Social monitoring, the practice of ‘monitoring’ the web for mentions of your brand, might sound like a logical practice to some, but to others, the benefit may not be clear or the act deemed entirely unnecessary.
Perhaps Vogue fell into the latter camp, until it was caught advertising Tuna under a fake Twitter identity.
The strange tweets were spotted by Yuli Ziv, a speaker of social media and technology as it relates to the fashion industry, and spurred an investigation into the source of the messages.
My first reaction was to think it’s a spam and that Vogue account has been hacked. I looked at brand’s twitter account and found these older sponsored tweets for Psychic services, mall maps and custom backgrounds…
At this point I realized this is no mistake, which lead me to look for Vogue’s profile on SponsoredTweets.com. What I discovered was pretty shocking – according to the site, for $50 only anyone could send a sponsored tweet to the almost 20,000 people following Vogue on Twitter.
It took Vogue a total of eight months to figure out that their brand had been used in this unauthorised fashion and have the account suspended. By that point, it had gained almost 20,000 followers, frequently mentioned in @replies and sent questions and comments by those followers.
While the case of Vogue’s tuna tweets is quite extreme, the case sends a clear message to any brand.
Social media monitoring is important, as is monitoring printed press and traditional public relations channels. However, it is through social media that you are given a stronger foothold in which to answer back, to resolve an issue, or in Vogue’s case – stop a fake ‘you’ before it gets out of control.
All images from Yuli Ziv