04.Making big brother work for you
Many companies now monitor public sites like Twitter for mentions of their brand, as well as scanning the internet for comments on blogs and public groups on Facebook. Disgruntled customer’s comments are directly responded to. Other teams will search out their competitors’ unhappy customers in order to convert them.
Social media strategist Cameron O’Reilley says, “Ten years ago if you had a bad experience as a consumer you might tell a few people at a barbeque or at work , now you can tell 100 people on twitter and then they might tell their network of 100 people and so it goes.”
Top sites for a whinge
Described as a ‘micro-blogging’ site, Twitter allows users to sign up and post their thoughts online in 140 characters or less. Unless specified, the comments are public and can be viewed by any other user on the site. Comments can also be linked by a tag so the user can find other users with comments on similar topics. If you find someone whose posts look interesting, simply add them to the list of users you ‘follow’, so you can see their comments in real time. Link your mobile phone number to receive “tweets” direct to your phone.
The beauty of Twitter is that if you want to draw a company’s attention to your tweet, all you have to do is name the company or product. If the company in question is scanning social media they will pick it up quickly. If the company has a Twitter account, you can check by using the search facility, you can draw attention to your post by adding an @ symbol and the company’s account name. If you want to link your post to others by topic you can add a # symbol and the topic name to track all tweets posted on this topic.
Allows users to sign up, create a profile and find ‘friends’ or join fan pages. Facebook allows users to post comments, send messages, invite friends to events, post videos and photos and create fan groups. While Facebook accounts are usually only viewable to users that are approved (friends), it also hosts public ‘fan’ sites that users can join.
An abbreviation of the word weblog, online blogs allow people to post regular entries via text, audio or video. It’s typically written like a diary; some provide commentary on a particular subject. More recently corporations have joined the blogging bandwagon and feature topic based discussions from staff or management to its customers. Some common blog hosting sites include www.blogger.com and Word Press
Peer review wields enormous power online. Sites like Trip Advisor allow people to post their experiences of the thousands of hotels and resorts listed. Its popularity guarantees a steady stream of opinion.
For restaurant reviews posted by the online community, sites like Eatability give the punter’s perspective – often sobering news for the restaurant concerned.
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