Bad news stories are always bad news for the company in question. However the explosion of Web 2.0 user generated content on the internet has added a whole new dimension and it’s causing headaches for PR companies and corporate communication departments. The fragmented nature and speed of these communities often means that negative and potentially damaging comments or discussions go undetected by the company unless they reach the mainstream press.


You probably know the old adage about how a happy customer tells one friend, but an unhappy customer tells 10 friends. Well if that customer is a user of social media like MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, blogs or review sites then it’s more like 100, or even thousands. This media is open to anyone to post pretty much whatever they like, so yes everyone is a critic and now they have a voice and a distribution network!


But it’s not all bad news. If you are doing a good job or have invested in engaging effectively with social media then this fragmented online channel can be very effective. Customers are much more likely to pay attention to what other customers are saying rather than your latest TV commercial with cute animals telling everyone how great you are.


So, good or bad, how do you track such a fragmented and diverse media channel?


Well that’s where social media monitoring software and services come in. CBD, a web development agency specialist in social media trends and technology, have recently launched such a product (Streamwall) that offers greater flexibility and functionality than the current major players, and thankfully at a lower price and without ridiculous long term contracts.


Setup your keywords and phrases and Streamwall will track all the relevant local and international blogs, news sites and specialist forums. Reports can be viewed online or via PDF downloads. My favourite is the pie chart which uses language filters to display the % of positive, negative or neutral posts about your business or keywords. Graphs display the amount of posting activity about your business or keywords over time and so the rise and fall of positive or negative buzz can be plotted. It’s also really quick to scan the latest post titles and descriptions from hundreds of sources and click through to the most interesting ones.


The funniest story I heard was from someone who had posted a less than complementary review of their stay at a certain hotel, then being accosted in the street by the hotel chain’s marketing manager who knew them and had recognised their name on the negative post.


So if you are interested in finding out more about Streamwall just complete the form to download the PDF brochure and request your free sample report. 

First Rate and CBD are both part of the Q Group