Close that open tab where Twitter lives.
Maximize the window you’re reading this in and then take your hands off the keyboard. (If you’re reading this on your mobile, then put the hand not holding your phone in a pocket and resist the urge to use your thumb or pointer finger.)
Now pay very close attention.
Only you can monitor the internet to prevent your company from feeling the negative effects of a social media backlash.
Raise your hand if you actually followed my directions at the beginning of this post. I don’t have to see your hands to know very few, if any, were raised.
Opinions—good or bad—accurate or false—spread like wildfire through social media and no matter how your company instructs people to stop talking smack, you can bet they aren’t listening.
Your company has to take an active hand in guiding those conversations, but first you have to find out where they’re happening. A good place to start is Twitter.
No doubt you’ve seen the buzz on Twitter that sparked a Facebook page urging people to unite against Facebook’s new Terms of Service (TOS) agreement. It’s proof (Like we needed anymore. Remember Motrin and the angry mother Twitterati.) of the power of social media.
Masses of angry Facebook members created and used a profile page on the social networking site called, “People Against the new Facebook TOS Policy” to post plausible situations that could occur if the new TOS remained.
In response, Facebook reverted to the old TOS and created a group for members to provide feedback regarding this policy. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also using his blog to share the difficulties created by an “open online world” and what his company will do to ensure users feel secure on his network.
Creating a profile page for member feedback was a great idea on Facebook’s part. It gives members a place to post their concerns while making it even easier for the company to monitor how users are feeling overall about the policy. And what’s also important is that now Facebook gets a handle on what members expect from a TOS policy (Clearly, they were a little fuzzy on this or else they wouldn’t have just made the changes).
Having the CEO “update” (Let’s face it we mean educate) members helps further an understanding of technological capabilities. Lots of people not up on the latest technological innovation have been conditioned by Sci-Fi movies to believe anything is possible.
(Like Bill Gates has a chip in his brain that allows him to teleport anywhere when he wiggles his nose, but he just isn’t sharing that knowledge yet.)
Information is power. And if you only take one point away from this blog post let it be this one: Keep your finger over your customer’s pulse by monitoring what’s being said online about your company.
Now reopen that tab for Twitter and while you’re at it set Google Alerts for your company name and open a tab for these sites as well:
(Boy, I’m bossy today!)