In the current competitive environment, even a minor cribbing from an anonymous customer about you can go viral fast. No company wants to emulate the United Airlines that took a beating after choosing to ignore a frustrated passenger. This angered musician posted a sarcastic song on YouTube about the ‘careless’ airline damaging his guitar. The video has already received over 8 million views.
Many top corporations like BP have experienced the nuisance value of viral campaigns. Web users worldwide dismayed by the Petroleum giant’s oil leak in the Mexican Gulf found their echoes on Facebook and Twitter. Aggrieved communities expressed their outrage and passed sarcastic comments, such as ‘Oil Oil everywhere, not a drop to use!’ The crisis is a good rather worse example of the fast-evolving landscape of customer involvement in socio-cultural and economic issues concerning their lives.
The backlash that BP faced on social media came to the fore through enraged Facebook groups like ‘Boycott BP’ that amassed thousands of fans. US government agencies hosted pages on the networking platforms to deal with queries on the massive cleanup effort. In another example, Greenpeace released last year a graphic online video, admonishing a leading FMCG brand for rainforest degradation. The latter’s Facebook page was instantly flooded with queries from people, seeking an explanation.
Guard against negative comments
Even smaller businesses need to guard against negative comments since a flurry of building up online can immensely hurt their reputation. A methodical approach to valid criticism is the right of handling social media communications. Respond to positive as well as negative reviews. A timely feedback will let you generate goodwill.
Maintain credibility on forums and review sites
Once you manage to create a good presence online, it is equally important to maintain credibility. You should be well prepared to counter backlash in the digital realm if any negative wave crops up. A proactive relationship with the target audience helps build trust in managing a crisis.
In this context, domain specific forums and local review websites are seemingly reshaping the way businesses now manage their online reputation. These platforms let each user evaluate, review and dissect a brand offering largely through independent comments. They can share their experiences about a particular product and service. The publicly expressed opinions can clearly influence other forum members to some in making their respective purchase decisions.
Generate positive ‘search’ responses
When users look for your brand or business related keywords, ensure that your products/services spring up prominently in the top search results of popular engines through ethical SEO. Next, it is important that they get to read positive things about your brand offerings. This in a way is amalgamating your sales & lead generation strategy with focused relationship marketing. A proper mix helps you become customer-centric.