At several of the conferences I visited this year, I saw Matt Colebourne from CoComment on stage, telling business people to participate in the online conversations. Rather than just ignoring or hiding from them, companies should surprise the bloggers and their readers by showing them that they’re listening.
Some companies really get this. When co-editor Patrick and me had a bad travel experience with Venere, Renée De Meo from the booking site responded to my blog post and proved it was the mistake of the hotel. That’s the kind of alertness a company’s communications division needs.
So tracking blog posts is fairly simple, you either use a service like CoComment or Google Alerts. But how do you follow the thousands of discussions on Twitter? The conversations there are almost as influential as the ones in the blogosphere, as Nate Elliot proved during the Next08 conference. TweetScan and Summize probably look a bit too obscure for your average communications manager, but a new Get Satisfaction service might help the companies out.
The support-experts from Get Satisfaction developed Overheard, a feature that discovers what customers are saying about a given company on Twitter. On top of that, they make it fairly simple for not so savvy people to respond quickly. And if you’re familiar with Get Satisfaction, you’ll know the design is customizable to the max (take a look at the FAQ page of our sponsor Wakoopa to see what I mean).
Although participating in conversation is of the utmost importance for companies – bloggers, Twitter users, and readers are still happily surprised when you actually do so. You’ll really make an impression, so consider to give Get Satisfaction and similar services a try. It’s time to embrace the 2.0 mind set.