AUDIO: Why social media could be the biggest enemy of your business
October 11, 2010
• The Greenpeace – Nestle faceoff on Facebook
• ‘You also need what I call a “social media force”’
Social media – from Facebook fan pages to YouTube to Twitter to Yelp -- are opening the door to people who can sucker punch businesses – for good or ill.
And while large enterprises might think they’ll be able to slough it off, unwarranted attacks can seriously hurt – if left unanswered, or answered in the wrong way, says Richard Telofski, an expert in identifying and combating “corporate enemies.”
As an example, he points to a social media battle earlier this year between Greenpeace and Nestle over the company’s use of certain sources of palm oil.
“This assault went on for a period of three weeks with a negative message being broadcast on Nestle’s Facebook fan page every 90 seconds on average,” says Mr. Telofski. “Imagine getting pounded I the face every 90 seconds for three weeks straight.”
Unseen, silent and stealthy, this new business competitor is one with an irregular approach but revolutionary tactics, he says. And that can make responding difficult, he says.
“In the social web, there are certain rules and unwritten rules and mores and ethics and so forth about what you do and what you don’t do,” says Mr. Telofki. “One of the things you don’t do is take down your Facebook fan page when somebody’s pounding away because that would show an extra weakness.”
(Richard Telofski talks abut social media as the enemy and what to do about it in today’s CVBT Audio Interview. Please left-click on the link below to listen now or right-click to download the MP3 audio file for later listening.)
“I counsel companies that just as you have a sales force out there in the real world, you also need what I call a ‘social media force’ constantly monitoring what’s going on and conversing with people about various topics, whether it’s having a problem with a product or being accused of unsustainable palm oil sourcing,” he says. “Companies need to learn that language, they need to learn it quickly and they need to go out there and practice this particular type of conversation.”
Mr. Telofski, president and principal consultant of the Kahuna Institute Inc., based in the New York City area, is the author of the new book, “Insidious Competition: The Battle for Meaning and the Corporate Image.”