Social Media Can Be A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing

Joe Mescher says Social Media can be a good thing -- but beware it's pitfalls!Yeah, social media is awesome — unless it totally sucks. I’m writing about a post I came across about the Worst Company in America. One of my Twitter buddies posted the link and I shuddered when I saw the two names mentioned.


Wait — don’t they help customers via their @ComcastCares team on Twitter? Well, yes, but that doesn’t stop people from complaining using blogs and other social networks (this is to be expected with a subscriber base the size of Comcast’s). What do you think the impact could be on a smaller company though? Say…a non-profit or startup local business?

Online Reputation Management is Everyone’s Job

Maybe Comcast being voted the ‘Worst Company in America’ doesn’t matter a whole lot. After all, the Comcast Twitter model is a great example of reputation management. The cable company makes sure to keep their antennas actively tuned in to the social mediasphere to address complaints and compliments alike — and you can too!

Here’s the deal, all you need to do is sign up for notifications with a free service like Social Mention. You’ll be notified anytime someone makes a comment on places like Twitter. But you shouldn’t stop there. Certainly you’ve heard of Google Alerts, right? Make sure to sign up for alerts using parentheses to cut down on unrelated content (like “Your Name” instead of just Your Name).

Putting Information to Good Use

So what’s the point of keeping your eyes and ears open if you aren’t going to use the information you gather?

Here’s my point: If you come across a problem, don’t try sweeping it under the rug. Publicize it. That’s right, I said it — communicate with the person to find a solution and ‘make them famous’. This makes the person feel like they matter and gives you positive press.

Sure, it’s a risk, but a calculated one (and you offer such good service and response, there shouldn’t be an issue of poor response, right?). Good luck out there on the social webs. Make sure to take advantage of the huge opportunities to promote, monitor and share your good name.

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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

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