Reading this article from the Harvard Business Review was interesting because of how simple and straightforward the explanation of social media. Its realm in todays world is enormous and it is bewildering to think that a large amount of people in the professional world, especially executives and CEOs, do not have an active presence on social media sites. The content of the article is comparable to a textbook, attempting to “teach” those in the business community how to properly utilize social media. Most of what was talked about is second nature to me, but the reality is that there is an enormous generational gap when it comes to technology. I think technology can be a key tool to developing and growing successful businesses, but as the article mentions, it is not being instituted amongst the firms that have existed for so long. There is definitely a rise in social media activity amongst big companies, but specific people and leaders of these companies often do not have their own twitter or Facebook page. Those that want to be heard from by the public do not get the chance and I believe many of these executive hide behind the excuse that they don’t know how to use it.
I do think companies have begun to properly utilize social media because of the public nature of this technology. Consumers can write reviews, feedback and experiences with support on a company’s Facebook Wall or can tweet it at the company, thus putting this feedback into the public realm. This makes the company more responsible and willing to provide help and support because it is not a private telephone conversation but a public showing of a positive or negative experience. Many firms have set up Facebook pages and twitter accounts that offer a variety of things. Whether it is company information, service announcements, news, events, support or even giveaways, raffles and prizes, there is definitely and evolving online presence. I have found myself in situations where I can tweet to companies about a problem I am having and obtain helpful feedback.