"Social media gets attention by firms because it can become an intense pain point that is destructive to the organizations mission."
The above statement is from a post I recently posted to Twitter.
There is a lot of conversation about why companies are using social media technologies to reach out to people. Social media enables the amplification of angry consumers. In earlier times it was almost impossible for a company to react and respond to a consumers disappointment and anger. With technology such as Twitter, the voice of the consumer is able to be identified on what might be called a radar screen. Search.Twitter.com is a simple way for a firm to see what is being said publicly about them on Twitter. A unique firm name makes this much easier than a generic one. A generic name will have a low signal to noise ratio and make the radar teams job difficult to manage effectively.
When a company gets called out publicly on Twitter and other places online and they do not respond to consumer concerns a firm may gain a reputation as uncaring or worse. This can be a dangerous path to travel. People will see the brand as being different than their previous perception. Firms spend millions (and some billion) of dollars each year to stake out a unique branding position in the mind of the consumer. Negative publicity erodes and destroys the goodwill that has been built up.
Example of what people are saying about Marlboro on Twitter.
Example of what people are saying about KFC on Twitter.
Here is an example of what one user (@kcscougar) said about KFC and a promotion they are having.
Why do you think companies are on Twitter and other social media sites?