By: Tony van Kessel Are you on the bus, driving the bus or will you be under the bus?
A recent survey of contact center professionals reveals that 91% believe social media will enhance contact center services over the next 5 years, yet only 35% provide any support at all for social media today – and most of these have barely started their social media activity.
Meanwhile, on March 13, 2010 Facebook surpassed Google as the most-visited website in the world. If Facebook were a country, its 411+ million users would be the third largest country in the world, after China and India - and 50% of active Facebook users log in on any given day.
Twitter’s 105+ million users would make it 12th largest country in the world; 50 million Tweets are sent every day (up 1100% over the past year), and the average number of Tweets per user is steadily increasing.
The giant consulting firm Accenture plans to hire 50,000 people this year (2010). To get the attention of John Campagnino, Accenture's head of global recruiting, you'd better be on the web: he plans to make as many as 40% of his hires in the next few years through social media. Says he: "This is the future of recruiting for our company." To put a sharper point on it: If you don't have a profile on LinkedIn, you're nowhere. LinkedIn has over 65 million business professionals and is the most affluent social media vehicle with an average household income of $109,000. Over 80% of companies say they will use LinkedIn to make a hiring decision this year.
Get on the bus
Start now by educating yourself in the best possible way: jump in! Get a Twitter account, start a Facebook page and create a LinkedIn Profile (or optimize the one you already have).
Within each of these social media vehicles, search for your customers, key suppliers and competitors - look especially for the thought leaders in your industry, the rock stars, the ones making noise. Follow them on Twitter, see who they are following, then follow them too. Become a “Fan” of their Facebook pages and use the ones which impress you as potential role models. Build up your network of connections on LinkedIn, find and join the LinkedIn Groups appropriate to your industry and your own background - it shouldn’t be hard, LinkedIn has over 591,000 Groups.
Listen to a bus driver.