By Kara Matuszewski, CBS Boston Web Producer

BOSTON (CBS) — Jumping into the social media world can be daunting to any business. What will people say? Will we succeed? Why am I doing this? They’re all questions that come up as businesses take the leap, but Marcel LeBrun, the CEO of Radian6, said Thursday at his company’s conference in Boston, “We know there’s a new and better way (to connect with customers.)”

LeBrun went on to say that life these days is happening in technology and that is where people go to talk with each other and get business information. Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or YouTube, LeBrun says that’s where consumers and businesspeople alike will get the information they desire.

But getting into that world can be daunting, which is why Amber Naslund, co-author of the book “The Now Revolution,” says the first thing businesses should do when considering jumping into it is simply listen.

Watch a clip of Amber Naslund’s presentation at Radian6’s Social 2011 User Conference

“Sit back and let the process happen,” she said. “Don’t let it scare you away, but find out what people are talking about.”

She says watch what others are doing, and business leaders should realize they have time to figure out what works for them.

At the same time, though, she says people should recognize that when there’s a message about their business posted in a forum for all to see, that business should respond.

“You need to listen to the negative, not just the positive,” she said. “Most companies would do better if they apologized or answered these messages.”

When done well, customer relationship management, also known as CRM, Naslund says should be social. “You have the opportunity to pull in more intelligence than ever before,” she said, adding that businesses should use that to their benefit.

As for who should be listening, Naslund says it can be everyone across the company from executives to sales people to office help. The team, she says, is an unofficial marketing army. She points out it’s “in social” where people talk about what they need, whether it be a good hotel or restaurant or to hire a painter.

“What’s happening now is revolutionary. It’s happening rapidly and there’s a huge opportunity.”


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