All I could think about, reading this week’s readings, was how incredibly careful companies in sensitive industries have to be in hiring the individual(s) or media firms who are the designated responders to social media. The best proactive campaigns would seem to me to be those that are nimble, clever and quick — without being stupid or making a faux pas. And the PRNewswire piece was a reminder of how sometimes the best response is to do nothing and wait it out. So just how do you train those communicators when “learning on the job” could be disastrous? Or do companies have a baseline “editor” situation set up to protect them from such errors (i.e. does anyone do a backread before a Tweet goes out? — Perhaps you saw this horrendous example this week out of the White House)? Or is it easier than I expect given we now have a generation raised on social media who may be far better than me about anticipating how certain efforts would be received?
I was also struck by how relevant (yet dated) the 2000 article by Bunting and Lipinksi (Drowned out?) was. Some of those examples seem so extreme today and is that because in general we have gotten more used to such antics of Internet sabotage or because companies have gotten more sophisticated about handling them so they make less waves? Or is it that social media has matured to such a point that many people just ignore a lot of noise?
Finally, the MITSloan article on building an Online Reputation System really hit home to me how building loyalty for your site/company online is more than baseline marketing, it’s corporate defense. You are trying to season a band of brand ambassadors. Hadn’t quite thought of it that way before, but I also thought about how little time I have for following/joining any company’s web community. How to measure return-on-investment?
1. Does your company have a system for editing/backreading social media responses before they are sent out?
2. Can you think of a recent case of Internet sabotage on a corporation that made headlines or you became aware of?
3. What is your preferred way for complaining to a company? (Personally, I like email because I have a record and I’m not stuck on a phone — and I’ve never anticipated that social media would work…)