Posts Tagged ‘Brand Development’
Go to the comments on almost any social media blog and you’ll find two opposing opinions emerging.
One says that to be truly “social” in social media, it’s inappropriate to even attempt to deliver any type of marketing message. Social media is all about being helpful, authentic and human and about people connecting on like-minded topics. It’s not about selling or marketing and corporate messages of any kind should be rejected.
On the other hand, since marketing is the beginning of the sales process and social media offers the perfect opportunity for any business to find, attract and inform new prospects, businesses naturally want to be involved to make sure their brands are part of the conversation. If the chatter about their brand turns negative, they want to be there to address the issue quickly.
Marketers know the social media creed: to be part of the conversation means they have to be honest, authentic and personal and not push any sales message — or risk the consequences. Most brands recognize the value in social media, are willing to forgo any sales push and play by the rules. Actually, most of the companies I have spoken to, embrace the honesty social media offers and feel it fits well with their own corporate philosphy. They benefit from the exposure, interaction, relationships and idea swapping they share with their community.
So why do some social media purists balk when the words “social media” and “marketing” are used in the same sentence, and then cringe at the thought of measuring it’s value? Don’t social media community members benefit from corporate involvement with the addition of trustworthy information, valued entertainment and worthwhile resources? How many social media venues would exist if not for corporate participation?
Even if a business does their SMM entirely in-house, it takes the investment of time, knowledge, overhead and creativity to do it well, and those things equate to money. So, despite what some may think, social media is not free and therefor from a business perspective, needs to be measured against return, just like traditional marketing.
So why do some social media purists still reject the notion that a business involved in social media, is actually doing social media marketing?
Tell me what you think. I’d like to know.
Marketers are all jumping into Social Marketing. Yes of course there are lots of great benefits associated with it: customer advocacy, brand recognition, social acceptance and we can’t forget the relative low cost. What some marketers don’t consider upfront, is that there can be a potential downside.
While no company wants bad press, smaller companies can often be seriously hurt if they don’t deal with bad buzz appropriately. Blogs have gone a long way to help give these mid-size companies a leg up, but a brand must remember to always stay active in their brand image. By opening up lines of communication between you and your customers, you may start to hear things you wish were not so public. It’s a critical part of your brand’s image to actively engage these customers to find out how they feel, keep interactions positive, and resolve any issues.
So what do you do if your brand’s buzz goes bust? A company’s response to negative buzz can have a bigger impact on the brand image then the initial bad review. Here are some simple things to keep in mind:
Don’t think about it too long.
Address negative buzz quickly and efficiently. Accept responsibility for mistakes and take action to correct them right away. This helps to slow down or stop the flow of negative buzz, and can turn it into a positive conversation about your brand’s integrity.
Stay active on public message boards.
Message boards are the most common venue that people use to complain about companies or brands they are unhappy with. Other members of the group then join in until the entire forum has a hostile view of the brand. Stay active on message boards related to your industry so you can help to offer resolutions quickly.
Say what you’ll deliver, deliver what you say.
Pete Blackshaw, a founding member of www.WOMMA.com said that “negative word of mouth is often created when a product’s advertising is not in sync with the consumer’s experience”. Simply put, stay true to your own marketing.
Being prepared is half the battle.
You can get in front of a problem by paying attention to customer feedback and responding quickly. If you’re repeatedly hearing the same issues, then by quickly dealing with the root cause and rectifying the problem will become the new conversation.
Fight buzz with buzz.
Use the same tools to turn negative comments back into a positive buzz. In addition to responding on blogs and monitoring message boards and forums, marketers can also look to websites such as Getsatisfaction to keep up with what the public is saying about them. Marketers can also listen in on Twitter conversations related to their brands so they can react quickly.
The basic elements of every effective social marketing campaign is the same: engage your customers and respond to their needs to help improve brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Rena Bernstein is Creative Director at Elektrik Ink, LLC, a full-service advertising and strategic design agency that specializes in the convergence of traditional advertising and digital marketing. Read more about Advertising, Social Marketing and Brand Identity at www.elektrik.com or call 212-675-1568.