5 lessons in social media from Home Depot executive. Pretty good article.
- You can’t control the conversation
- Be authentic
- It’s about people
- Your people need hands-on expertise in what customers care about
- Be patient and flexible
At Home Depot (HD), we first realized we needed to have a real conversation with our customers back in 2007. A blogger flamed us about customer service in a post that drew thousands of comments. In the past we might have responded in a corporate voice, but our chief executive officer took a different tack. He wrote a personal response in the comments, acknowledging that the blogger was right and that we had to work to improve.
Social media has since become a way for us to improve our customer service—not merely a vehicle for us to talk about it. In 2008 we started on Twitter, but many of the solutions our customers were looking for needed more than 140 characters. In 2009 we launched our Facebook page and a year later started a DIY (do it yourself) community online.
One of our more important decisions was to use store associates in much of our social interaction. They are the ones with the project and product expertise customers need. It was the right choice.
Here are five lessons we’ve learned about social media from our own still-evolving experience.