Everything you say on social media matters. No matter how often you tweet or update your Facebook or Google+ accounts, you need to consider what you’re saying every time. In marketing, where you’re trying to take advantage of social media, this is even more vital. Because public opinion, or at least social media opinion, can be quick to turn on you.
And now there’s a new app that let’s twitter users demonstrate their displeasure with something they’ve seen on twitter. Twitter DogHouse allows you to temporarily place twitter accounts in the ‘DogHouse’. In effect, unfollowing someone for a limited period of time. So if your attempts to take advantage of social media upset someone who’s using the app, they can quietly remove your tweets for a period of time.
Or they can tell you and everyone else. The app allows the option of tweeting to the account being placed in the DogHouse. Calling them out for whatever activity has caused them to be temporarily unfollowed. Which may feel like a bit of fun if it’s used against a friend, but if a business account were to end up in too many DogHouses it could be hugely damaging to the brand.
This is where the advantages of social media can turn on you. The ability to engage with such a massive community comes with the responsibility to keep that same community happy.
The Advantages of Social Media Can Turn on You
Twitter DogHouse was designed for big events like the Olympics. When you follow a large variety of accounts, you will find that some people will tweet things you’re not particularly interested in. So when there’s a big event you’re not interested in, you can temporarily unfollow until the event passes, and you can re-engage with that account.
Besides being the inspiration for the app, the Olympics itself is providing many lessons in how we should take advantage of social media. In the last 24 hours we’ve seen two Olympic examples of how not to use Twitter.
Journalist Guy Adams had his account suspended by Twitter for tweeting the personal email of an NBC executive. Adams had been critical of NBC’s Olympic coverage over the weekend and tweeted the email address as an avenue for his followers to complain. He was trying to take advantage of social media and gather support for his point of view. Instead he breached Twitter rules and ended up suspended.
Even more serious was the behavior of @Rileyy_69, a 17 year old boy in England, who was arrested over malicious tweets he sent to Olympian Tom Daley. Daley was a big medal hopeful for Great Britain but finished fourth and received some pretty vile abuse in response. The immediate response of twitter users, to raise awareness of @Rileyy_69’s behavior and condemn it, lead to the arrest.
Take Advantage of Social Media, by Being Responsible
These are two extreme examples of ways that people misuse social media. For us the lesson isn’t what was said but the speed at which one account was suspended while another lead to an arrest. Both only a few hours after the original tweet.
So now that twitter users have another way, besides the normal unfollow, to remove you from their account; marketers need to be even more vigilant. All it takes is one misstep and one or two unhappy followers for your brand to be seriously affected.
One of the great advantages of social media is the speed at which public opinion moves on sites like twitter. A small bit of good publicity can go a long way. But the flipside of that is the speed at which bad publicity can spread.
In marketing, you’re never going to end up suspended or arrested. But, if you’re not careful, you could end up in the DogHouse.
Have you taken the time to really get to know social media? There is so much more to it than just creating a profile, adding some photos, and updating your page every so often. Discover the benefits of social media, connect with your customers, engage with prospects, promote your products and services and market your brand. Click here to download our guide on getting to know social media.