There are risks and, of course, challenges when taking a brand social. You’re exposing your company to reviews, positive and negative comments directed at the company, in which it makes the company obligated to respond, diplomatically (or not). Potential customers are the average Jane and Joe or even A and B-list celebrities; they spend a lot of time on social media to talk about things they like, hate, need, etc. If your brand/company are not socializing on these channels, you’re missing out on a major group of potential customers for your product of service.
On the other hand, there are risks to taking your brand social, including:
- Negative feedback Yelp reviews (or other online review sites) for a company can really decrease or increase their sales potential, because of the trend of checking online reviews before engaging in business with a company
- Poorly managed social presence Whether the company owner or a hired assistant manages the social accounts, it’s important to have the company voice and to always reply to questions or comments
- Customer interaction A well-managed social brand can turn a negative customer into a positive one by interacting with that customer correctly, to resolve the problem.
Taking your Brand Social
Remember, what you’re doing online is a representation of your company. What you put online cannot be easily taken back, even with reputation management. What you say can be twisted and interpreted in ways you didn’t mean for it to. If you’re ready to take the risk, here are some rules for taking this next step and socializing your brand:
- Decide on a Social Strategy before taking your brand on social media. You need to have a voice, an expertise, something that will make people think of your company.
- Listen to What Customers are Saying beyond mentions directed at your brand. Listen to what they say about the industry, this can help you decide on new content to produce or ways to provide a solution to a problem.
- Be Social, not Sale-sy because it annoys your potential customers when you try to shove your products/services in their digitally faces.
- Keep Your Eyes on the Competition so that you know how to stay in the game as a worthy opponent. Why do people go to them? Learn from them as well as their mistakes.
- Always Think of Customer Service when interacting with customers. That means you need to be quick, resourceful and provide the answers that they’re looking for without giving them the run-around. You know I’m right. We all hate those.
One additional risk that has recently come to reveal itself is the involvement in political social issues, such as gay marriages, racism, or gender equality. Companies are voicing where they stand, more and more and it’s risky because not everyone will support what they have to say. So if you’re ballsy enough to push your opinion onto your company’s social reputation, prepare to lose customers or maybe even gain them.