The answer, in my opinion, is easy: contact. Contact with our customers, with those who use (or are thinking about using) our products.
Beretta Nation was born to allow people like you to be a step closer to us. Gone are the days of a brand being a distant "entity" that people only partially knew.
The advent of social media for Beretta is deeper than one would think. The vision for a more open, accessible and interactive Beretta came from the office of Mr. Franco Beretta himself. As someone who is holding the rudder of a 500-year old company, he knew that Beretta exists thanks to its customers. Feedback and contact has always been at the root of how Beretta operates: in the 19th Century, in Gardone Val Trompia, the Beretta family created a showroom that would be the place where business was conducted. People would literally walk in and see the World of Beretta. This showroom (today it is the site of the Beretta Museum) sits attached to the Beretta villa where the family lived.
Today, with business in all Continents, conducted in dozen of languages and including millions of transactions every day, the Beretta showroom needs to move from a physical place to a digital one. But the sentiment behind it is the same: it is the desire to be in direct contact with the customer, to understand what the Beretta Nation needs and wants, how they like our products. It is a deep understanding of the importance of transparency in what we do, of keeping the promises we make, and of giving employees a way to communicate with every customer in a way that is as personal as possible.
I see our Facebook account
not as a way to push product, but as a way to connect, seek feedback and - as importantly - listen. Our Twitter activity
is a tool that lets us tell you about our day-to-day activities: meetings, decisions, funny stuff that happens at the espresso machine (our form of water cooler,) cool pictures and shared ideas.
I have learned more in the past six-or-so months of activity than I had in over a decade of trade and consumer shows, of press conferences and meetings.
Beretta Nation is a community, now; one that I value and one that, I trust, will always give it to me straight. There's no wrong opinion. People are usually very complimentary. Sometimes they are not, and that's ok: our social media activity is also a way to make things right, when we drop the ball.
is another wonderful community. We do have a lot of fun, filming our how-to videos, our product overviews and our presentations. There is a reel of out-takes that I'm always tempted to show. Should I?
I also dabble in forums. These aren't "Beretta turf" and so I walk in as a guest. I will give my opinion, sure, but I let other people talk. The enthusiasm and honesty that reigns in forums is truly heart-warming. (PS: check out the Beretta Forum
So... why social media? Because we can't fit all of you in our Accokeek factory, or we would. We want to hear from you. We want you to be the driving force behind our next Five Centuries of business and success.
But I do want to hear from you: do you follow us on Twitter? Are you a Facebook fan? Have you seen our videos? In other words: are you Beretta Nation?
What do you expect out of social media presence? Did we deliver? What do you like best about what we do in this area? Where can we get better?
After all, blogs are made just for this!