With the ever increasing popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and twitter, their potential as valuable marketing tools even for smaller businesses is becoming harder to ignore. More importantly they provide an excellent platform in which to engage with your existing and potential customer base, increasing brand awareness and building a community around your business. If you are already providing an excellent product and fantastic customer service, the effect will bound to be positive, but naturally there is always the chance that you will come across negative feedback at some point which is essential you deal with effectively.
Once you have your Twitter account, manage it effectively by downloading a free app such as Tweetscan which is a fantastic way to monitor what people are saying about your business online. It allows you to search terms related to your brand and produces a list of all the relevant comments. In addition to this, it is essential you create your own dialogue for people to engage with for truly successful brand management.
One of the easiest and most effective ways of encouraging interaction is to post regularly; link to relevant events, press releases and other articles that may be of interest or informative. If someone starts “˜following’ you, make sure you thank them and follow them back- it will make people feel valued and better connected to your brand.
In addition to engaging with those who are share positive comments about your business, it is equally, if not more important to deal efficiently and effectively with negative feedback. For instance, if someone feels they have received poor quality service they are likely to share their negative experience online which can have a devastating effect on your reputation. By closely monitoring what people are saying about your brand you can act immediately to resolve the issue and turn the negative experience into a positive.
Never respond defensively or argue with the commenter, diffuse the issue gently by offering a plan of action and solution to the problem. By doing this quickly you will demonstrate that you are prepared to listen to customers and are quick to offer solutions to ensure their satisfaction.
About the Author
Lucy Hunt is a UK blogger with a keen interest in social media and marketing. She currently is writing on behalf of Brandworkz who specialise in Brand Management Software.