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Democracy in action

Just supposing your bank was perceived to have done something unpopular with the general public and a Twitter campaign began against your institution. When would you know? When an automatic system detects it and automatically escalates it to the right person for attention? When an employee sees the traffic and lets you know? Or when it appears on National news? How would you respond? Could you respond? What if it happened over the weekend?

Say tweets started circulating concerning your bank's stability. Suddenly you find that you have queues of depositors in your bank looking to withdraw their funds and move to a safer haven. Suddenly you have a run on the bank, and it's no longer just a reputation issue, it's a survival issue.

How realistic is such a scenario?

The News of the World, a national newspaper in the UK that has run for 168 years and was once the most popular newspaper in the world has been brought to the end of its life. What was fascinating to watch was the part that Twitter postings played in the demise of the paper. The newspaper's advertisers were sent thousands of tweets from people demanding that they cease to place advertisements in the publication and many of the big names capitulated. It was only a matter of time before the end was inevitable. No doubt other organisations will suffer the same fate.

Can anyone afford not to have a monitoring system for social media? Be it human or automatic, you really want to know when the number of mentions of your company or products accelerates. If you're lucky, the acceleration will be good news spreading like wildfire. If you're not so lucky, it may be the growth of a much more unwelcome message. Either way - it probably makes sense to have some kind of strategy to respond. This is not the time to have a load of meetings about what to do or say. The time taken to respond could be crucial.  

I used to think Twitter was fairly frivolous, I mean after all, how can you find anything meaningful to say in such a short sentence. I have changed my mind.


Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 26 July, 2011, 00:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Washington is having a little trouble with it's brand on twitter. the #fuckyouwashington hashtag went viral. Perhaps that is the reason for Barack Obama's crisis address. Twitter is powerful enough to make the US government censor it significantly. the #f... hashtag doesn't appear in trends, but neither does anything they don't want there. Seeing some banks have such a close relationship with Washington, perhaps a quiet word is all you really need to make your twitter problems go away.

That may very well be what your competitors are doing. So much for a level playing field.

Of course twitter is still very very powerful with a wordsmith at your keyboard.

Martin Bailey

Martin Bailey

Technology Product Director


Member since

29 Nov 2010


Hemel Hempstead

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