Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oscar Wilde in the Twitter Age

I read this article today about how GM is employing people to scour Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media venues in order to be proactive in their outreach to solving customer issues. The idea is to change poor opinions to good ones and good opinions to great ones by going out on the internet and engaging the customer on their turf- whether that is Facebook, Twitter, automotive discussion sites etc. This raises an interesting issue and puts a new spin on the famous Oscar Wilde quote “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” – in our new social media world there could be something worse and that is being talked about but not being aware of it!

In the article referenced above, the GM “twenty-somethings” are being paid to spend their days surfing Facebook and the other social media (and then they apparently go home and to unwind they catch up with their friends on…Facebook – and our generation is the one who gets accused of never being able to switch off from work but I digress!). Anyway, my point is a simple one, how much information is being shared about our organizations that we don’t know about. How much of this information is influencing the decisions of potential customers that we never even get the chance to engage with. While most of us are not in the position to hire groups of millennials to diligently monitor tweets and posts, we ignore the free flow of information and opinion at our peril. In the end we will all have to dedicate some of time and resources to interjecting into the conversations and promoting/protecting our brand. We have to go where our current and future customers are if we want to engage with and influence them.

The 25 yr GM Social Media Agent quoted sums it up nicely "This is how people go about their lives; they may not want to call in or sit there on the phone," she said. "This is life now."

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