Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reputation Management & Leveraging Social Media

Who talks more about your Business than You?

  1. Your Staff
  2. Your Competitors
  3. Your Customers
  4. All of the Above

What is the correct answer and does it matter? That of course depends on what is being said and by whom the important question here is; are you in the conversation? If not why not? What can you do about that? Can you? Should you?

Reputation Management & Leveraging Social Media
Consumer generated content is the most powerful force on the web today; when it comes to your business you avoid or not participate in the conversation at your peril. The ability of your Customers to disseminate their good opinion, good and bad is open to any with a PC browser and internet connection, and those opinions are accessible to all. Often showing up in search results for your comapny name.
The good news is that you too can communicate with them in the same forums, this gives you the ability to counter negative comment and promote positive response. Most important of all is  the opportunity to engage directly with your Customers and prospective Customers.
Socially savvy business owners can leverage these conversations to deepen their relationships and increase customer loyalty. An opportunity to turn negative experiences into positive outcomes. The prospect of turning unhappy customers into brand ambassadors.

Highway to Hell or Stairway to Heaven
The online space can be a Highway to Hell or a Stairway to Heaven  and U turns randomly occur. Once your ready to embrace the reality of public dialogue and you understand customers are talking to their friends, associates and anyone who will listen. Welcome it is a rocky road but here are some guidelines to get you started.

  1. Listen, Really Listen to your customers most are realists who recognise that things happen, what is the root of their real dissatisfaction?
 2. Be prepared to read only, monitor some comments: rants or rages, plain bashing sometimes happen do not engage unless there are factual errors.  Often your fans will debate and engage on your behalf
  3. Act on misrepresentation  and truly negative Customer experiences dispassionately provide the facts, empathise and rectify negative customer experience with reasonable solutions that  exceed their expectation
  4. Timeliness, Tone, Recognition and Influence; be aware of the importance of these elements in your response

Where to Start...
A better question is where do you want to end up?  Online  is unlike any other part of your business, it is new  territory the rules and idioms are still developing, changing almost daily, what was fine six months ago may now be fully naff!

The best place to start is with a map of where you are and where you want to go, you must have a strategy; a game plan.  Contact Brendan at Victorian Internet Consulting for a free analysis of your current position and some ideas on the best starting place for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment