As traditional businesses grapple with the new realities of the empowered consumer and social media, we should not overlook the fundamental business principles that make these advances so valuable.
Great communicators in the social media space like Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Julien Smith and David Meerman Scott write about the importance of trust, openness, and collaboration in our web enabled world. Their insights ring true because they purport timeless principles. Principles that thought leaders in business management have been chewing on for decades.
Tom Peters has been challenging business leaders with passion and conviction for 40 years. Take a look at his recent video post below where Peters reminds us of "things you've known for years and years".
"The problem is never the problem. The response to the problem is almost always the real problem." states Peters. Examples supporting Tom's point are everywhere.
On February 13th Southwest Airlines enforced company policy on Actor/Director Kevin Smith, requiring him to purchase a 2nd seat because of his size. The flight was full, so Smith could not purchase an additional seat and he was forced to take another flight.
Let the tweakout begin! Smith began an escalating conversation on Twitter taking the airline to task and warning would be flyers. So if the response to the problem is the real problem, how did Southwest respond? A recent post on Mashable (http://mashable.com/2010/02/24/social-media-trust/) points out that Southwest's response was immediate:
I've read the tweets all night from @thatkevinsmith - He'll be getting a call at home from our Customer Relations VP tonight.
Southwest confronted the problem head-on via Twitter, as if Tom Peters was advising them to make the response "positive, quick and overwhelming".
Management Best Practice + Social Media Best Practice = Truly Effective Communication.
Social media tools like Twitter provides businesses new capabilities to demonstrate their principles, like building trust, and forge powerful relationships with their customers. Companies that recognize this elegant alignment of fundamental values and new social communications are quickly getting found by the empowered consumer.