Key Advice Blog

Social media sites – friends or foes?

Posted on: 26/07/2009

As I look out my window at the pouring rain I am two minds: bad for me, no biking or sunning today; good for the garden, river, fish, farmers. New media can be like that – a blessing and a curse. ON some sites people rave about you, on others they rage. How can you control the friend or foe option?

The short answer is you can’t. Social media is a ‘power to the people’ phenonmenon. But you can track, assess and develop a plan for how to use new media.

Today alone I heard about both a ‘friendly’ and a ‘foe’ approach to using social media sites.

Friends on Facebook are signing up to an ‘I hate B & Q’ campaign. There are only six signed up so far, but word travels fast on the web. And they are part of a growing ‘campaign’ component on social networking sites. An online search of ‘I hate B and Q’ netted similar perceptions/opinions on sites like Grumbletext, Consumer Action Group and Tilersforum. Conversely a search for ‘I love B and Q’ netted none in first page. Not a surprise. However, there were other positive sites and news.

B&Q aren’t seeming to suffer, with reported doubling of profits in sunny June. But, in this climate, no one can risk negative publicity. If you don’t want any surprise publicity about your business, keep track of what people are saying.

The Australian government has announced that in the future it will use Twitter and Facebook to send out bush fire reports to try and get information to people more quickly, after some people complained about not getting info fast enough to make a decision to stay or leave. This could be a life saving situation. And the commitment of large organisations to choose them, shows their commitment to the ability of these platforms to perform.

If you want to know what they’re saying about you online, use services like Google Blog Search, Technorati, Yahoo!Video and others. You never know where you might pop up!

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