How To Use Social Media Marketing to Join the Conversation About Your Brand

20 Jun

Many businesses of all sizes are still reluctant to jump on the social media bandwagon. Executives may be scared that by creating social media sites, new avenues are built for negative comments and bad reviews about their brand. Unfortunately, this type of mindset is ignorant – people are talking about your brand online regardless if you have a Facebook or not, and not only in a negative way! There are hundreds of review sites, open forums, discussion boards, and personal opinions being shared over the Internet every second. Both positive and negative feedback is being dispersed all over the web, which can have both advantages and disadvantages if not handled properly.

Consumers trust other consumers’ thoughts and opinions more than they trust the company itself. Why wouldn’t you want to join in on what they’re saying? Creating social media accounts for your company gives your customers a space to come and discuss your brand. Having a Facebook or Twitter page lets fans interact with you AND their peers on a daily basis. Through social media sites, you have the ability to create a community around your brand and take lead of the conversation.

Additionally, your social media pages allow you to take all of your positive feedback from around the web and promote it. Have great reviews on Yelp? Take the links to those reviews and post them so that your Facebook fans or blog subscribers see all of the wonderful attributes of your product or service. When you highlight positive feedback, you are slowly building your consumers’ trust with your brand. Negative feedback must be handled differently, though.

Let’s face it, people love to complain to whoever will listen to what they have to say. For example, a customer buys a product online because of great reviews, but when they receive it, they notice defects. The customer is so aggravated because they feel they have been mislead, that they turn on the computer in order to inform others of their experience, in hopes of keeping them from making the same mistake. Whether they post it on your Facebook page or on a review site, it is still happening. Now, what can you do about it?

It is important that you respond to consumer complaints or issues that can easily be addressed. If someone is just out there on the web bashing your company without a good reason, then those comments could be addressed in attempt to make amends with the customer and figure out the problem. But if a consumer has a question on a certain aspect of your product or service, or has had a bad experience, you must embrace these concerns and RESPOND. This is where social media sites play such an important role; you are allowing your consumers to communicate effectively with you. The most highly trusted companies are those who respond to consumer wants and needs instead of ignoring them and hoping they won’t affect others’ opinions. Take this example from the Edible Arrangements Facebook page:

Progressive Media Concepts, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ManagementEdible Arrangements does a great job with trying to fix any consumer problems. They have some complaints on their wall that deals with the delivery process or the product itself, and each of them have been answered within minutes. As you can see in this post, the consumer will most likely be getting a refund for their dissatisfaction with the chocolate covered strawberries. Although this person has had a bad experience, the compensation that Edible Arrangements has made may keep them coming back in the future.

Another benefit of being involved in using social media as a space for conversation, if that it can act as a back up plan if your company’s customer service does not do its job. Take this conversation on an accessory company’s (Send the Trend) Facebook page, for example:

Progressive Media Concepts, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

A customer who was not able to get in touch with their customer service posted their concerns on their wall. Send the Trend’s quick and apologetic response showed that they want to take care of their customer’s needs through any communication channel. You can see that they kept their sales and customer satisfaction alive when the customer replies she had purchased an alternative bracelet, and calling the company awesome. This kind of engagement shows all fans that if the company’s customer service fails, their social media will be able to handle the problem.

These are just some examples on how to deal with negative feedback. By using social media as a communication channel with your customers, you have the ability to sway their negative opinions to positive ones. If you leave bad feedback online unattended to, you are hurting your image more than saving it.

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One Response to “How To Use Social Media Marketing to Join the Conversation About Your Brand”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Can customers tell the difference between great customer service and just a liberal return policy? | bizcommunicator's blog - June 21, 2011

    […] How To Use Social Media Marketing to Join the Conversation About Your Brand (progressivemediaconcepts.com) […]

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