Louisville’s college basketball coach Rick Pitino made headlines this week for likening social media to poison. Pitino said he has banned his players from tweeting, and discourages them from using any social media at all. While the famed coach does have a point, Red Banyan Group assesses social media a bit differently. Rather than poison, we believe that these modern channels are more like a medicine.
Sure, just like medicine, if social media is used the wrong way, it can be deadly. The news is consistently littered with image damaging stories of celebrates who haphazardly tweeted something controversial and grew to regret it, or companies who stuck their foot in their mouth after making tactless comments in an attempt to be cute and attention-grabbing.
But when used properly, social media is just like a medicine that promotes your health, and can keep you, your business and your reputation strong. Social media has opened doors previously inaccessible by traditional marketing and communications. Companies now have the opportunity to quickly and directly reach their customers, and get immediate feedback from both fans and displeased consumers. While this power must be dealt with carefully and strategically, it also presents amazing opportunities to help brands truly connect with their followers and grow.