The extent of the potential reach of a single comment on a social networking site such as Twitter or Facebook cannot be denied. However, what do you do when the comment is a customer complaint? Well, ignoring the post, as if to deny its worth is not an option.
As more and more companies begin to use social networks and other online forums as a sales and marketing channel, the challenge to manage what comes through these newly open floodgates thus begins. And whilst companies may be gracious enough to admit that transparency about their product is the right and proper thing, concerns about counteracting bad reviews and deliberate sabotage can never be far from their mind.
A senior community developer at Florida based music sharing company Grooveshark, whilst acknowledging the obvious negatives of entering into the arena, recently remarked on the positive side, describing how when Grooveshark have server problems it sparks an alert on Facebook and Twitter that reaches thousands of its followers. “Their voice gives valuable insight into our website.” he stated.
The essential idea that social media is a way to personify a company was also acknowledged by Grooveshark, but there are downsides to this personal relationship between company and customer in that a succession of messages can appear spam-like in their sincerity and appeal. The quantity and regularity of postings should be monitored and carefully considered, would seem to be the advice.
The importance of how search engines deal with social media is key to understanding why having a social media platform equates to increased business success. Google uses a method of ‘universal search’ where the search engine searches for all forms of media. So a good blog site and a Facebook page, combined with a Twitter tweets and YouTube videos will serve a company best in leaving breadcrumbs trail that can be followed straight to the business.
It’s best for a business to set up a content strategy first then simply syndicate the content via different social media channels. You don’t have to write something different for each social media site.
A content strategy is simply a business allocating time, resources and a discipline, prioritised approach to actually creating the content and adding value for their customers.
Mind reading machines for your customers are not currently available so communicate your advice and insights on the web.