I was in a meeting the other week with a client. I was giving them an update on online marketing and I suggested that they should seriously start thinking about blogging and building their online brand awareness as a way of driving traffic to their websites.
The client asked ‘if something that’s written about your company that isn’t good – can you get it deleted off the forums or blog or similar’.
Once I had picked myself up and dusted myself down – I tried to explain that would be the worst thing that they could ever do. Why are companies are so frightened of only being custodians of the brand and opening the brand to their community?
If someone has a bad word to say about your company, this should be a prime opportunity to put right a wrong. It also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate to the online community that you are engaging with them and take their opinions seriously. Shunning them can only lead to a back lash.
I remember when I worked as ASDA on their graduate training and they introduced the ‘no quibble guarantee’ at customer service. The customer services team at the specific store were up in arms – worried that all the customers would scam them and ASDA would be out of pocket.
Strangely the reverse happened, for the odd customer that obviously was trying to scam ASDA, there were many more that were genuine customers with a problem or wanted to return a product, no quibble. What happened to the sales – from what I recall they increased, as people were more confident buying items if they new they could bring them back…
My parallel online is that if companies operated a feedback welcome policy online or got involved in twitter or forums, there would find that the feedback they got overall probably would be positive and could only boost the online traffic and brand awareness for the company….if only they would take that leap of faith.
Like it or not twitter had reached tipping point and it is here to stay. Remember the good ol’ days of beta or VHS videos…………companies that are early adopters of twitter will grow their business substantially online. Those who stick there head in the sand will be like the beta videos and will become extinct.
I came across an article on E-Consultancy about All atwit over nothing which states that
‘Right now, given that the loudest conversations on Twitter are still about Twitter, I don’t think most businesses have much to gain by investing lots of time on Twitter. Resources are better allocated elsewhere, be it PPC or SEO, affiliate marketing or offline advertising.’
Personally I don’t agree with the article. I have been in the online marketing industry for over 12 years now. Back at the start when Google was launched – search engine optimisation was prehistoric to where the technology and techniques are currently.
Likewise for twitter as new tools and techniques develop – this will open it up to the general public, not just the early adopters and will become a new form of online marketing. However, those companies that did realise the potential for search marketing, soon enjoyed a new source for generating more business……for those companies which ignore twitter and other social media sites….do so but at your own peril.
Yours, feeling better after a rant