This blog post is a response to the Energize May Hot Topic “Three Things Volunteer Managers Can Learn from the Social Media Revolution” By Rob Jackson
#1: 50% of mobile internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook. Imagine what this means for bad customer experiences.Some time back in the early 1990s, I held the position of Help Desk Administrator. The job had a very steep learning curve but I was fortunate to have gone to a Help Desk Conference. It was a very valuable experience for me. One of the things which has been cemented in my brain was the following facts. A satisfied customer will tell 5 people of their positive customer experience, however, a dissatisfied customer will tell 12 – 20 people of their dissatisfaction. Of course this was way before social media came into being. With the advent of social media this figure has grown exponentially. A very sobering thought in deed if you have a dissatisfied customer tweeting to the world of their dissatisfaction.
#2: 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations; 14% trust advertisements.How many of us as consumers, ask family or friends for recommendations. Whether it is an electrical appliance or a tradesperson or an airline, we ask people who have knowledge of, or have used the appliance, tradesperson or airline themselves. Word Of Mouth has also been a brilliant way of recruiting. As DJ Cronin suggests "The good volunteer experience is priceless for your recruitment of volunteers." Volunteers who have positive volunteering experiences share those experiences with friends. Such recommendations come from someone they can trust and therefore the assumption is that the organisation which their friend volunteers for can also be trusted.
#3: Generations Y and Z consider e-mail passé; some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts.Rob Jackson recounted "....a volunteer programme working with young people that posts a thank-you message to the volunteer's Facebook timeline immediately after their shift finishes." I am not yet convinced that a thank you post to a Facebook timeline will ever replace a genuine, heartfelt, personal, face to face, thank you at the end of a shift. I believe that appreciation for a person’s time should be immediate and face to face, where a two way conversation can take place.
In terms of an organisations “draconian rules” when it comes to social media policy, I would suggest that many organisations would be very cautious about social media because of the reasons which are sited in #1 in relation to bad customer experience. No organisation wants bad press particularly worldwide bad press.