As your company joins the discussion in online communities, you might wonder whether your presence is welcomed or resented. In a post at the Daily Fix blog, Mike O'Toole reports on a survey in which 3,000 global IT decision-makers were asked how they felt about vendor involvement in social media.

In other words, he asks, "Do parties with an explicit commercial agenda—and clearly a less-than-objective point of view—belong in the conversation?" The results were decisive:

  • Feel free to join in. "Not only were respondents open to vendor involvement in online communities," notes O'Toole, "most people felt they had a critical role to play. A full 76% of respondents said it was important that vendors participate in online communities." Only four percent said they would object to an online community that included vendors.
  • But it isn't a marketing free-for-all. Respondents value transparency, responsiveness and relevant content. "Participate on the same terms as everyone else," he advises, "and enrich the community as a whole rather than a chosen few."

The Po!nt: The survey—conducted by and PJA—provides support for a thoughtful social-media strategy. "The thread across all the research is that vendors are welcome if they participate in the give-and-take spirit of the community," says O'Toole.

Source: Daily Fix. Click here for the full post.

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