Are you listening?

Top Floor's most recent seminar--Social Media Bootcamp--featured Senior Search Marketer Tony Verre. This recap of the seminar is brought to you by Shan Leamon, Top Floor Tech's programming intern. Social media isn't just another advertising platform. It's a two-way street, and it starts with listening. What are your customers saying about you and your products? Social media campaigns work best when you listen first, and then use what you hear to inform how you respond.

Online Reputation Management

How do you know what people are saying about you? There are many tools that enable companies to track online mentions of themselves or their competitors: Google alerts, Google blog search, Trackur, and Social Mention just to name a few. Wouldn't it be fantastic if everyone always got along? Unfortunately, that's just not how the world works. If you're around long enough, someone will eventually post something negative about your company online. They may be an aggravated customer, former/current employee, or someone who was just having a bad day and decided to take it out on you. Regardless of the reason, it's going to happen. So what are you going to do about it?

Nip Problems in the Bud

Monitoring the internet makes it easier to catch problems while they are still small. If someone makes a slanderous post, it's usually pretty easy to contact the website and ask that it be taken down within a day or two. However, if that post goes viral, it's nearly impossible to play catch up. For example: In February of 2010, Kevin Smith was asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight shortly before takeoff. Kevin, a rather large man, had not bought two seats for the flight and was removed "for the safety of other passengers." Kevin Tweeted his experiences, and within seconds his 1.6 million Twitter followers took the story viral. Although Southwest's social media monitoring team responded within minutes, a Google search for "Kevin Smith Southwest Airlines" gives you some idea of just how fast information really travels. In this case, it is hard to imagine how bad the backlash would have been for Southwest if they had not responded so quickly.

Bottom line:

Once you have a good rapport going with customers, you're in a better position to make sure that they hear your message. But you've got to listen first.

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