Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > The Web/Virtual Worlds/Social Networking

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

They Said What?

Rushing to defend a brand, product, or service just because it attracts a negative blog post is not necessarily the best course of action. Although no voice should go unheard, there are degrees of response. If the blogger's audience is limited to perhaps only a few readers a day, then should an organization mobilize the full weight of their PR department in reaching out to them? Obviously not. It is this contextual piece that is also important in the listening. Know who you are listening to and what is the person's angle? Who else is listening to him? Does he have a platform? Can he influence your audience? This is why the listening piece of social media is a lot more complex than many marketers realize. It is not enough to count how many times your product was mentioned or how many times your branded tweets were retweeted. Knowing the level of influence of those you are interacting with is crucial to being able to cope with the volume of interactions that many brands will receive.

By making these assessments, an organization can prioritize its outreach and its responses. In effect, you are carrying out social media triage. This helps to ensure that the resources you have, which might be limited, are directed where they are needed most and can achieve most. I have never encountered a marketing department that had unlimited resources. In fact, it's usually quite the opposite—they have too much to do with too few bodies to achieve it.

Trying to counter every criticism with a well-thought-out blog post, tweet, Facebook post, or video comment would burn out most marketing departments before they ever started achieving goals in social media. By targeting their responses, organizations can achieve the same effect. Responding to those who have a large influence will often reach the other commentators on the same topic. Many of the secondary or less influential content creators will have used the topic simply to generate traffic—they are the "me too" content creators who are adding to the overall noise because they see the potential for them of posting about a trending topic. By answering the most influential of the content creators—or if possible, the originator—the entire group of commentators are often answered. Instead of making 100 responses, a company can often quiet the crowd with one or two well-placed responses. This frees up the resources to focus on other activities and still allows the organization to be responsive.

For example, suppose an organization notices that they have some detractors in the blogosphere. If that organization takes the time to identify who they are, what their reach is, the number of visitors their blog gets, how many comments each post receives, the company can decide if it is worth doing some form of counter blog activity or outreach to the content creator. Often the creators are looking for a response from the organization, and when they get it they can turn out to be quite amenable to writing reasoned pieces.

This willingness to reach out to critics is an important part of any social media strategy and requires buy in from the very top of the organization. Marketing, PR, corporate communications, and customer support all require that a plan be in place before it's needed and not after the fact. After the C-Suite starts noticing bad news, it is too late to try to convince them that outreach will help. Likely, all they want to do is make it go away, often by stemming the flow of information rather than directing it.

Fear of bad news is often the reason that the C-Suite gives for not wanting to engage in social media. The reality is not that they fear the bad news itself, but they fear their organization's ability to deal with it adequately. This is where the social media strategy comes into its own. By having contingencies in place, a marketing department, or whichever department is tasked with the creation and operation of the strategy, can show its value and the value of social media.

What about positive comments? Contrary to what the C-Suite might think, it is not all doom and gloom in the world of social media. Often customers are only too pleased to finally have a channel through which they can express their appreciation of a job well done, a product that performs better than expected, or a service that made a difference to them. The hotel industry leaves comment cards in rooms, but no one fills them out when they have something positive to say. They are completed only when something went wrong. Social media is the place where the happy customers can leave their comments, to be seen not only by the staff but by other potential customers and, just as important, competitors. How amazing is that? Customers who want to say great things about the organization! Responding to these, even with a simple thank you is often enough to create an increased level of affinity, not only from customers making the observations but from their networks as well.

This simple act of "noticing" someone and acknowledging them is a well-documented social phenomenon. Doing so creates a pleasurable experience for the person receiving the recognition, the person doing the recognizing s and observers. This is a side-effect of the public nature of social media, but one that is extremely valuable in its application and in its ability for companies to build affinity through social media channels. Although this might sound very calculated and cold, it is no more so than any of the techniques used by mass media channels to create emotional responses to images, sounds, and situations. Commercials on television tell us stories of where and how products are used, to the point that sometimes the product becomes almost invisible. The story sometimes becomes more important than the product itself. This strategy is effective because viewers have a positive emotional response and therefore associates that feeling with the commercial and the product or service being advertised. Learning the techniques for doing this is a book unto itself and certainly not something we can dive into here. However, keeping this in mind will help your company not miss opportunities to have a positive effect on your customers and, in turn, increase your bottom line.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020