Like most Americans, I can’t go anywhere without being hit by some political message. Social media has been taken over and I am sure that somewhere there are factories cranking out political memes and satire at full production. Regardless of political disposition, we have reduced these candidates to pure caricatures of themselves — often at the expense of the real issues that they are advocating for. As voters, these caricatures for the basis of our perception of the candidates and right or wrong shape our actions.

There are three reasons that these political memes have proliferated:

  1. We are too lazy to question the veracity of these claims and seeing them in print (digitally) somehow gives some credibility to them. We are busy people and our attention span gets shorter and shorter each year.
  2. They are visceral and to the point and don’t require the thoughts that a more nuanced message might deliver. We process it quicker so it sticks in our minds.
  3. The are typically negative in tone and for whatever reason, negative messages strike fear in us that cause us to take notice. A positive message tends to get lost in the shuffle and certainly does not have the viral reach as its negative counterpart.

So how does this observation have relevance to you as a business person? First of all, hopefully you don’t have people producing memes about your business. . . social media however most likely has a huge impact on your business. Your customers read reviews about your business and you have no control over what they say. Unfortunately, the same three dynamics above are true for your business.

  1. People believe the reviews that they read–possibly more than what your marketing department says about your brand
  2. Reviewers often don’t mix words and are to the point with their feedback — oftentimes expressing very different opinions about you than you have.
  3. Negative reviews get other potential buyer’s attention and shape their buying habits. . . hurting your brand and your business.

The reality is that you most likely have a good company with solid products and yet the public might see a caricature of your business instead of the real value of what you are offering. Its a mad, free-for-all world out there and you need to be proactive about managing your brand perception.

As a support company, we often help companies take an active role in the social support channels. Ultimately, a well designed customer experience and an engineered support experience can put you in control of the perception of your brand.

Regardless of who wins the election, social media will have had a strong influence on that decision. For your brand, consumers “Vote” all the time with their checkbooks and which products they buy.