I recently came across this story on Mashable back in December and then again on the BBC News website about Visit Sweden’s recent Twitter experiment, or as they called it, a social experiment. It’s titled, Curators of Sweden and the premise is that they give a different Swedish citizen control of @sweden for seven days and let them share whatever is on their mind. It’s not always pretty, but at least it’s real. Between a 22-year old writer (who hates Justin Bieber enough to Tweet about it), a priest, a teacher, and a lesbian trucker, you know that you’ll be hearing their own personal truths as to what is happening (both good and bad) in the country. I tip my hat to Visit Sweden for being daring enough to go all the way and encourage a conversation between its citizens and the rest of the world. Whether it’s called a social experiment or a publicity stunt, I’m pretty sure it’ll do its job well in increasing awareness about Sweden and lead to more curious tourists.
This leads me into something that has always perturbed me about so many companies who groom their Facebook and Twitter pages and delete offensive comments or worse yet, have their homepage locked down to exclude what their fans or customers are saying. These pages should encourage dialog and should be about an exchange, not a one way platform to announce sales or carefully crafted marketing messages. No matter what you do — like it or not — your fans/customers will find a way to say what they want to. It’s up to you to learn how to respond in a way that makes you look like you’re in control and that you actually care about what’s being said on your behalf. It’s always better to listen to a negative comment and if possible fix a problem. By successfully fixing a problem in front of your fans, you will do far more for your reputation than trying to ignore it.
Member of UP THERE, EVERYWHERE