One of the biggest aspects of social media is the fact that everyone comments and tweets about everything that they see, hear, visit, touch, etc. This can have positive affects on your business marketing plan however, if not kept in check, this can have major negative affects on your business.
In a previous article, I talked about why your business should be using social media and showed you the following infographic about the social media effect:
This infographic showed how the content you create can spread all around the web. Now, just like the content that you create, your consumer’s content is entitled to the same flow.
As stated in my previous article about why your business should be using social media, 35.4% of Americans are interacting with businesses via social media networks. This means, they are commenting and tweeting about how their experience with your company was. If you have gone above and beyond, they will be sure to tell the world. If you have not met their expectations or you have upset them, they will be sure to also let the world know that.
This is the key reason to why you need to stay in touch and keep social media comments in check. Now, you may be asking, what do I mean by that? I mean that you need to be a part of all of these social media networks and you need to stay on top of what is being said about your business. Normally, when someone is happy or upset with you and they tweet it, they want to make sure that you see it. They will use a #hash in front of your business name or they will even list your @business right in their tweet. By staying on top of the social media comments and tweets, you can head off a problem before it happens.
You should be communicating back to your customers via social media networks. Many of those that are upset will expect to see you attempt to resolve their issue. If you do not, they may continue to post negative remarks about your business.
Being in tune with what is being posted will help you avoid embarrassment.
Lets Look At Some Examples
T&J Towing Company
Justin Kurtz in Michigan had his car towed right out of his apartment by T&J Towing Company. Apparently, the towing company stated he did not have his hang tag properly displayed, however, Justin feels that the towing company had broken into his car and stolen his tag. Justin got upset and created a Facebook group called “Kalamazoo Residents Against T&J Towing Company.” T&J Towing company then filed a lawsuit against Justin over the Facebook group. Justin then kept posting the entire experience onto his Facebook group which caused T&J Towing Company to loose clients. This is just a summarized version, you can read the rest here.
Now I am not here to say who is right and who is wrong here. I am just wanting to show how Justin’s negative experience led to a huge social media exposure and caused T&J Towing Company to loose customers.
This is where you can see social media at its worst. Now rather than trying to work out issues with Justin, T&J Towing Company stuck with their claim and filed a lawsuit against Justin, which then made his group go viral. My thoughts are that T&J Towing Company should have tried to work with Justin, or, they should have replied to his group stating their side of the story and left it at that.
BP Oil Spill Twitter Page
Now on this one, I have to say there is not much that BP could do to calm the social media world down, however, I wanted to point out one Twitter account that was created, @BPGlobalPR. This account was created to mock BP’s public relations efforts. The key point I want to point out is the fact that this account has 185,000 followers even months after the spill happened. This is a perfect example of how fast things can grow on a social media network.
Bad Experiences at a Store or Restaurant
This one is easy since we have all seen it, or even done it ourselves. You or your friends go out and have a meal at your favorite place to eat. You get there and you wait F-O-R-E-V-E-R for the server to come to your table. You order your food and they bring out cold food that is not even what you ordered. You are very upset already with the service you got.
Well, it used to be that you would ask to speak to the manager then storm out and vow that you will never come back again. The next day at work, once you have calmed down some, you may tell a friend or two about the bad time you had. They may tell one friend as well but normally it stops there.
Now, lets talk about how it works today. While your waiting forever you post on your Facebook page and tweet to all your followers that you can not believe how long it is taking. Then when the food was cold and wrong, your posting that to the social media websites. While your talking with the manager, your taking video or just tweeting about how the manager really does not seem like he wants to help you out. On your way home you post that you will never go back again. By the next morning, all of your friends have read it and have re-tweeted it to their friends. The video overnight has taken off on YouTube and everyone is posting that to their Facebook page. Now, instead of only a few hearing about it, several thousand have heard about your bad experience.
Now, if this company was on these social media networks, they could respond to this person and apologize for the bad experience. They can then offer up, in front of everyone a solution to try and make this person feel better about how they were treated. Now, after your business helps this person, think about what happens when that gets re-tweeted and sent out to the thousands. Everyone will now look and say, wow, they like to respond to issues in a timely manner. Now you have saved face.