Businesses are increasingly turning to social media to attract and keep customers. And while no one expects small or large businesses to be manning Twitter or Facebook 24/7, when something goes awry, companies pay the price.
For this reason, Dialogue Consulting, a social media consultant group in Melbourne, Australia, has launched SocialSitter, a service that monitors social media accounts after hours, for a rate of around $7 per hour.
SocialSitter promises to review customers' social media sites, via an actual human, within 15 minutes of content being posted.
Should an issue arise, SocialSitter can remove any offending content or contact the company's social media manager via Short Message Service (SMS). It offers a 95 percent accuracy rate, "even for very highly trafficked sites."
In a Dec. 11 post announcing the launch, the company illustrated the need for such a service with the example of an airline that had an image with adult content posted to its Facebook page, which was seen by an 8-year-old before it was removed the next day.
"Our service is unique in that we do not manage the community—we are responding on behalf of brands," SocialSitter CEO Hugh Stephens said in the blog post. "We simply review content for anything inappropriate or illicit, and notify the appropriate people if anything occurs."
The people moderating for Social Search are "trained moderators" provided by Sama Source. According to Dialogue Consulting, SamaSource is a nonprofit that "works to alleviate poverty by connecting unemployed women and youth in impoverished countries with digital work." They're paid a wage that's fair, as determined by "the Fair Wage Guide," and learn computer literacy skills that qualify them to grow into other jobs.
Social Media as Small-Business Tool
This holiday season, small-business owners have been turning to social media to help bring in customers. According to a November survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Express, 33 percent of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) turned to Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to promote Small Business Saturday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In a different November survey, this one from security company McAfee, adults ages 50 to 75 were found to still have a lot to learn about social media. Many were engaging in behaviors that pose security risks (52 percent said they'd shared their email addresses and 26 percent shared their home addresses), as well as social drama.
Sixteen percent of respondents said they'd experienced negative situations on social media, and in 19 percent of cases it led to the end of a friendship.
While the use of social networks is trending among users 50 years and older, said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee, "This further highlights their need to better understand the difference between the real and perceived dangers on line and how to best protect themselves."