moTi - 2:41 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
if i'm researching a product or service online, i go to google or an appropriate website. it would never come to my mind to do that on a social network. if i go to a social network, i want to communicate with my friends. sure, maybe i even ask them and get some help with my buying decisions. what i don't want is some company contacting me without being asked.
companies are not my friends. and they don't need to. i would find it totally unacceptable, if some company came to me on a social network with commercial interests. if i want to do business, i am the one who actively requests that. in any other case, companies just have to keep off or they are out of favor.
therefore, the only thing that's left for a company in a social network is to listen and, only if directly and actively addressed, get in touch. that means: solely as a customer service - not as sales pitch!
i am very aware that there are hordes of so called social media consultants who make a living on telling their business customers the contrary, but the bottom line really is: companies are no buddies. they better shut up and only enter the place if i call them. the internet user is an active consumer.