If I Could Turn Back Time…The Importance of Reputation Management on Social Media

Have you ever had a really BAD experience with a company and took to a social network to post your rant? Have you gone as far as Dave Carroll and create a viral YouTube video?

It’s easy to forget the power of social media until instances like this occur. Dave’s video got him more than 200 interviews on talk shows and inspired other customers to create sequels (United Breaks Guitars 2 & 3) that garnered more than a million likes as well. Taylor Guitars also created a YouTube video explaining their repair services in response to Dave’s video. They even gave Dave a new guitar. It seems everyone but United acknowledged Dave…

From a social media perspective if I were an Online Reputation Manager and saw this video I would have gone into immediate damage control. I would have responded to Dave and asked him to write me a message explaining his situation, what damages he is seeking, and thank him for his time and for choosing United. I would have then addressed this with my human resources department and done everything I could to find out where the disconnect was and how the issue escalated to this.

Once I had all of the facts I would release a statement apologizing and explaining what we are doing to make it right for Dave. I would go on a press tour and explain to the media that we understand Dave’s frustration and are doing our best to make sure this instance never happens again. I would also take to social media and express our gratitude for their loyalty and explain how we are ensuring we are making the effort to handle every item in on our airplanes with care. Of course there will be negative comments surrounding our efforts. It is important to not make the same mistake twice and listen and respond to these comments appropriately.

While United Airlines may not have done it right in this situation I am happy that they used Dave’s video as a learning tool. If I were an Online Reputation Manager I would add the following practices to our social media practices:

  • Post our “hours of operation” in our “About Me” sections.
  • Make responding to customer comments within 24 hours a standard.
  • Make our responses personal by saying “thank you” at the beginning of every post and signing each post with out name at the end of each post.
  •  Most importantly if a situation seems very tense to make a supervisor aware. If a situation like Dave’s arises we would discuss on a more micro level and ensure all parties involved are happy with the resolution.
  • Keep “follow up” files for followers we should check in on.

While all of this seems so easy social media is fast and immediate. Most posts don’t show up on other’s social media feeds for very long, but people don’t forget. Taking the time to go the extra mile on social media can save you time, money, and most importantly the trust of your customers.

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Pinterest, and YouTube, and Vines…Oh My!

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Can I just say I love Pinterest! You can find anything on the site (for those who understood my Wizard of Oz reference…probably not a brain, a heart, or courage though). I enjoy looking up new recipes to whip up in my kitchen, how to redecorate my home, the next outfit I hope to purchase, and so much more. Pinterest has introduced me to a whole new world of retailers! It has exposed me to retailers and brands I would have otherwise not heard of or found. Because of this it is essential for retailers and brands to take advantage of Pinterest!

Companies often turn to Facebook and Twitter as their main source for social media. With such a single-minded approach these brands will miss an audience on Pinterest that is open to buy from anywhere! In fact, 70% of Pinterest users visit the site for inspiration for their purchases. I am definitely part of that 70%. I’ve bought clothing and home goods off the site from retailers located all over the country. Pinterest users trust each other.  When we repin an imagine we have automatically endorsed it. By not being a part of this social media platform companies will miss the chance to establish trust with their audience, but also miss the opportunity to expose themselves to new clients.

0Another outlet brands need to incorporate into their strategy is YouTube. YouTube is wildly popular. YouTube has over four billion hours of videos watched each month! Research has shown that consumers trust YouTube over Facebook. I think when consumers can hear what’s being said and see the person saying it it helps create trust. YouTube also allows brands to be creative and let the consumer see a more personable side of them. For instance, a runner I like to follow on YouTube, The Ginger Runner gives advice on training, apparel and nutrition to fellow runners. He is hysterical and pretty creative! I trust him because I’ve seen him training for marathons via YouTube and know that he is a reliable source. Brands will be able to impact consumers immensely if they include YouTube in their social media strategy.

vine1-645x250Images resonate with people, videos inform an audience, and when they are combined they have proven to be unstoppable. This was the case for the Boston Marathon tragedy when over 19,000 vines were tweeted. Twitter’s video source, vine has transformed video sharing; on average one is created every five seconds. Personally, I have never found vine to be that compelling but with so many people using the application companies should join in the trend and reach consumers.

Using social media isn’t just comprised of Facebook and Twitter. It is important for brands to reach the consumer who enjoys spending time on content sharing communities such as Pinterest and YouTube. From my experience my audience enjoys when I share pictures with them. Continuing to utilize Pinterest and other image sharing sites like Instagram will be a key component in my social media strategy. I’ve dabbled with YouTube, but I think it will take me a while to find out what kind of content my audience enjoys watching. As for vines, I’ve never done one but I guess there is a first time for everything!

What about you? It’s important to use all of these social media platforms but which one do you think will be the most beneficial to your audience? Do you think Twitter’s vine will continue to grow in popularity or is it just a trend?