We run a software product startup out of Bangalore that provides SaaS based Social Media Monitoring solutions to brands and agencies. Not surprisingly, we do monitor our own brand using our monitoring platform. We are a relatively unknown company so not many people talk about us on a day-to-day basis. But whenever we find conversations about our brand, we hang onto every word that our customers, prospective customers or industry stalwarts have to say about us. A couple of times we have even captured feedback from our prospective customers about where they found our monitoring platform lacking (after trying it out) and what needs to be improved. Although, it disappoints us to lose a prospective customer but we appreciate their feedback and use that to improve our monitoring platform.
Recently, our monitoring platform captured a tweet about Beevolve that was quite disturbing.
We combed through all our emails, trial accounts, existing customers to see if he or the agency he claims to represent (McCann, New York) ever signed up to use our monitoring platform. Not surprisingly, he had never tried our monitoring platform or interacted with us in the past. At this point, we had two options – to let it go or to trace him back to see if had any vested interests in maligning Beevolve.
We had internal discussion on this and some of us were of the opinion that he didn’t have a large enough twitter following to influence a lot of people and his opinion (about Beevolve or other competitors that he has talked about in his timeline) will not matter much in the larger scheme of things. But at the same time, he was actively trying to talk a prospective customer out of trying out our monitoring platform by using slanderous language. We didn’t mind if people criticized the shortcomings in our monitoring platform but he was trying to malign our reputation and we could never stand that. So we decided to find out more about him but reached a dead end pretty soon as googling his name or his agency’s name did not give any solid clues.
We often talk to our prospective clients about how important it is to monitor their reputation online and the need to respond to attacks on their brand’s reputation. And here we were with our reputation being attacked by a person? with possibly vested interest and trying to figure out a strategy to stop this kind of vile attacks from happening again. The anonymity cloak offered by certain social networks provides impetus to people like Devron Charles to do this again and again. It was a surprising realization that although we could monitor these attacks through our software and respond back, we couldn’t do anything to stop it from happening again. Even though it makes us sound helpless against these kind of attacks, we have actually figured out a way to handle such attacks in the future. Next time, a troll uses baseless allegations about Beevolve to scare prospective customers, we will point the prospective customers to this blog post and ask them if the troll is a real person so they can decide for themselves.
Special thanks to @mikerbrt for trying to find @devron_c’s real identity.