If I could get paid a dollar for every time someone asks me this I’d be a very rich man.

The answer is simple. Your business needs to consider Social Media as an extension of their brand. You need to be aware of what people are saying and be able to deal with the bad quick and easily.

Social Media is here to stay. People of all ages are using it. From tweens and teens to the middle aged and the golden oldies. They are all learning the connecting power of this new communication medium.

If any of them have a bad experience, you better believe they’re going to share that experience online with not only their friends but the world. If you are not listening you’re only making the situation worse. By addressing the issues as soon as you see or learn about them, you’re making it easier to turn an hater into a loyal customer.

HP, Dell, most recently GAP, and a number of other companies are using Social Media not only for brand awareness but also customer service and retention. The companies, especially Dell, have learned the hard way that Social Media and their customers’ negative ┬áperception needs to be address in a timely manner or else the situation will spiral out of control and create even more damage.

So what’s the moral of the story? You need to pay attention and utilize Social Media for you business. If you don’t your business might and probably will suffer.

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Seth Goldstein is the Principal Creative Director at Goldstein Media LLC. He has been in the Web design and Internet marketing business for more than 10 years. A self-proclaimed technologist, Seth is addicted to all types of technology. He loves to help businesses of all sizes figure out the best way to use the Internet to grow their business.

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