Social Media Monitoring: When Responsiveness Borders Creepiness
In a tweet last week, I asked for impressions on a few social media monitoring solutions. I’ve had experiences with others, but have been researching alternatives.
I expected a few responses from followers and maybe a tweet from a company or two that I mentioned (they are social media monitoring companies, after all – they should be listening). What I did not expect was the ring of my phone.
Within 10 minutes of that tweet, my phone rang with the call of a company I had NOT mentioned. The woman on the other end said that she had seen my tweet and was wondering if I knew of her company. As my jaw dropped, the woman explained that their product had some new features, and she extended the offer of a demo.
Where should we draw the line in social media monitoring?
Clearly the company was drinking its own Kool-Aid, walking the walk by monitoring the social conversation. I would have welcomed the outreach via Twitter. That is the medium I used to ask my question. When my phone rang, I was initially taken off-guard. I felt like the monitoring and responsiveness had been taken a step too far.
Let’s take a look at the steps the company went through within about 10 minutes:
- Through their social media monitoring, they saw my tweet
- They visited my Twitter profile (which does not identify my employer)
- They visited my blog, by way of the link on my Twitter profile (having recently started a new job, my employer was not identified on my blog)
- They clicked from my blog to my LinkedIn profile – they found my employer there
- They visited my employer’s website to get the company’s main line
- They called the main line and asked for me
- They were connected to me and pitched their product
This all seemed on the verge of stalker-ish.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought this was actually pretty smart. They got in before anyone else. They had my attention. They got me to accept a demo. They have a chance at making the sale.
In contrast, what about the companies I specifically mentioned in my tweet?
- One of the companies tweeted back to me a couple of hours later, suggesting that I sign up for a free trial or contact them for a demo
- Another company started following me on Twitter, but did not respond in any way
- The other two took no apparent action (what does this say about monitoring?!)
In retrospect, it seems that coming on too strong actually gave the advantage to the borderline stalker-ish company.
What do you think? Did the monitoring and responsiveness by this company go too far? Would you go this far with your own monitoring? What would your reaction be to this encounter?
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