Do You Believe?Posted: December 21, 2011
by Sherry Heyl
Do you believe in your business? In the service you provide or in the products you carry? How can you put that belief to the test?
In the classic 1947 Christmas story, Miracle on 34th Street Kris Kringle puts Macy’s to the test in much the same way that social media puts businesses to the test today.
When a child asks for a toy that Macy’s does not carry, Kris Kringle directs the customer to another store. Of course the managers are not pleased and chose to fire Kris. However he has created such goodwill that the customers demand him back. It was his honesty and authentic desire to serve the customers that created such a loyal fan base.
Now that more and more individuals and organizations are starting to blog, each has the opportunity to learn from each other as well as to share information about each other. We can use blogging platforms as a way to publish our own ideas and thoughts or we can use it to actually serve our audience by giving them what they want and also pointing them to where they can find information that is either diversified or complementary to what we offer. This may mean linking to your competitors or linking to information that is not so positive about what you are offering.
During presentations we refer to a story where a blogger bashed a software company because of some annoying pop ups. The company came to the blog immediately, posted a long comment explaining their rationale behind the pop ups, offering an apology and offering to provide a complimentary product. They then went to their own blog and wrote about the incident and linked back to the original blog. The result was that the blogger wrote a follow up post about how great the service was and that he is now a loyal customer who will buy the product as opposed to receiving it complimentary. This blogger had a large audience who also picked up on the story.
If you believe in your service and/or product, could you be just as open and honest? Could you direct your customers to a competitor when you are not able to provide exactly what they are asking for?
Another theme in Miracle on 34th Street is that Kris Kringle continues to insist that he is the real Santa Claus. This causes all kinds of trouble from Psychological Evaluations to frustration from those who resist in believing in “idealistic intangibles.”
Kris Kringle knows who he is and does not back down from his authentic belief in himself no matter how much society insists that he conforms. His insistence to stand up for who he is converts Attorney Fred Gailey to quit his job and come to his defense. The impact of Kris Kringles’ sincerity on the sales at Macy’s pressures Macy to consider his belief in Santa Claus and he testifies on Kris Kringles behalf. At the end many have been converted to believe in a man who consistently believed in himself.
Social media can be a rough landscape where people push your buttons, point out your errors, and expose your weaknesses. But social media can be the place where if you believe in yourself and what you offer, you have the ability to cause a ripple effect that can convert your harshest critics into believers.