You never know where you’re going to turn up online.

Late last year I had a frantic call from a friend. She was sitting in her doctor’s surgery flicking through a trashy magazine. She let out an audible gasp just as she was called into see her doctor. She ripped the page below out of the magazine because she saw my Facebook profile photo and a comment I’d made about Gina Riley, a famous Australian actress who was diagnosed with breast cancer. My comment was one of support using language based on her most famous character Kim Day Craig from the hit series Kath & Kim.

Kath & Kim
Within 3 hours of me posting my message of support to Riley’s facebook page, this magazine had taken a screen shot and decided to include it in their publication. I was never contacted but my profile photo and Facebook ID was published to their readers.

Notice the speed at which Social happens

You can see my comment as “Derek Dekka” and the screen shot of my comment was taken 3 hours after I made it. I’m not sure what the date of the article was, but you can imagine it was reasonably current. While my comment was meant in good humour and the article shares the good news that Riley is recovering well, imagine if this was something a little more untoward.

Do you have a “Social Media Disaster Recovery Plan”?

The past couple of years saw various Australian companies have a disastrous experience with social media. Bad timing, an unexpected response from “fans” or “followers” has caused public relations departments to go into melt down. Knowing what to do in the first couple of minutes of such a disaster is critical.

I found a Sydney based firm who, amongst other things, provide training for staff  around Social Media Disaster Recovery. Obviam provide a range of eLearning courses and consulting. They’ve worked with some of AsiaPac’s biggest brands and I’d be comfortable recommending them to you.

Is it all bad?

The old adage that any news is good news is probably not as applicable in the 2014 socially enabled world as it was in years past. Bad news can move in a matter of seconds and a brand can be damaged taking days, weeks or months to repair. How do you stay on top of this tornado?

There are various tools to help you. In the digital marketing world we call this “Social Monitoring“, “Social Engagement” and “Social Marketing“. At work I use the Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM). You may also have heard of Radian 6 or Buddy Media from

SRM allows us to “monitor” or listen to what’s happening in the social sphere and then, when appropriate – engage. In addition we can market directly to various social properties e.g. Facebook, using SRM. This is one tool you can use to stay on top of and be aware of what’s happening in the social sphere.