The potential and perils of social media

Interview with...

Robert Turrall
IT programmer and web developer
Business name:
Freelance as Robert Turrall
Creative developer and technologist
Trading for:
Over 25 years
Robert Turrall

Robert Turrall on the potential of social media...

“I was providing web development type consultancy services and marketing services to smaller companies and start ups. When you’re in that area you’re always keen to keep an eye on what the new technologies are and new ways for companies to get themselves known on the web, with minimal or no investment.

Everyone needs to have a presence on the internet and on Facebook and Twitter as a minimal set, but also it gives you a platform to engage with your customers


“Everyone needs to have a presence on the internet and on Facebook and Twitter as a minimal set, but also it gives you a platform to engage with your customers. Or you can develop applications that will allow you to entertain your customers or gather information about them.”

On how businesses get it wrong with social media and networking...

“There was an advert on the tube today that said ‘Find us on Facebook’. Great. You go to their Facebook page and it’s just a static page with a little bit of information and something posted on the wall from about three months ago.

“The first mistake is that it’s a purely static page; the second mistake is that they haven’t done anything with the page for three months. 

“What you need to do is use that presence to enter into a dialogue with your customers. Churchill the insurance company has Churchill the Dog on Facebook to build the personality of Churchill the crazy dog.”

On how social media can damage a business’s reputation...

“Social media has the power to damage a business’s reputation just as much as a person’s reputation. A company with a social presence, if they don’t think about what they post or Tweet, is going to cause an instant bad reaction – and the ripple can be amazing.

“If you post something on Twitter that’s a little bit too controversial, or you just blatantly criticise somebody, it could be round the world in seconds and could seriously damage your reputation as a person or professional – you have to manage it.”


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