Joanna L. Krotz is the founder of the Women's Giving Institute, a contributing columnist at the MSN Small Business portal and owner of Muse2Muse Productions Inc. In the article: 7 biggest mistakes of business startups, Joanna mentions some of the biggest mistakes a startup can make. |
"Driving a fire engine without a route.
Selling way too cheap.
Starting a business just for the thrill of it.
Clueless about marketing.
Being a pal instead of a boss.
Blowing through your capital."
- 7 biggest mistakes of business startups, Joanna L. Krotz
In my opinion Joanna left out failing to monitor social media and ignoring reputation management, a twist that could have given the article some character and a bit of depth, and would seem less like an article that was just made for digg. On a side note, the biggest mistake an MSN writer can make is titling an article the 7 biggest mistakes of business startups, and then giving only six examples! I also found it funny that Joanne, an editor for almost twenty years who has worked with Samsung Telecom News and Time Inc., spelled MSN Business on Main incorrectly in her LinkedIn profile.
Failing to monitor social media and ignoring reputation management can be one of the most devastating mistakes a business can make. Consider Wikipedia, the free, web based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia. The results for a Google search for many leading brands often includes a Wikipedia entry. Reading the Wikipedia page about Hasbro, readers are presented with information about the Hasbro Easy-Bake Oven 2007 product flaw that can cause serious burns on children's hands and fingers due to a poorly-designed oven door. The Wikipedia page about Firestone Tire presents accusations of the company using child labour in its Liberian rubber factory.
From stories about a Married New York Congressman sending emails to women seeking men on Craigslist, to Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Kenneth Cole tweeting insensitive messages referring to protests in Egypt, 2011 has had it's share of Social media blunders. Similar to Walmart's Facebook Wall defamation a few years back Qantas experienced a social media backfire quite recently. The promotions team at Qantas, the Australian airline trying to recover from the threat of a mass strike which grounded its entire fleet, decided to engage with customers on Twitter. Qantas asked followers to name their dream luxury flight experience as part of a competition to win a holiday. Instead of receiving dream-flight fantasies, the team were instead bombarded with messages of frustration.
"Most importantly, recognize that social media monitoring, listening in general, whether structured or unstructured, and regardless of channel, is only the first step. In order for it to have any real impact, the listening must be translated into insights, and those insights must ultimately lead to action." - Quora.com
While social media is transforming the role of public relations, social media monitoring and reputation management is essential in today's business landscape. Determining which social networks are most suitable for certain organizations, connecting with journalists and bloggers and integrating social media into the marketing mix while connecting and responding to customers and prospects is of paramount importance for today's business.