Posted on : 04-11-2011 | By : Skylar Ethan | In : Multi Channel Ecommerce
What can one comment on Twitter do to your brand? Surprisingly, a great deal. Social media plays a vital role in how people perceive your goods or services. Depending on how well connected your brand is, a positive comment from someone like Stephen Fry can instantly catapult your sales figures, while a negative comment can diminish your reputation. So what are the best ways to monitor how your brand is being perceived online, and how should you interact with commenters?
Tweetscan is an excellent way to find out what people are saying about your brand. It’s a free app that allows you to type in search terms. It then produces a list of all the comments on Twitter that use that term, and updates the list every minute or so. It’s a great way to keep an eye on the general mood of the Twitterverse. Trackur, Thrive, and Sprout Social also offer excellent monitoring tools that help break down followers into demographic groups.
For those companies who have slightly more of a budget to spend on social media monitoring, hiring a professional reputation management company may be the best solution. Reputation managers employ a variety of algorithms and other search methods to thoroughly troll the web for negative and positive comments, images, and other postings. They can alert you to any malicious commentary and help you deflate its power.
In addition to monitoring what people are saying, it’s important to keep up a dialogue of your own. Brand management is not merely a game of intervention, but one of creativity, too. Any major brand should maintain an active Facebook and Twitter account. Generally, a daily post is the best way to engage followers and “friends.” However, effective brand management should portray the company as a capable, strong, unified entity. The posts should be consistent, and shouldn’t be too blatantly commercial or self-aggrandising. Links to press releases and other approved outside articles generate positive word of mouth among online followers, and make the brand appear well liked.
If someone does post a negative comment on your website or an unfriendly mention on Twitter, there is a certain protocol. First, you should make an effort to respond as soon as possible. This makes you and your company appear engaged and concerned. Secondly, don’t fight fire with fire. Diffuse the comment gently by either providing facts to contradict the statement or offering some kind of gesture of assistance. And finally, always follow up. While some customers have genuine grievances, there are a certain percentage of negative commenters who thrive on animosity. If you initially follow-up but then disappear, these commenters will use your lack of response against you and engender a fresh round of bile.
Much like making a great impression at a dinner party, social media brand management is about keeping up appearances and soothing frayed nerves. By keeping your image consistent and addressing any comments that go against this message, your brand will remain desirable and your customer service rankings will stay high.