Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, June 14, 2019

Collections & Social Media Part III – Know Your Place


So, I just finished my presentation at the Credit Institute of Canada National Conference yesterday on social media and collections, and as promised, here’s part three of this blog series, where we talk about the different platforms and your opportunities and limitations.

Let’s start off with the basics.  Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook doesn’t care about you or your company. 

Neither does Linkedin, or Twitter.  They are businesses making their own money (billions in fact), and you get to use their platforms for free, or almost for free, because their product is you.  Your participation, your data, your content, they market it and sell it.  If no one tweeted for a week, Twitter would shut down.

But it’s okay, this can be a win-win scenario, where Linkedin makes billions and you make money too – just understand you aren’t in charge, and you don’t set the rules.  And in fact, the rules can change.  When I started with my agency, I collected company testimonials on Linkedin for years – until Linkedin decided not to allow company testimonials any more, and deleted them.  Was I annoyed?  You bet.  Instead, now I push for Google Business Reviews.

So let’s look at some of the platforms, and what you can do about it in credit and collections.


Facebook

Facebook is consumer oriented, and awash with kitten memes and party pictures.  This might not be the place to solicit businesses to list collections with you, or contact individuals who owe money (in fact, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s office would likely get involved if you did).  It can be used to funnel consumer inquiries to your social media person, you can post positive representation of your company, you can even advertise job openings, just be aware that consumers don’t like credit or collections people in general, and you won’t get a hugely warm reception here.


Twitter

I hear that Twitter is great for business – but I can’t say anything in 180 characters (this and all my other blogs are submitted as evidence).  You can do a twitter search for ‘collection agency’ or your company name, or better yet set up HootSuite to listen for your company and respond to consumer concerns.  If you want to push positive content out through Twitter, you can, but Twitter is very, very transient – to effectively participate on this platform and be heard, be prepared to tweet or retweet at least three times a day.


Linkedin

Now we’re talking – corporate decision makers abound, with the ability to InMail or connect with them, industry-specific forums exist (at least 40, by my last count), there’s a job advertisement platform, the ability to set up corporate presences, and the ability to promote personal and company brands quite easily. 


Instagram

That’s all pictures – the social media guru Paul Nazareth is a fan of Instagram and can probably tell you how it works.  You can find his blog here.


Everything Else

There are more social media platforms than I can shake a stick at – Youtube, SharePoint, Vine, Quora, and the list goes on.  There are also ‘semi-social’ platforms that allow commentary or input from readers but are more like a blog or static website, like this blog, which is hosted by www.blogger.com.  

The other advantage is these platforms are not completely isolated or exclusive.  I can take this blog (yes, this very blog!) and share the URL or link on Facebook or Twitter or Linkedin.  It’s not recriprocal in all cases (I can’t share a Linkedin status update on Facebook, for example), but by originating my content on an independent platform, I have control over my content, and it can’t be taken away, or deleted.

The other thing that’s important, that I mentioned in my seminar, by originating my content independently, it’s Google-able.  That means that if someone searches for ‘Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer identity theft’ my article on identity theft I wrote in 2011 will come up as a search hit. And the fact that Blogger is a Google product didn’t hurt me in retrospect.

Remember that Google is now a verb in our language (no one ever said ‘let me go DuckDuckGo that’), and Google is the ultimate social media engine – I can post things on the internet, and it becomes part of Google’s search library.  In turn, they sell products on Google, so the more we use it, the more money they make.  It’s hopefully a win-win scenario, but remember, we aren’t in charge …


Conclusion

To everyone who attended my seminar yesterday, thank you!  If you have questions about social media, or want to learn what I’ve managed to make work, or the mistakes I’ve made that I can share with you my experiences – just drop me a line!

Thanks kindly,

Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer
KINGSTON Data & Credit
Cambridge, Ontario
226-946-1730
bwettlaufer@kingstondc.com