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Enough about me, let’s talk about me!

It has become de rigueur for brands who want to show that they “get” social media to show a stream of Twitter mentions about their brand on their website. You’ll find them under the heading of “What people are saying about us” or “The latest buzz” or some such nod to being conversational and transparent.

When you see someone doing that, do yourself a favour: go to Twitter Search and enter the brand’s name in the search box. You’ll find one of two things, generally speaking. You’ll either find that the brand in question is publishing a stream of tweets that is real-time (or close to it) and generally reflective of the online sentiment towards the brand or, alternatively, you may find that the tweet stream they’re publishing has been rather heavily sanitized to only show positive mentions.

I can understand the appeal of sanitizing your brand’s Twitter mentions, but it’s incredibly short-sighted. As people become more and more comfortable with the technology behind social media, they’ll call bullshit on this pretty quickly. Increasingly, you’ll only be fooling yourself. Further, when I see companies who are self-proclaimed social media evangelists (can we ban that title pls and tks?) publishing a Twitter stream that is sanitized to the point of being 100% positive and 3-days old, they’re not only fooling themselves but also damaging their reputation in the process.

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