Do Your Customers See the Same Brand You Do?
Marketing is all about content creation for the purpose of positive brand awareness, whether the content is a blog article, white paper, or testimonial. These types of content let the marketer control how consumers perceive the company's message of quality products and customer satisfaction. A marketer would not ask an unhappy customer to write a review.
However, companies no longer have total control of their image. In today's marketing world, some of the most influential information comes from the consumers. 46 % of web users look to social media when making a purchase. But those consumers are not just looking at the company's social media page. They also take into account what other consumers are talking about in terms of customer service, product quality and overall satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with a particular company. (1)
Control the Complaints
No matter how badly you want to delete that negative comment from your company's social media page, don't. If that customer cared enough to write the comment in the first place, they will most likely be monitoring the comment for a response. If they are already unhappy, don't give them a reason to spread even more negative opinions about your brand. Instead, reply to the comment in a timely manner to show your company cares about that customer's opinion and wants to correct the problem. And if your company is at fault, apologize for the error. By apologizing, you show the human side of your company and customers are more likely to accept your mistake and move on. (2)
Avoid Any Misconceptions
To make sure your brand perception stays positive, be clear on your values and goals from the very beginning. Tell the customers what they can expect from your company, and also make sure the other employees are good advocates of this message. Even if your product is great, poor customer service can upset a customer.
Build up your network of "brand-bassadors" to help share positive content and comments about your company. They can be customers, followers, experts on your product, or even allied companies. The more brand-bassadors you get to spread the word, the more potential new customers those comments will reach.
Be sure you are sharing more with your brand-bassadors rather than just the latest product. You want to show the audience that your brand is more than a product line, your company is made up of interesting people with interesting stories to tell. For example, you could start a weekly "Get to know you" spotlighting a different client each week.
You could also apply the "spotlight" idea to customers by showing different customers using your product all across the city, county, state, country - however far your customer base expands. This will show potential clients all of the different people using your product in a real environment, rather than a picture of your product in a store or warehouse. Creating that idea of experience will help customers envision using your product in their own lives.
As with any message, social media can twist the meaning into something entirely different than how it was intended. It is important, as a marketer, to create a solid, easily understandable brand message to ensure customers do not develop a skewed opinion of your company.