Cameron seeks support from Yorkshire businesses, but what is Twitter saying?
David Cameron paid a visit to Leeds last week [Thurs 5 Feb]. He joined Chancellor George Osborne in Yorkshire to talk about job creation and call for an end to the “decades old divide between the North and South.” They pledged the creation of a “Northern Powerhouse” and guaranteed that the Conservatives will create 100,000 jobs in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire by 2020.
But while David Cameron seeks to galvanise support from the business community face-to-face, his online reputation has recently been battered by a series of scathing social media campaigns.
The most notable was the #cameronmustgo hashtag, which emerged last Autumn and is still being used now to share statistics, stories and opinion by those who oppose Cameron’s policies. The Telegraph famously defended Cameron and published an article calling users of the hashtags “bullies”, but ironically the article caused a resurgence of the hashtag.
So if the media giants can’t quash a negative social media campaign, can Twitter itself? Apparently not. Despite adding a “report tweet” option last November, Twitter has failed to secure public confidence. Following recent high profile celebrity “trolling” cases, a number of anti-bullying charities spoke out last month against Twitter, saying enough wasn’t being done to prevent abusive messages being shared through the social media platform.
Is this something that business leaders should be worried about? Possibly, yes. We’ve all heard the phrase “bad news travels half way round the world while good news is still putting its shoes on.” And with social media, rumours – even unsubstantiated – can quickly spread if communications teams aren’t dedicating sufficient resource to sharing good quality business information, as well as monitoring and firefighting where appropriate.
And the impact of negative Twitter coverage is only likely to increase: it was announced last week that tweets will soon appear in Google search results, after Twitter struck a deal for tweets to be fully indexed within Google search.
Social media has permanently changed the way news and information is delivered and received by the general public. Gone are the days when public opinion and knowledge could be controlled simply with a carefully crafted press release.
Twitter now allows the immediate sharing of information – good or bad – by anyone with an internet connection. And that news travels fast. One tweet can have global reach and impact within a day.
The best way to keep on top of your online reputation is to be actively involved in it. Understand how social media works for you and your business. Dedicate the right resources to maintaining your social media accounts. And take time to share all the good news stories that you all have but often don’t make the most of.
Jonny Ross (above right), Founder of Jonny Ross Consultancy, is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Web Design Guru with over 16 years’ experience and a proven track record in eCommerce for the retail industry. He specializes in enhancing social and digital services for both the B2B and B2C sectors, and is passionate about SEO, Social Media, Effective Web Design, and eCommerce. Read more in the Jonny Ross blog.