The boss of a Leyland marketing company is warning that firms risk potential ruin if they don’t get to grips with social media.
Jim Lawrenson is the managing director of KnowledgeBank Solutions Ltd, which is based in Centurion House, Centurion Way.
The company works with a number of blue chip clients and uses social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to target potential customers.
KnowledgeBank’s own Twitter account has more than 25,000 followers from all over the world - significantly higher than many major national companies.
Mr Lawrenson, 36, said: “In the past, if you weren’t happy you might tell your friends and family not to deal with the company you bought from.
“But now you can tell the whole world within a few seconds. There are 600 million people using Facebook, 100 million using Linkedin and 200 million on Twitter. It is starting to make a big difference to how we all do business and treat our customers.”
However the entrepreneur says that far from fearing social media, organisations should embrace it and use it as a tool.
“People think that Twitter is only for finding out which celebrities are misbehaving or the latest international crisis but we use Twitter within our business and have more than 25,000 followers.
“We tell customers what we’re doing and engage with them. The world of business has changed and business has had to change with it.
“The advent of social media has coincided with the changes in people’s lifestyles. National newspapers routinely follow celebrity tweets to get their news.
“Stories are now broken on Facebook and showbiz websites first, such as Michael Jackson’s death.
“Advertising in newspapers is still hugely important and people still buy from people.
“Bad customer care can have a devastating impact on a business but the correct use of social media can transform your profile.”
KnowledgeBank was launched six years ago and runs training programmes on social media for businesses.
“In half a day we take people from no knowledge or experience of social media, to actively using social networks to promote their business,” he said.
“Our customers also tell us that before our programme they are quite afraid of social media, as it is like learning a new language and way of communicating.
“We are helping many businesses to overcome this fear and get the most from this exciting new media”
* Call KnowledgeBank on 01772 978101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, log on to www.knowledge-bank.co.uk or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/b2bdata