Just past 2 a.m. ET on Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, arguably the world’s most famous athlete, Tiger Woods, was involved in a single-car accident outside his home near Orlando, Fla. Reports flew around later that day that he was seriously hurt. Then he was treated and released from a local hospital. Then his wife “saved” him. Then someone asked the police to delay an interview.
Two in the morning. Guy runs over a fire hydrant and hits a tree. He’s taken to a hospital with (allegedly) face lacerations and is semi-conscious, but was traveling under 33 miles per hour during the accident?
If it weren’t Tiger Woods, or for some of us, even if it were, we’d think one thing: Dude was drunk.
Woods finally made a statement on his website late yesterday, but it clarified nothing and even added to public speculation that something fishy was going on. News reports indicated Woods and his wife had refused to talk to police for a third straight day.
What does this have to do with social media?
When someone is saying something about your brand online, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, and you don’t participate in the conversation, you become Tiger Woods. People will create excuses or answers for you that are probably far worse than the truth. Your image will be tattered. Your connection with your customers will be weakened.
Tiger Woods’s image may recover. It may not. Make sure your brand is never in the same boat.
Listen to online conversations about you.
Participate in those conversations.
If you’re not there, people think you’re hiding something. And who wants to be that guy’s customer?
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- Why Tiger Woods Owes No One an Explanation (bleacherreport.com)
- Tiger Finally Releases His Statement (perezhilton.com)
- Tiger Woods Declares Crash ‘a Private Matter,’ Again Cancels Meeting With Cops (abcnews.go.com)