Digital has given people a way, for the first time in history really, to connect easily with an organisation, be it to laud and praise or vilify and complain; that digital availability is now becoming an audience expectation, which is why authenticity must become our lifeblood, according to Jason Thibeault and Kirby Wadsworth in their book Recommend This!: Delivering Digital Experiences That People Want to Share.
Authenticity, consistency, credibility and helpfulness have always been important ingredients in establishing and maintaining the reputation of a business. Now they have become increasingly significant, and rather than requiring many years of consistent effort, a reputation can now be built up or torn down in a very short period of time. However, whereas in the past a business could simply “do the right thing” and a good reputation would grow organically, now a business needs not only to do the right thing, but also to invest in reputation management using social media tools.
The book describes how relationships work in a digital world, how their value can be measured, how online video can serve as a gateway to trust, why it is important for businesses to tell stories well, and how to nurture online communities. The final chapter foresees a future in which sensors and digital signage recognise us and engage with us wherever we go in the real world.
Most business managers are probably already well aware of the impact of social media and the importance of reputation management in the current business environment, but this book does provide a useful perspective on how to maximise digital relationships and what the future might hold.