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It’s no surprise for the technology savvy ­— social media is here to stay.

A company active on social media can reinforce its brand’s values. A company that neglects social media can inadvertently chip away at the values it spent years establishing.

In a recent Mashable article, one writer details this exact situation: A company that built its brand on reliability but tarnished the core values of the brand by neglecting its social media accounts.

In the article, the writer is having issues with a product he purchased from the company. Trying to find help, the writer tweeted the company’s customer service Twitter account. It took the company 18 hours to respond.

Consider calling a company and being asked to hold for 18 hours. It’s certainly not the best example of customer service — especially for a brand built on reliability.

When managed correctly, customer service Twitter accounts — used by brands from Comcast to Nike to Microsoft — can reinforce brand and core values by responding in a timely, reliable manner. Instead, because this particular company neglected its account, there’s one less brand ambassador for the company, and an article online about the company’s poor customer service.

Customers have the ability to tweet or post on Facebook about their experiences, and studies show that peer recommendations are more influential than any other form of advertising.

At Gavin, we’re committed to staying in tune with evolving audience behavior. Social media platforms are constantly changing, and companies are learning to meet their customers where they are.

After all, maintaining your brand’s core values is no 9 to 5 job.

If your customers are taking the conversation to Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to jump in.