With the continued growth of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ it is more important than ever to monitor customer behaviour on social media platforms. With angry customers regularly taking to their social media profiles to vent any irritation they have about a company’s poor performance or customer service it is important to keep tracks on any negative mentions of your company before very soon hundreds, then thousands of people learn of your company’s fault.
Once an undesirable comment is made about your company the best thing to do is to set about making amends to the person who received below standard service and therefore stopping the negative press from spreading. Depending on how many friends, followers or contacts they have on the platform they have complained on depends on how high the risk to your reputation is. If someone influential with a lot of followers complains they can cause a huge problem for a fledgling company. It may be worth offering some form compensation, whether this is a replacement product or company voucher in order to stop the spreading of harmful news.
The most important factor when dealing with any negative responses to your business is never to act defensively or come across as rude, sarcastic or patronising in a reply to a disgruntled consumer. This will only cause more bad publicity and in turn anger many more potential customers and put them off from using your firm.
So what tools can you use to monitor any mentions of their company online? There are free online tools that can monitor your social media profiles, such as Tweetdeck, which are great for posting the same message to multiple platforms and tracking any mentions of your company. To get a more in depth picture of the nature of the tweets or status mentions of your company, and to find out whether what they are saying is good or bad things, you may need to invest in specialised software that comes with a complete package of social media monitoring tools.
An important factor to remember when monitoring your business is not to just focus on bad publicity and deal with that, it is just as vital to ensure that happy customers are thanked for spreading a positive message. Interacting with your customers will make them feel valued and become familiar with the brand.
Engaging customers in brand discussions is also a very useful marketing tool, not only to measure understand their needs and expectations but to also further development. By tracking what customers are looking for you will be able to tailor your company to provide the services they are requiring.
Monitoring what a competitor’s customers are tweeting about them is also useful as if they are unhappy with them this could be your chance to offer a better deal. Equally when they are happy with their current provider find out why and incorporate these factors into your own business plan.
By responding in a polite and timely manner to the bad news as well as the good, a positive branding of your company will circulate and bad press can quickly turn into good. This is the power that social media holds for your marketing strategy in 2012.