A Hearing Aid, Not a Megaphone: Social Media for Business

Maddie Grant: Motrin is a company, obviously that makes headache medicine and they had a campaign related to carrying babies in a sling, which apparently means that you have headaches or backaches or whatever.  And you know mothers are a whole population of bloggers who are very active online and they were not happy with this correlation between carrying your baby in a sling and having body aches or headaches.    

So, there was a whole criticizing sort of anti-Motrin campaign that happened over a weekend. But Motrin went home on Friday night and didn’t notice a thing until Monday morning when the story had gone completely viral, it was all over blogs everywhere, it was all over the internet.  And they were just a classically, you know, traditionally managed company that just was not able to respond quickly, was not able to even notice all of this conversation happening and negative conversation specifically, happening around this one particular campaign, advertising campaign that they had done.  
 
So when they came in on Monday morning, they had to scramble to figure out, you know, can we pull this campaign, you know, how do we fix this?  So of course, you know, that brings in the idea of being more transparent, about being what you the company was trying to do with this campaign, about being transparent about how you are going to fix the problem now that you know that a whole segment of your consumers are not happy with something that you did.

You can’t as a company, not use social media to listen to what people are saying about you.  These days, every single company has some kind of consumer base that is talking about them online.  And it’s very, very important to have a presence in these social spaces where you can respond to those people where they are.

So established companies looking to start using social media need to at the very beginning figure out how to listen online because that will tell them where they need to be, which social media space they need to focus on.  It might tell them what kind of person they need to hire once they get to the point where they realize that they want to add head count and actually hire for social media roles.  So, you know, being able to figure out the volume of responding that needs to be done only happens after you’ve started listening.

So these are things that are at a very basic level how you would get started. And just really understanding that social media is about people, so it's about where the people are who care about your brand, who are talking about you or talking about your industry. This is the very first place to start.

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd

Most businesses understand that social media is important, but not necessarily how to use it in their own best interests.

Related Articles

Why are Americans so bad at math?

Research shows that the way math is taught in schools and how its conceptualized as a subject is severely impairing American student's ability to learn and understand the material.

One derivative coming right up... (Photo: Getty Images)
Technology & Innovation
  • Americans continually score either in the mid- or bottom-tier when it comes to math and science compared to their international peers.
  • Students have a fundamental misunderstanding of what math is and what it can do. By viewing it as a language, students and teachers can begin to conceptualize it in easier and more practical ways.
  • A lot of mistakes come from worrying too much about rote memorization and speedy problem-solving and from students missing large gaps in a subject that is reliant on learning concepts sequentially.
Keep reading Show less

How swimming in cold water could treat depression

The surprisingly simple treatment could prove promising for doctors and patients seeking to treat depression without medication.

Photo by Luis Marina/Flickr
Mind & Brain
  • A new report shows how cold-water swimming was an effective treatment for a 24-year-old mother.
  • The treatment is based on cross-adaptation, a phenomenon where individuals become less sensitive to a stimulus after being exposed to another.
  • Getting used to the shock of cold-water swimming could blunt your body's sensitivity to other stressors.
Keep reading Show less

Eating your kids may improve your sex life? Sounds fishy.

Maybe try counseling first before you try this, married folks.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • The study looks at cannibalism in fish.
  • If it doesn't look like the brood is going to be 'productive,' it might get eaten.
  • Don't try this at home. Seriously, don't. Human beings deserve love and respect.
Keep reading Show less