Social Media – Friend or Foe?

by Tina Peppers - President & Founder - Domina Technology Solutions on March 5, 2010 · 1 comment

A recent tragedy in Orlando at SeaWorld reminded me when social media becomes a liability and highlights the need to have a plan in place. The headline reads, Shamu attack exposes social media risks SeaWorld training attack exposes social media risks – OrlandoSentinel.com

The article talks about the Twitter account that SeaWorld had for Shamu. It describes that Shamu would describe his life as a sea predator. After the tragic death of a trainer involving one of the Orcas, it was no longer deemed appropriate and the TWITTER and Facebook accounts were silenced.

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The relationship with social media is truly a double-edge sword. Having a presence with Twitter and Facebook can connect us to consumers that we might not otherwise find. It builds name recognition and loyalty, all the things that social media promises. There are many benefits to using social media, but what happens when the tides turn? Is there a plan in place when disasters strikes or in this case a tragedy? How do we react when a disgruntled employee or customer decides to launch a one-man social media blitz?

Sign up for online news and contents alerts; a good tool to use is Goggle Alert. You can create a Goggle alert for your company’s name for example. The alert will notify you when the criteria have a match. This allows you to know what is being said about you or your company. I also use this for prospects, my company, my name and my current clients. I am able to see what is being said about my company and me. I also can see what my clients are doing and where they are showing up. This is a powerful tool that is easy to use.

Make sure to have someone in the organization dedicated to the contents and monitoring of your accounts. The other day, I went to an organization’s FaceBook and seen a few comments that were not so nice. The company has not taken action to the comments. I am a firm believer that you should not turn a blind-eye to criticism. You need to respond. There have been examples of Southwest Airlines responding to TWEETS about their customer service. There are two sides to every story, make your side visible.

There are numerous tools that allow you to monitor your accounts. I would always encourage you to visit your own accounts, especially if others design or manage your accounts. It is important to understand how your company is representing and how it looks to the outside world.

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