If a crowd is swarming do you run to it or run away from it? I guess the answer depends on whether they are carrying rocks and torches. But I have to wonder why companies often seem to run away from crowds who are carrying cash.
The crowds aren’t carrying physical money to your door–but they are potential customers. If you own a company and are on Twitter or some other social network but don’t respond to questions or replies you are running from the crowd. If you don’t have some form of feedback on your website and respond to that feedback, all the feedback good or bad, you are running from the crowd. And if you aren’t innovating based upon feedback then you are running away from the crowd.
You are a lucky company if you have a customer who cares enough to leave a complaint or compliment. Both are good. Why? Because it gives you a chance to interact with someone who is passionate enough to help. How can you ever learn anything if you are always running?