Lead with your glass jaw

Here’s one way businesses can profit from a social media presence:

Make it easy to get hurt.

If you’re in a low trust industry (like car sales), a social media presence dramatically increases the opportunity people have to call you out, beat you up, tattle on you and flame you in public. If you have a Facebook page and people can YELL at you there, for all to see, it makes you vulnerable. Do you really think that a Chris or a Guy or Gary is going to risk ripping you off for consulting or wine? No way. Too easy for someone to post a comeback for all to see.

When your staff sees how much power you’ve given random consumers, they’ll freak. And then, magically, they’ll start treating customers differently, because maybe, just maybe, this customer is the one who’s going to use the power. Suddenly, the answer to, “do you know who I am!!” is, “yes sire, forgive me.”

It might not be comfortable, but you can bet it will build trust.