News and views on what matters to me: mindfulness, leadership, public relations, marketing, social media, pop culture and every now and then I will surprise you with something else.
Guy puts money behind a tweet to promote his displeasure with British Airways for losing his luggage. Social Media world freaks out, this is a bad sign of things to come! What are brands to do with customer’s now having even more access and opportunities to magnify their voices?
For one, take a deep breath and relax. Nothing has changed. Those “influencers” or whatever we want to call them will always find new and creative ways to let you know just what they are thinking. So now they have more tools at their disposal, but the name of the game hasn’t changed. If you mess up, apologize, do the right thing and make amends, don’t cover it up and, people will move on. Now, if you make a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be, like so many brands these days, than, you will make it into the news and not for the reasons you want to.
A smart man once said, “One thing the internet’s taught us is that there are some people who will never be happy.” The flood gates for airing out dirty laundry are open for business, but brands need not fear this if they have a proper understanding of the potential impact, paired with a common sense approach to good customer service.
How to silence the naysayers? Address them!
There will be lovers, there will be haters, this is understood. When you truthfully respond to someone’s complaint, after a while, it’s no longer fun to complain or try to evoke drama out of a situation that is handled very matter-of-factly and is true to the core of what the brand stands for. Eventually, the haters move on to a place that’s more fun. Perhaps a brand that will instigate or insult them back? Yes, this has and continues to happen…
So, we have to respond to EVERYONE?
I can’t name you a brand that has been buried by not responding to a tweet or a social media post. However, smart brands recognize patterns, they know that not all complaints or negative comments are created equal and address the hot fires before moving on something smaller, have a healthy knowledge of crisis communication and finally, they always remain true to their brand voice and core of who they are. If someone has 6 Twitter followers, clearly not a significant mouthpiece, but if many people with 6 followers have something negative to say, maybe time to do a reality check and see what’s happening.
So while audiences and costumers are getting bigger mouth pieces, brands can do a few things to be prepared for potential fallout.
They need to be in the know of all the latest capabilities social media platforms are giving people to speak their mind, they must continue to practice good communication and customer service and finally, they need to be themselves and address any social media pitfall in an authentic way true to who they are. At the end of the day, we can always say we respect someone who is real, even if we don’t agree with them. This applies to brands as well.