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How Twitter Tests the Pulse of the Nation

How Twitter Tests the Pulse of the Nation

Today we take a look at the world of TV comedy, which provides an interesting case study into the role of social networking sites, Twitter in particular, and its implications for brands, individuals and their reputation management strategies.

The Wright Way, a Ben Elton sitcom set in the health and safety department of a local council, will not be returning for a second series, after a consultation between Elton and the BBC.

Speaking to the Broadcasting Press Guild on Tuesday, Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning for the BBC, suggests that the main reason for cancelling The Wright Way was due to the fiercely negative feedback that the show received, particularly on social networking sites such as Twitter, which greatly upset Elton.

He said: "[He] was really bruised by the reception. Maybe 10, 50 years ago, you might have gone, 'what did people like about it, what are the characters that worked', but people are quite quick to judge and to crucify these days."

Allen added: "People feel passionate and that's good, but when people don't like a comedy they are very quick [to react] and I do worry in a world of social media and Twitter people are instantly saying, 14 seconds in, 'this is sh*t'. We are living in that snap judgment world."

One of the biggest lessons from this for online brands is that it is important to note what people are saying about you on social media, and act accordingly. Social media gives your customers an instant outlet, and though some may post negatively in the "heat of the moment", if you are aware of the conversation surrounding your brand online, you can take steps to limit the damage.

Whether it be responding to negative feedback, or just engaging with your customers and peers, having an active presence on social media is just one of the steps you can take towards implementing a comprehensive Reputation Management campaign for your brand.

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