Too many business owners my age (54) seem to think that social media (SM) is a game for “kids”. They are making a huge mistake if they don’t understand the business side* of Facebook, Bing and Google+. Additionally, a large percentage of people engaging in SM use their mobile devices to find what they’re looking for on-the-go. 15% of Google searches are done on mobile platforms and 20% on Yahoo. Not only is it a convenient way to find what’s close to you, it also displays customer experiences that others have had.
If a business has not listed their establishment on Yelp, Google Local, Foursquare, et al., anyone with access to the Internet can put them there, and rate their experience.
Many financial institutions in particularly, are weary of engaging in this medium for fear of grabbing a tiger by the tail. Since banks in particular have been beat up pretty bad in the media they seem to fear a running dialogue will foster even more venting by the general public. In my opinion, this is an exaggerated perception. But weather or not one decides to engage with SM, they should, at the very least, listen to it. Take a look at “mission control” that the big guys are using.
* I run across small businesses all the time that have set up their business on their personal Facebook. There is an easy way to fix this.