Social mentions primarily positive about Presidential debates
Click image to see full size for easier reading

Social Media Reputation: Should Businesses Avoid Politics?

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PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES LIVE ON YOUTUBE

Even businesses that usually avoid political discussions may be tempted to tweet or comment with all the buzz surrounding the 2012 Presidential Debates. By all accounts the social media buzz was HUGE.

HOW MANY WATCHED PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES?

According to Fast Campany:

“YouTube claims for “millions of live streamed views of the debates, and one of the highest number of concurrent streams ever for a YouTube live stream.” One of their partners, Ustream, claimed 3.5 million views of both debate and debate-related videos–which included live fact checking and commentary — both live and recorded.”

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE SETS TWITTER RECORD

“Wednesday night’s first presidential debate of 2012 set a record on Twitter as the most tweeted-about event in U.S. politics. More than 10 million tweets were made in the 90 minutes of back-and-forth between President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney, and peaked at 2,615 tweets per second when moderator Jim Lehrer quipped “Let’s not” to Romney’s request for another topic.”

DO POLITICS AND BUSINESS MIX?

All that activity is bound to tempt at least some people who normally would never mix business with politics to forget themselves and tweet about it on Twitter or comment on blogs, Facebook or other social networks.

THINK CAREFULLY before discussing politics AS your business!

Even if you only comment as yourself, if you are the business owner or someone who has an online presence as a spokesperson or representative of your company that may still affect your business.

All businesses should have a written social media policy to provide guidelines to all employees on what you expect from them regarding publicly speaking out. Use this link to find social media policy examples.

CONTROVERSY GENERATES TRAFFIC AND MEDIA COVERAGE

There are reasons a business might decide to comment on something as controversial as politics:

  1. They are willing to take a moral stand
  2. For the potential major media coverage
  3. To generate social media buzz that results in greater brand awareness

WHAT CAN A SMALL BUSINESS LEARN FROM PRESIDENTIAL LIVE VIDEO?

This very short video from the Future of Engagement series contains insights from Social Media Personality Murray Newlands on the ongoing trend of using video – and in this case live video – to generate interaction and engagement online.

Video highlights:

  • Video marketing growing rapidly.
  • Look for more use of live video events
  • How to use video to increase engagement and interaction

Murray often shares graphs showing social media sentiment – whether what is being said online is positive, negative, or neutral for specific keyword phrases set up in the social media monitoring tool as alerts.

Here is an example, this one of social mentions surrounding the Presidential Debates:

Social mentions primarily positive about Presidential debates
Click image to see full size for easier reading

If you are serious about using Social Media or want to make sure you know what is being said about you, your business, or your industry across social networks you will want to get a social media monitoring tool.

The graph above was generated by Alerti and is only one of many types of graphs the tool can automatically generate for you so that you can see at a glance what is most important to you. If you would like to try it yourself, they offer a 30 day free trial which our readers can extend to a social media monitoring free trial for 90 days by using Bonus Code alertivideo.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

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Written by
Gail Gardner
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1 comment
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