Have you ever written an email to someone or sent them a message on Facebook because you were too afraid to pick up the phone? I know I have and would bet many of you that are reading this have as well. And I sometimes wonder how many of us do that everyday.

Now, on the business side of things, many companies today are joining the world of social media simply so that they can release information to the world. And even with that, some of those out there are simply blogging to blog or tweeting about their next product and not paying attention to the true online conversation.

What many organizations fail to realize is that it’s not always about telling your story, sometimes you have to listen to someone else’s to find out who you really are. Many of us have heard stories about companies making things right in a customer service situation because of a negative post or blog. Those types of situations build long-term customer satisfaction. See a problem, correct it and keep the customer.

For instance, I have an acquaintance who went to a large home improvement chain to purchase a lawnmower. After 15+ minutes went by, standing beside the lawnmower he was seeking to purchase, no one had spoken to him. This individual left the store, went back and posted on his Facebook profile regarding this negative experience. Within hours, the chain store had contacted him, offered him a gift card and discussed how they could remedy the situation. They now have a customer for life for simply doing the right thing.

Fortunately for most business owners and marketers, social media outlets provide you the tools to do this better than ever before. So, if you aren’t there yet, get there. The tools to succeed are out there and available at little or no cost. Don’t be left behind or let your business fail because you’re too afraid about something negative someone might say. At least this way, you know what it is they are saying.

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