You CAN Handle the Truth: Using Social Media to Manage your Brand

 In Audience Building, Business Development, Social Media

This past Sunday night I flipped my television to HBO, excited for the premiere of the new season of Girls, and happened to catch the end of an episode of True Detective with Matthew McConaughey. I was never terribly impressed by his acting and I was shocked to find that, even in the few minutes before the episode ended, he exhibited a marked improvement of his craft. Curious by what sparked this pronounced change, I turned to Google and soon found an article in which he explained that he and his assistants had printed out, read and analyzed every bad review McConaughey ever received. He was able to use the criticism constructively to package and present himself in a way that was more pleasing to movie-goers, critics and the Academy, landing himself several awards in the past few years.Matth McConaughey | Fiore Communications

Similarly, your business can use the feedback you receive through social media to refine and perfect the message you send to your customers. Facebook and Twitter are two of the best forums for this type of communication, allowing customers to contact businesses directly and receive responses in real-time. Admittedly, there is some risk involved with such a public forum – you could be opening yourself to public criticism or complaint. In the age of Facebook and Twitter, though, you’re more or less vulnerable to online complaints regardless of whether or not you have an online presence. But by actively monitoring those lines of communication, you can use quick responses to complaints as opportunities to show loyalty to your customers.

There was once a cyclist who was almost hit by a UPS truck and tweeted about the incident when he arrived home. Within minutes he was contacted by UPS’s social media team and he later blogged about how he was blown away by the company’s careful attention to their social media strategies. The blog, in which he declares himself a “UPS customer and brand advocate for life,” was eventually picked up by the Huffington Post, leading to widespread circulation of his song of praise. It’s amazing to think that one quick and heartfelt response to a complaint resulted in solidifying a customer “for life” and also provided UPS with a large amount of positive (and free!) publicity. You can read his blog here.

You can also use social media feedback to tailor not only your Facebook and Twitter feed, but your website as well. If you post an article to Facebook that receives a lot of “likes,” check to see if your website traffic has increased. Consider writing a blog on the subject. Ask users to leave a comment telling you what they think about it. When feedback is positive, try to engage them further with strategically placed calls to action. When it’s negative, respond quickly and confidently and if possible, try to work with the customer to resolve the issue.

How is your business utilizing feedback received through social media? Do you have any stories like the cyclist’s? Let us know in the comments.

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