As these three examples illustrate, you have a choice: take steps to know what people are saying about you online, or prepare yourself for a sickening sort of freefall when the blogosphere insists that you pay attention. Because sooner or later you, your company or your brand will become the subject of online conversation.

Three Reputation-Damaging Examples

In a previous post, I described how you might build a social media monitoring dashboard, simply and inexpensively. These three examples underscore the importance of this intelligence.

Uhm, You Know We’re a Client, Right?

We are very proud of the team at NLC they’ve chosen to join us and we know they have many options in today’s environment. NLC has grown very quickly over the last three years and to support this growth we have made periodic use of recruiters. Imagine our surprise when an online job posting contained the following was flagged by our social media monitoring dashboard:

“a strong experience with web technologies. Ideally, we would like t hire some people who have worked for the same type of company as Non Linear Creations”.

It was posted by the same company that we employ to recruit employees for us. To see them target our employees made us less than thrilled. Because we knew about this, a handful of angry phone calls resulted in the removal of the ad. Without our social media monitoring dashboard, we would never have found out.

Slander is a Term Worth Noting

NLC has had considerable dealing with RedDot CMS over the last eight years. We monitor online commentary on all the technologies with which we’re involved. While all products have their weaknesses, this blog RedDot CMS & LiveServer: Reviews and Tips is simply slanderous. The rants of this individual take fair observations about RedDot weaknesses and build them into slanderous, even silly, commentary. Comments titled RedDot workflow doesn’t work and RedDot Upgrades from Hell are inflammatory and unhelpful. Presumably RedDot (now OpenText, at least temporarily) is unaware of this blogger. An effective social media monitoring dashboard would:

  • Make them aware of the negative comments being made about RedDot CMS and LiveServer
  • Give them an opportunity to either react in the comments of the blog or take legal action to have it pulled off the web.

Wikipedia and the Flying Burrito

Wikipedia is a glorious resource and a shining example of the wisdom of crowds. Except when it isn’t. Export Development Canada EDC is a Canadian institution providing support to Canadian companies that export. Their Wikipedia entry is an important resource for potential customers assessing their services. But periodically over the last year, these potential customers have been informed that a Flying Burrito forms a key pillar of EDC offerings:

In 1456 I rode a flying burrito with EDC’s services and deal structuring capabilities helped to facilitate $60.6 billion in transactions to eat a pig on a stick like Christopher Columbus did in exploration. I ate with nearly 7,000 Canadian companies.

A more politically-charged change was made earlier in the year:

EDC has maintained a partnership with French people are meaningless

Google returns Wikipedia as the fourth entry when a search for Export Development Corporation is performed. Knowing about these entries and correcting them is absolutely critical.

Bottom Line

If you don’t monitor the blogosphere, you will not know about negative comments until they turn into a tide too large for you to deal with quickly or easily. Thoughts or experiences? Add a comment or drop me a line.

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