I am reading Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith and I can highly recommend it ( even though I haven’t finished it yet).
The sub heading is
“using the web to build influence, improve reputation and earn trust”
I think it is a fair assumption that your organisation would like to do all of the above . We know that people are more likely to buy products and services from people they like and trust so of course they do.
Nothing can replace the “old school” getting to know you methods of the initial meeting, exchanging cards and some information about yourself , having coffee – maybe even lunch/dinner. Social networking works in addition to that .
And just as I am sure you would not go straight into the “sell” after the initial handshake it is no more appropriate online.
And this is why I am wondering if the advice and maybe even training in your organisation about building client relationship includes social networking?
If you are old enough you may remember when e-mail was first introduced in your organisation. I was working for a law firm at the time and I remember in the early days e-mails started “Dear Mr…” and ended Yours sincerely. Over time of course e-mail – style and use of – guidelines were developed . It makes me smile to think how far we have come!
Whether you like it or not more and more people are engaging in some sort of social networks – maybe Facebook for family , or Linkedin for business or even Twitter . These tools have the opportunity to benefit the business and some use might have even leaked into your organisation already. So… is it time to develop and communicate your guidelines?