Saturday, February 28, 2009

Social Media - an open book

Everything you tweet is searchable on the web. This can be good and bad. Good if you're strategically using key words for which you want to be found; and bad if you aren't mindful that if you're not nice, it can come back to bite you.

And that bite came back hard recently for a PR agency.

An employee working for the firm landed in Memphis to deliver a presentation to more than 150 people at a potential Client. On arrival, he wrote the following on Twitter, "True confession, but I'm in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say, 'I would die if I had to live here!'"

It just so happened that the potential client staffer saw the message and forwarded it to numerous company executives. And that is not all, the potential Client drafted a response. The last line of the letter says it all, "True confession: many of my peers and I don't see much relevance between your presentation this morning and the work we do." The story rapidly quickly spread across the Internet.

This hard lesson is also a wake-up call for many businesses. Twitter is a public communication medium. Everything said is permanently etched in Twitter's digital fabric.

"While Twitter can be effective as a marketing tool, if you are not careful, it can become a viral tool for negative press. Anything typed in Twitter is 'ON THE RECORD,'.

"Treat all your conversations like your grandmother was listening," social-media consultants suggests,

"Your company should be clear in its expectations on your employees' Twitter communication," .