On my recent visit to India, a friend asked me: “How are big companies responding to social media in Oman?” Being a social media consultant, for once, I didn’t have a concrete reply. Then again I briefed him the scenario of 2010.
Well, social media in Oman is still in its nascent stage. People are talking about it, only a few companies are keen on adopting social media practice, and rest are ignoring it. A few banks were keen on Facebook, but developed cold feet at the last minute. Reason: they aren’t ready to accept honest feedback which might harm their reputation.
The primary reason for companies to shun social media in Oman is the transparency it gets into the scheme of things. Once you are in, you can’t dictate terms to the users unlike the traditional media which is more of a one-way communication. Businesses in Oman are so used to ‘dictate terms’ that they feel the moment social media is implemented, the privacy of the company is invaded and their reputation hurt by way of honest feedback. They will be answerable to everything and anything about their business and service. Well, they are not quite used to these things.
Companies here should realize that social media gets transparency into their business which is so vital in today’s world. They get to listen to honest feedback which can be used to improve their services and fine-tune products.
Social media is a cool and cost effective way to build a lasting relationship with customers and partners. Unlike the traditional advertising acquaintance, social media helps the company to talk to its customer, and this can help in building relationship for life.
Social media platforms are plenty like Corporate Blog, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and
Facebook. These are redefining how we talk and relate to one another.
Imagine this. A customer is having problem with his internet connection, and he contacts the telecom company using social networking tools. The company listens to his problem and solves it immediately. Isn’t he a happy customer? There is every possibility of him telling about his experience to his friends. Imagine the kind of goodwill the company generates. Similarly, banks, hotels, trading companies, fashion brands, stores, etc, can reap benefits by adopting social media.
Adopt new technology and embrace change as fast as you can. Be social in every way possible. That is the future.