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3 Ways to Beat the Bad Buzz

May 14, 2010 | By | No Comments

Beating the bad buzz with online reputation management

Good products gone bad. Executives behaving badly. There are any number of situations that call for immediate crisis intervention in order to preserve the brand. Traditional communication channels, like TV or radio spots, can be slow and expensive to implement. Social media, in contrast, is fast on its feet, enabling businesses to create responsive reputation management strategies. Here are three ways social media can help you beat the bad buzz:

1 – Keep consumers updated: Leave a customer hanging and you could find yourself in a p.r. crisis that’s even worse than the original situation. A simple statement such as “We’re looking into the matter and will update everyone on Monday,” can keep a situation from coming to a boil too quickly.

volcano cloud

Photo: Garry DeLong

For example, when the Icelandic volcano disrupted flights across Europe, airline call centers were inundated with inquiries. Rather than leaving customers “on hold,” air carriers turned to social network sites like Facebook to broadcast video messages and provide FAQ about the travel situation. Not only did it keep consumers informed, it was also a savvy reputation management plan, showing travelers that the airlines understood their concerns and questions.

2 – Engage consumers in conversations: When people talk on social media, comments can run the gamut from the gushings of an online influencer to the venom of a client scorned. While it’s important to address comments within any social media monitoring campaign, it’s especially important during a crisis. Management expert Rick Torben notes that when you engage the users who post ugly tidbits you can correct inaccuracies and provide information, allowing you to start down the road toward problem resolution.

3.  Maintain trust-building transparency: Part of maintaining trust through a crisis is maintaining a level of openness. Hiding information or ignoring criticism can create the perception the company has something to hide. Responding to the critics quickly through social media will foster the perception of trust you’ll need to guide the brand through the crisis.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to  incorporate crisis-conquering reputation management into your social strategy. You’ll be glad you did!

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