The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

We all make Social Media mistakes. What happens next?

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There will always be mistakes – its how you deal with them that matters. I watched a comic situation develop recently due to some crossed wires with a Twitterer. The author was an experienced Twitterer with a resulting Klout score of 55. He’s profuse – by which I mean he often has over 50 tweets a day. He’s also got lots of followers – over 30,000. Most importantly he’s a professional – he’s doing it to make money – and they are always worth watching.

On the day in question I had a look at his communications. He has a newspaper, Linked In connections and an ebook that he is looking to sell. He promoted these throughout the day in different ways – roughly 20% of his tweets were adverts one way or another. About the same proportion were RTs and a further 20% were Interaction with individual twitterers – just chit chat. In the remainder he generated, or doctored RTs to look like, original content, he advertised some other people’s content for them, he grew his network and asked some questions. All text book stuff for someone looking to grow.

My Twitterer was looking for an opportunity to sell and spotted a three-way conversation (involving a celebrity with 500k followers) about comparing TV-driven PR with the cost of Google AdWords. He may easily have a Twitter feed scanner looking for keywords because he was straight in asking whether he could help them with managing their AdWords. One of the participants took umbrage to the interruption. Looking at it in the cold light of day it could have appeared like someone listening to a private conversation and butting in inappropriately. He followed it with a further enquiry about their management of search engines and then a cheeky “let me know if I can quote for you” which prompted a public rebuke along the lines of “this was a private conversation. Stop pretending to join in just to sell to us”. The offended party then followed it up with a tweet saying how rude it was for someone to try and sell to them who didn’t even follow them…which was then retweeted

The nature of Twitter is that all this is happening in public view. 30,000 of his followers are seeing the thread turn sour. The squabbling pair made up. My Twitterer abused him back (wisely dropping the celebrity from the conversation) before apologising and saying the offer wasn’t directed at him. The offended Twitterer apologised, said that he thought it was spam and offered general advice to ease off the selling without getting to know people.

This whole spat illustrates the dangers for even the most skilled practitioner of professional twittering and especially the fine line you need tread in the endeavour to turn social media into hard cash. His approach is to try and turn conversations into book sales, blog visitors with advertising royalties or consulting fees. To make serious money with this strategy you need to be profuse, attract big numbers of followers… and not mind a few casualties.


Written by greencontact

August 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Opinion

Tagged with , ,

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