Constant Vigilance


This weekend, quite a protest erupted around Amazon’s removal of more than 57,000 books – originally said to be primarily gay- or lesbian-themed – from its catalog of search results.  Users tweeted their disapproval, tagging their updates with “#amazonfail,” which quickly became the hottest topic on the site.

And amazingly, Amazon was silent. No response. No explanation. Just silence.

Until Monday evening, when company spokesperson Drew Herdener said that it was just “an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error.” They’ve since provided more insight into what they think happened, blaming the glitch on a international mix-up with the terms “adult” and “erotic.”

Since coming out with this explanation (three days later), the Twitterverse has responded with two new hashtags: “#sorryamazon”. and “#glitchmyass.” It appears Amazon’s work may not be complete.

Learn From Their Mistake

This story highlights the importance of constantly listening to what’s being said about your brand through social media. Companies that choose to ignore the “social media fad” are going to miss out on huge opportunities to know how people feel and think about their products. And, more importantly, lose the chance to influence that opinion in a meaningful way.

We’re not naïve. We know that marketing managers are already strapped for time. And the thought of weekend-Twitter-watching probably ranks up there with budget forecasting for most people. But with the right tools and processes in place, it can become manageable. And, who knows, once you dive in, it might even become enjoyable.

Have you come across any clever tricks for monitoring all the conversations?

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Constant Vigilance