The major difference between marketing on traditional media and marketing on social media is the speed. Electronic arenas offer a possibility for peer assessment and feedback that can spread surprisingly fast.
Thus, because social media is by nature social and interactive, it cannot be controlled the way that traditional printed media is. Places where one can leave comments also make it possible to give negative feedback, and some content might also be shared with an intention of ridiculing someone.
Also, an increasing amount of customer feedback comes via different social media channels and as such is public. Nevertheless, as there are always trolls and other internet bullies present on the internet, one must not be frightened by a small amount of negative feedback.
There is no point in creating presence on social media if you do not plan to participate. Just “going there” or “being there” is not enough.
What is important with negative feedback is recognising the difference between trolling and actual negative feedback. A troll usually poses less threat to the image of the organisation, while an authentic, negative customer testimonial might prove very harmful to the brand and should always be replied to. When the complaint is dealt with quickly and efficiently, there is potential to turn a disappointed customer into a pleased one.
On social media, companies and communities are expected to reply to a customer’s question on the same day. For this reason, it is necessary to estimate the sufficiency of communication resources beforehand. There is no point in creating presence on social media if you do not plan to participate. Just “going there” or “being there” is not enough.
An authentic, negative customer testimonial might prove very harmful to the brand and should always be replied to.
These aspects are not, however, arguments against acting on social media, quite the contrary. By producing content themselves, organisations can control at least a part of their coverage on the internet. Popular blogs will feature higher on search results than individual criticism. Social media also makes it possible to target communication effectively to carefully narrowed target groups. It also makes it easier to follow the coverage of a company or community.
Clear instructions for commenting and clearly formed justifications for removing or leaving certain comments unpublished will prevent speculation about censorship. The act of moderating is a way of controlling commenting on your own electronic networks, but it cannot prevent others from sharing your content and commenting elsewhere.