Lately, I’ve been observing or maybe even participating in some dangerous activity in the world of Social Media.  Okay, maybe the word dangerous is not quite the right word, but it sure does set the stage.

Over the past few months I’ve not been happy with the cost of my internet connection.  I’ve been talking to my friends and most of them are paying a lot less than I am for a lot more data.  As I’ve been a loyal customer of Orcon for about 7+ years, I’ve kind of been expecting them to call me to suggest how they could save me money.  But the call has never come.

Last night, my wife was looking through the bank statement and asked me why we were paying so much.  Being a ‘Social’ consumer, I thought that it was time to look around.  This resulted in a conversation on Twitter.  I asked my followers for recommendations of other Internet Service Providers (ISP).  In the process there were references to the twitter accounts of a number of ISP’s, including @Orcon.

I’ve said this many times, a Social Business is about Engagement, Transparency and Nimble.  Let’s review how these three things fit under this scenario:

Engagement: The Social Business should be listening to what is said, not only about their brand, but also those of their competitors.  You need to be ready to join in the conversation.  If it’s your brand which is in question, you might what to ask how you can help fix the problem.  If it’s someone else’s brand, you could easily win a customer by helping to solve their problem with your solution.

Transparency: “Yes, we have a problem.”  Put your hand up and own the problem.  Also own the solution from start to finish.  By participating in the conversation in a timely fashion, your transparency can play to your advantage.  It can also help you to win social trust.

Nimble: Not only do you need to be able to participate in the conversation, but you also need to be nimble enough to listen and learn.  This may mean that you need to modify a number of your internal processes.  Maybe today, you need to pick up the phone and call all of those loyal customers and make sure that they are getting the best deal possible.  Maybe you need to ………….. you can fill in the blank.

This morning I have received a couple of tweets from a competitor to @Orcon.  While their engagement has happened about 8 hours later, they should have engaged with me last night. I will be continuing my conversation with them this morning.

What concerns me is that a lot is happening without a response from @Orcon.  They probably don’t even know about the conversation.  Today business has changed.  With Social Business you cannot afford to close your doors.  Even if you do, you need to make sure that there is a “Brand Army” who’s able to protect your brand while you’re asleep.  You need to be able to be notified of all conversations within a short period of time.  Smart Phones are a great way of being able to monitor what is happening and provide relevant responses.  I have mine with me all the time for that reason.