Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Protecting Your Brand From Negative Reviews Online

January 24th, 2011

Brand protection should be a key concept for any business when it comes to online conversations and reviews about you products or services through Facebook, Twitter, review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Citysearch, etc., blogs and forums. We love to see positive reviews and recommendations, but sooner or later, you’ll receive a negative review regarding a product or services performed that will put you on edge.

Many brands’ first reaction is going to be “How do we get rid of this review?” This may seem like the simplest approach, but the key thing to protecting your brand is also taking responsibility for something that may truly be a defective product or bad customer service, especially when the review or comment holds water. Of course, some negative reviews can be fabricated and blown out of proportion with false facts and accusations. Over 90% of time, with facts to back your claim, you should have no problem having such negative reviews removed from reviewing sites and/or enough evidence to share through a public comment the true facts of the situation, what really happened, any non-cooperation by the customers based on the steps that were taken to assist them by the brand to make the situation better. From there, readers to any online channel will be able to determine for themselves the true nature of the situation and see that you have taken the necessary precautions to protect what no doubtingly is a false claim.

But what if by chance, the product did not perform correctly or services performed did not go according to plan? Here are some important key steps that can turn the worse review and unhappy customer into a happy or at least, satisfied one:

  1. Respond publicly acknowledging the comment - Doing so shows your brand is listening and is actively participating in the online channel
  2. Thank the customer for taking the time to write about their experience - Demonstrates the brands stance in encouraging open and honest feedback, both positive and negative
  3. Do not delete the review or comment -  By not deleting the comment, you are showing a high level of respect to the customer and demonstrating to your readers that your brand is willing to take additional steps to assist its customers and to “make things right”
  4. Inform customer that you will contact them directly to assist them further - Taking the conversation offline limits any further negative comments, allows the brand to collect further details regarding the situation, and allows for easier communication between the brand and customer either by phone, email or in-person

By following these simple steps, you’ll not only have the respect of your fans who already love your products and services, but also gain respect and hopefully continuing business with a customer who may have never returned or purchased a product again if they had never been listened or responded too.

Have a week!
Ryan Choyeski

More articles by me and my colleagues at Zocalo Group

admin Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, Word of Mouth

True Value of Branded Facebook Pages

November 3rd, 2010

When it comes to the amount of fans that follow a Facebook page, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Especially when it comes to a brand’s page. Sure it feels good to say “We are the Kings of Facebook”, but you may be the most disconnected Kingdom from its people.

Facebook King.JPG
Just recently, Ignite Social Media released October’s Top 50 Branded Facebook Pages and the results are not surprising. Besides Facebook and YouTube, the top 5 brands included Starbucks (#3), Coca Cola (#4), Oreo (#5), Skittles (#6) and Red Bull (#7). All very popular brands, but most noticeably food products. Why? Perhaps it’s because they offer products many of us consume on a daily basis. Compared to the bottom 10 that comprise mostly of clothing brands, tech devices and software. Sure we may wear our favorite brand of jeans every day or interact with our personal electronics minute by minute, but it’s not items we literally purchase almost every day.

Having millions of fans is great, but if you are not engaging with those who “like” you, then all those fans are nothing more than a number your colleagues can boast about at the next seminar.

Using Vitrue’s social page evaluator, a page’s value is calculated by the volume of posts by the brand and the amount interactions to those posts, which is given a dollar value. For some companies, when determining investments and budgets for word of mouth and social media marketing, having a $ value helps support and determine the “value” of their efforts. Of course, the millions of more fans you have, the more likely you’ll have a large amount of fan interactions, even if its a small percentage of the total fan base. I don’t believe brands should base their page’s “value” based on dollars, but a score based on the determining factors of Vitrue’s evaluator PLUS the percentage of unique fans that interact with the page. Usually, the top 5 do very well in both the fan and value category, but when you look at the rest of the field, its a complete 180, proving that even small brand pages demonstrate a stronger value to its fans and its marketing efforts.

Through my experience, here are some of my tips to building fan engagement and true value:

  • Listen -¬† What are your fans saying? Respond to them in a respectful and timely manner
  • Provide meaningful content - Know why your fans are visiting the page and what they¬† are they looking for from the brand. Updates about the brand, special offers, new product announcement, connect with fellow fans, etc?
  • Have an open community - Set wall settings to display both the “brand and others” comments
  • Respect negative feedback - The page is one of the best channels to listen to how your customers feel about your product, provide suggestions and improvements. Some of the best ideas and newest products are results of fan feedback.
  • Offer unique material - Custom tabs, contest or promos that is not available anywhere else
  • Do not open a page just to say you have one - Customers expect their favorite brands and products to be on Facebook. Ignoring fan feedback and not communicating will detract fans from the page, the brand and possibly your products
  • Two-way Dialogue - Do not create one sided conversation only supporting your brands messaging and not allowing fan comments
  • Establish a voice or persona - Some brands have teams of employees moderating and interacting with fans on their ages, so it’s important to establish a voice for the brand that everyone will follow. Is it laid back and friendly or strictly informative? Do you interact in conversations not discussing products and services on the page or do you strictly respond only to customer service issues?
  • Don’t take it personal - Some admins are passionate about their brands and must realize that when a fan writes something negative, they are not attacking YOU. Always respond in an appropriate and respectful manner and DO NOT attack or blame the fan, even if the fan may be in the wrong.

By following these simple rules, you’ll be on the right track towards building a larger and stronger fan base worth its amount in value.

What are some other recommendations for building a brand page with strong value?

admin Facebook, Social Media, Word of Mouth

“It’s alive, ALIVE!” Twitter Gives the Power of Life

October 28th, 2010

Many of us recognize this famous quote by Victor Frankenstein and his creature from the 1930’s classic horror film. Back then, bringing a dead or inanimate object to life was something you only scene in the movies , but what was once the realm of science fiction has now become reality with the advancements in technology over the decades and the use of social media.

It sounds crazy, right? Not anymore. In this digital age, with the power of social media and creative minds, objects that were once silent, are coming to life and speaking to us through the power of a tweet!

Most recently, the word was out that the Empire State Building had joined the social media community with a newly launched Twitter account.  It’s certainly not the first landmark to join the twittersphere, but it is an exciting movement by preservationists and buildings’ companies to engage with it’s fans and distribute fun, important and interactive content. Currently, content for the Empire State Building, along with other architectural wonders such as Chicago’s Willis Tower (previously known as the Sears Tower) and Seattle’s Space Needle share content regarding its observations decks, restaurants, tours, historical achievements and more. Whereas, London’s Tower Bridge Twitter account’s sole purpose is to provide and inform locals of operational and maintenance updates, rather than engage.

You might say, “OK, but the building isn’t really alive and talking. It’s just someone on Twitter speaking on behalf of the structure.” True, but not in the case of Andy Stanford-Clark, a 43-year-old computer engineer, who has wired his U.K. home with sensors to tweet status updates. In a growing trend to save money and energy with our homes, Andy along with other green tech companies, Energy Circle and Twieet-A-Watt, are inventing new ways for your home to tell you what is currently happening, suggest ways to reduce energy consumption and tell you how it feels while your away from home through a established Twitter account.  Not only will it help home owners go green, but I believe this could be the beginning of a new line addition to home security for homeowners wanting to know what’s going on while they are away from home, whether it being the kids coming home from school before you return or if someone attempts to break into your house while you’re away on vacation or at work.


“Come on rocketsssss!!!!!!” That’s just one of many tweets the Mars Phoenix shared during its landing on Mars back on May 25, 2008.  NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory did a great job informing followers and fans of space exploration in a very entertaining way. Through Twitter, they were able to share real-time tweets from the point of view of the craft as it approached Mars and landed on Mars. For many, this was the first time they have been able to follow such an exciting achievement since much of space exploration is not covered in real time by the media and us earthlings can’t compute exactly what is happening from the data the Mars Phoenix is providing scientist as it approaches the red planet.

*Screenshots provided by Ignite Social Media

It doesn’t’ just stop at inanimate objects. That’s right, you don’t have to be Dr. Dolittle to speak to the animals and even your house plants! Mattel recently started selling a device called the Puppy Tweets which is a electronic dog tag that sends messages to your home computer, then Tweets to you! Through sound and motion sensor that you attach to your pet’s dog collar and with a USB receiver connected to your computer, you can find out what Fido is doing or has to say with a variety of 500 humorous tweets programmed for your viewing pleasure. Also,  you can’t say your forgot to water the plants, because they won’t let you forget with Botanicalls device that uses water sensor to let you know if your plant is thirsty, full or drowning in H2O.

Sooner than later, more places, things and creatures we love and enjoy WILL find their way to speak with us through social media, it’s just a matter of time, but if would excuse me, I have to find my little friend the Travelocity Gnome as he shares the next clues to where I can meet him at an upcoming scavenger hunt!


Read more articles by me and my Zocalo Group colleagues on the Zocalo Group Blog.

admin Social Media, Twitter