. I believe that companies will have to adapt to social media because they have become a way of life and are proving to be a powerful marketing tool. However, the real key to leveraging social media for companies is not just embracing the medium itself, but learning to connect with customers in a way that makes them take action. That’s a concept called Engagement Communications.

    Engagement Communications combines advances in communications technology such as Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and SMS texting in a way that creates a personal, human touch. These ongoing two-way dialogues with customers not only build better customer relationships, but also create a constant feedback loop that gives companies deeper insights into their customers’ motivations and needs, and offers the opportunity to react in real time.

    For example, retailers can send text messages to a group of customers to inform them of back-to-school store specials; another retailer can offer a coupon for a free gift for its followers on Twitter or invite their fans on Facebook to a Midnight Madness sale held exclusively for them.

    Today’s consumers expect, and in many cases demand, that information be tailored to their ever-changing needs and interests – and be presented in a format they prefer. Companies that pay attention to what customers do, and listen to what they say, can deliver precise and intuitive recommendations that result in more sales.

    For these reasons, I believe companies not investigating or deploying tools such as web and email marketing, Twitter and Facebook engagement, and SMS texting to promote their products and services will quite literally be left behind.

    Thank you for the post,

    Scott Zimmerman, President of


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here