*Gulp* What, you may ask, has finally wracked me from my blogging slumber? Well, its the recent continued issue with Yelp’s business practices. Apparently, they are offering to ‘move’ negative comments as a service for $299 a month. Huh?
I was just starting to consider lighting a fire under my ass to get on Yelp more. You know I – little Miss Anti-Vendor – was very against any business pitches professionally, but then curious about becoming an active contributing member personally. With this in mind, that will not be happening.
What really woke me from my stupor was this in conjunction with a meeting I recently had. The topic of management of virtual relationships came up. Sure its great to create and maintain content, but who is going to – and the appropriate person to – maintain the actual relationships via social media? This to me goes hand in hand with a listening strategy and begin authentic.
How much do you insert yourself into the conversations that are happening about your brand, and how much do you just sit back and observe? Take back to your project teams the feedback you stumble upon and most likely they’ll ask you ‘well, what did you respond to that with?’ The point is, should you? And if so, how can you deliver change? Can you, personally do so? I’d assume in most cases, you cant. And, if you cant, are people invested enough in making a change, and if not, then why are you even reporting back? Its like people who want to spend money on social media listening products like Radian 6 or Sentiment Metrics but then not use the data that they find to make a better product or service. Whats the point?
Bottom line, social media by nature is social and open. It cannot be stifled or controlled, yet should be tended to and watered. You cant expect to yield results if you do not allow what you sow to grow and then be cultivated. You do not get to pick and choose the way the comments will go but you do get to be an active part of the conversation. Not a brand rah rah-er, but a representative who listens and provides a solution. What you gain from social media is personal connection to your consumers, not an easier way to push and pull them to think the way you do. Start thinking like them for a change and have a conversation instead of making it another printed publication that now resides online.
*Photo courtesy of Internet Defamation Blog.