According to electronic media pundits, the main reason is fear of a serious public relations crisis generated by social media frenzy. Clearly, there are plenty of well publicized examples to support this thesis. Netflix, for example, having announced a price increase of 12% last July, was severely criticized on Web 2.0: their blog and Facebook page were inundated with negative comments (more than 81,000 on Facebook, an impressive number). Their Twitter account was assaulted by a host of furious clients. In brief, a textbook case for a Public Relations course.
This type of crisis is a nightmare for many corporate bosses since it can have serious repercussions. It is important, then, to be well equipped to be able to identify risks as quickly as possible, and to respond to them accordingly.
Let’s note, notwithstanding, that listening to what is being said in the social media about our brand is useful for many other reasons as well.
Firstly, clients who use these media to share their satisfaction with our products and services are of great value. These positive references are a superb sales tool; don’t miss the opportunity to use them in your communications (obtaining their authorization first, of course). Moreover, clients explain why they chose you, highlighting the principal features which, in their eyes, differentiate you from the competition. They also enable you to better identify the preferred client base that you should be aiming for. This is all prime data for your market positioning strategy.
Secondly, even in the absence of a crisis, clients who report problems are also important. As you surely know, several unhappy clients can have a tendency to keep quiet until the situation becomes untenable, at which point they decide to switch to a competing product or service. By dealing efficiently with these weaknesses, not only are you solving their difficulties and keeping them as clients, but you are identifying problems that need to be urgently dealt with to keep your other clients as well.
Lastly and not least, is the social return of your marketing campaigns. Not only can you measure the impact of your campaigns in the social media, but also the social contribution of your other campaigns as well. Today, your Web or email campaigns must now include elements to enable readers to “Share” or express their “Like” related to your communication. Good tools indicate not only how many times these elements have been used, but also by who and their type of influence.
As you can see, there are many advantages to monitoring dialogue in the social media, and here we have only addressed monitoring commentary about your own brand. Scanning tools and analysis of social media can do much more, but this will be the subject of our future article. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to use the comments section to give us your opinions.
The Voxco Team