If you are on Twitter I’m sure you’ve encountered that surreal moment when a company/organization/individual starts following you after you tweet about them. Sometimes it is great and sometimes it is creepy and then sometimes it is downright funny.
Case in point:
Yesterday, in my personal Twitter account I tweeted about Hockey being ‘the sport of kings!’
@TheOtherLeslie I'm talking about Hockey – the sport of kings! Balsillie, RIM/Blackberry CEO is trying to buy a team
about 17 hours ago from twhirl in reply to TheOtherLeslie
30 minutes later the basketball team the Sacramento Kings start following me
Wow, I tweet about hockey using the word 'kings' and the Sacramento Kings follow me. That right there is a Social Media Monitoring FAIL
about 17 hours ago from twhirl
@rxmike replies to my tweet about the Kings following me
@deneyterrio had a similar exp tonite. Tweeted about St Louis Cardinals #fail and now they are following me. #poorsearch
about 12 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to deneyterrio
This is where it gets really strange. An unofficial St Louis Cardinals Twitter account must be set on auto-pilot and RTs anything that is said about them. Their account Retweets @rxmike’s tweet
RT @rxmike @deneyterrio had a similar exp tonite. Tweeted about St Louis Cardinals #fail and now they are following me. #poorsearch
about 11 hours ago from web
At this point I have figured out that account is on auto-pilot so I decide to do a little test. I in turn Retweet their last tweet
RT @ST_L_Cardinals RT @rxmike @deneyterrio had a similar exp tonite. Tweeted about St Louis Cardinals #fail and now they are following me. #
about 10 hours ago from TwitterBerry
Sure enough the auto-pilot account Retweets it again but not before
RT @deneyterrio RT @ST_L_Cardinals RT @rxmike @deneyterrio had a similar exp tonite. Tweeted about St Louis Cardinals #fail and now they …
about 9 hours ago from web
Surreal for sure.
So what is the point of all this? Well as you can see above if you are promoting your brand online in such a disconnected fashion as the St Louis Cardinals are you could run into some potential problems. Yes this is not the official St Louis Cardinals twitter account, I can't easily find one, but as you can see if you don't pay attention to your brand online you can run into problems down the road. If a team or someone famous follows/replies to you and you never visit their Twitter page you might think they are the real deal. In this case they are NOT the real St Louis Cardinals Twitter account but you should always be monitoring your online presence. Our tweets above raise the awareness of actually monitoring your brand online and thankfully we were not malicious but that might not stop someone out there that might want to harm you and/or your brand.
Steps to Take to Avoid Bad Online PR
First thing you need to do is have an actual person reply and retweet about your brand. The beauty of Twitter and Social Media is that it lets regular people connect with the companies/organizations/celebrities that they love. If you are a robot you will be treated like a robot.
You should also have other people in your company/org tweet as well. They don’t have to tweet about your company exclusively but they can occasionally. A ratio of 1 to 5 is a good measure, 1 company to 5 personal. If you are an employee and you constantly tweet about your company people will tune you out. The reason for this is people want to connect on an individual level. I know I am more likely to do business with someone that I have a personal relationship with or someone I know online that has always given me the time of day.
Ways to Monitor Your Brand Online
All public tweets are searchable as business you should always be searching on Twitter to see what people are saying about you
Blog Pulse is a great search engine for Blogs. Type in your brand name see what people are blogging about you and/or your brand.
Technorati is another great search engine to see what people are saying about your brand. Technorati is blogs and Google is to websites – a great search engine.
But This is a Fan Not the Real Team!
This account I am referencing is auto-tweeting everything that has to do with the Cardinals in Twitter and in doing that they run the risk of someone attacking or ‘flaming’ them online, even if it isn't their account. This type of account shows that Twitter and Social Media in general are not as free spirited as some might think. You can’t just put your brand on auto-pilot and expect the world to be amazed. Well, they will be amazed – at how vacant and distant you are.
For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at Schipul – firstname.lastname@example.org