Using Social Network Sites To Your Advantage

Social network sites and tools can be a company’s worst nightmare or best friend depending on how you monitor and use the information.  It’s amazing to think sites like Twitter can report news quicker that the BBC or CNN, but its not a surprise if you understand how and why it works.  Take an Ipod for example, why have they done so well, it’s down to usability and accessibility, its so easy to find, purchase and download the music and transfer it from pc to ipod.  Are Ipods the best MP3 players on the market? Probably not, they have lots of limitation like you can’t transfer music downloaded from Ipod to other types of MP3 players. 

Sites like Twitter have applications available on Iphones and Blackberrys which allow anybody to twitter instantly to the net, effectively making anybody a journalist.  So when something happens the chances are someone with a phone will be there to witness it and Tweet it.

So how can a company use this to protect their reputation online, well the first lesson in sales is to be able to turn negatives, if you don’t know what those negatives are how can you address them?  Social network sites allow you to see what people are saying about your company and therefore helping you plan how you want to deal with any damaging issues that could be rising.   Have this is information quickly is critical know what to do with it though is just as important.  That’s where reputation management foresight comes into play.

There are only 10 spots on the front page of the search engines (ignoring adwords and local search results), so that’s like having 10 shop fronts on a high street, how much of that high street do you own or influence is the key to what the customers are going to see about your company.  Having negative comments about your company  can actually be a healthy thing and attract more sales if you can prove you have listen to your customers and made changes or addressed specific issues.  Where it can hurt is when there is no balance to the negative comments, or where it gets personal, and becomes slagging match. Customers are not stupid they know that any company cannot keep every customer happy, so seeing both positive and negative comments quite often are a good thing.  I remember talking to one person about Tripadvisor and he said he only looks the comments if there are a lot of them as they tend to be more balanced and give you a better picture.

So the goal for any company who is serious about reputation management online is to make sure you own more than 10% of the search engine high street and listen, learn and respond to negative and positive feedback from social networking sites otherwise it can hurt you.

Posted in Reputation Management Essentials

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