Monitoring your brand and acknowledging mistakes
Last week, amidst the delivery of a web marketing pitch, I was asked about the negative branding impacts social media could have on ones business. The client was particularly concerned with the open interactive company-specific groups, like those becoming common place on Facebook.
I addressed the concern by discussing constructive feedback and by pointing out that complaints or negative comments made by customers are not always a bad thing. On the plus side, they provide the business with an opportunity to respond publicly and they often bring up concerns that the management may not have been previously aware of. David Alston, a guest on Lee Odden’s Top Rank Online Marketing blog summed up the social media complaint responding benefits (wow, that’s a mouthful) very nicely in his last post Top 10 Reasons for Monitoring Brands in Social Media.
“A complaint is an opportunity to demonstrate problem-solving abilities. A posted complaint may also draw out other comments from people with the same concern, which provides an opportunity to reach out to them as well. And who knows, impressing customers with great customer service may generate some positive posts about how you resolved the problems.”
David goes on to describe the intricacies of brand monitoring with sections on Competitors, Influencers and Auditing, among others. Whilst this is all relevant for larger corporations, our readers here at Tactical Thinking may find this a little excessive – but interesting none-the-less.
Actively acknowledging mistakes
What I’d like to draw your attention to in this post is how many ultra-savvy web professionals utilise social media to actively point out their problems to their audience. Unusual? Maybe. But silly – definitely not!
Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger recently wrote a post titled Apologies to Newsletter Subscribers [and What to Do When You Stuff Up On Your Blog]. To any logical mind, pointing out that you’ve made a big mistake seems almost ludicrous. But that’s the beauty of social media.
In the past, actively acknowledging your mistake and responding publicly was reserved for major catastrophes only. These days, through the use of blogs and other web 2.0 platforms, one can turn the smallest of problems into a subtle marketing tool. As Darren demonstrates with the three steps in his post (acknowledge the mistake, respond personally, then look for positives), it’s quite simple to do.
Ultimately, we’re all human and humans make mistakes. Recognising and admitting these mistakes is the hard part. Solving them should be much easier. By doing this on a social media platform you’re giving your business a more humanistic approach. It’s just as easy as saying: “Hey, sorry about that. Here’s why it happened and how it’ll be avoided in the future.”