What impression is left when companies choose NOT to engage in social media? Do they have something to hide?

What impression is left when companies choose NOT to engage in social media? Do they have something to hide?

Think of our day-to-day activities that involve making a deliberate purchase, seeing a movie or a show, going to an event or concert, hiring an employee or babysitter, making a contact or travel arrangements, buying a product, changing doctors or insurance providers, and the list goes on.… All actions that involve doing, buying, going, and seeing, now require some sort of proof. People like to know about the “buzz” that surrounds the restaurant, the hotel, the business, or the product, whether it be the purchase of a new home, a car, or a family pet. Anything that involves using people’s time or money in this “information age” should be carefully evaluated in advance through the validation of others who have already participated in the experience. Actions have always spoken louder than words. However, in an age of instant word-of-mouth, it matters more than ever for companies to focus on behavior, because every action is a potential conversation starter – or a conversation stopper if the buzz is negative.

I will not book a hotel room without going to at least two credible review sites, like Trip Advisor or About Hotels/Inns/Resorts. I want to know what I am getting myself into and, as a consumer, if it is something worth spending my hard-earned money on. Actually, what I really want to know is “the dirt,” you know, the word on the street; what other people are saying. You better believe that if I find even one poor review, in fact, if I find even one “so-so” review, where there was nothing in particular that was just plain awful but the overall experience was mediocre, I am put off and back to surfing the net for the next best looking accommodation with squeaky clean, flawless reviews.

This does not give businesses a lot of room for error these days. The majority of people who are frequenting these sites are counting on these reviews, testimonials, and (my personal favorite) virtual tours to decide where their money and personal happiness will best be spent. People want businesses and brands to have an online presence so they can check it out for themselves. Crummy reviews are definitely a deal breaker for me, but some people need a little more proof or convincing than just taking some random critic’s word for it (who very well may just be out to sabotage places of business due to personal issues).

That is why it is important that businesses also invest in a user-friendly website that is ranked highly in search results, that gives consumers a clear and honest depiction of their product, facilities, and services, and that is easily searchable online. Businesses beware! It’s best to have a site that is detailed and visual enough to give consumers the entire picture, but is still so simple and engaging they don’t feel they need to dig for dirt or seek alternate review sites. If you do not have a lot to work with or you are just starting out, be upfront and honest. Never try to mask what it is you truly have to offer, because people seek truth and they will call you out on it in a second if you overpromise and under deliver.


If a business does not have an online presence, they really have nothing for others with which to judge their reputation, track record, and credibility. Combining a strong website with outposts on various social websites provides your customers with a perfect balance between details YOU supply as the brand and details others provide as customers and users of your product or service.

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