Do You Know What They’re Saying About You?

If you’re not on Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites – and believe it or not, many, many people are not! – you may be missing out on some very important conversations. Some of these conversations may be about you!

In working with a client recently, we did a quick search on Twitter and they were shocked to find how many discussions about their product, relative to their competitors’ products, were taking place. Some good. Some not-so-good.

In another situation, while researching an article for the sleep products industry, a source led me to a YouTube video of a guy from the web site sleeplikethedead.com who was providing a review of Sealy Posturepedic mattresses – not all good. There 4200+ views of this video the last time I looked.

Dominos Pizza gained notoriety recently (to their chagrin!) because of a couple of employees messing around with the food (which later proved to be a hoax) who posted a video of their purported exploits on YouTube. By the time Dominos could respond – 48 hours later – there were in excess of 450,000 views of that video, not including whatever “pass-along” impacts there may have been.

What are people saying about you, your company and your products and services? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. Word-of-mouth has evolved exponentially with the advent of the Internet and social media.

In the “old days” you talked to the neighbor over the backyard fence, or at the barber or beauty-shop to share information. The impact was important, but relatively minimal compared to what can happen today. A disgruntled employee, customer, neighbor or activist can instantly generate messages and images that have the potential to be seen by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Some of these messages gain traction and credibility – some don’t.

Knowing what’s out there is the first step. The next is deciding if/how to join in the conversation. These are strategic decisions that are best discussed with in-house communication staff or other communication experts. The beauty of the Internet and social media is that people around the world can engage in open, online discussions for everyone to see. That beauty can also be a beast.

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