I spend a bulk of my days attempting to find companies who are interested in taking their social media efforts to the next level. Over the past few months, there have been some incredibly large opportunities for Fortune 500 organizations to effectively manage their reputation via social media. Consider the Toyota recall situation. Millions of Toyota owners wondering if their vehicle had the potential for unintended acceleration. The thousands and thousands of phone calls and customer visits that could have been avoided by addressing the situation on the heavily trafficked social media outlets. Putting those loyal customer’s minds at ease and reassuring them that their vehicle was safe. I personally own a Toyota Camry and was bombarded by opportunistic solicitations from a local Nissan dealership. I wonder how many people traded in their Toyota for another brand over the past few months?


The hot topic this month is the BP situation down in the gulf. Seems like everyone has forgotten about the devastation in Haiti, the flooding in the Midwest,  and the ever long war in Afghanistan. BP has done such a poor job of managing their reputation, that their biggest concern seems to be the slander filled comments of the “Fake BP” on Twitter. I must admit, they’re getting creative with their comments and helping us find humor in a terrible situation. Initially I viewed BP as the bad guy. Some foreign (British) company that was drilling off of our coast, destroying our environment, and critically damaging industries with significant economic impact in that region. Then I stopped to put gas in my car this morning and realized I was equally responsible for what took place. If not for the ever growing demands of the energy starved population in the U.S., maybe they wouldn’t have been permitted to drill so dangerously close to one of the most ecologically unique regions in the world. Currently, the masses are glued to CNN, FOX, and the other independent news outlets covering the story. Relying on the views of their editors to obtain their information and form their opinions.

Don’t you think BP would like to shut those outlets off and control the message being sent to the public? Well, no one can do that. However, they can take advantage of the billions of people utilizing social media to share their side of the story and more effectively manage their reputation at a time when they are getting more exposure than ever before.

Where will your social media following be when the oil drifts ashore in your business?

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