Having an online presence, especially through utilising social media is an invaluable resource for businesses who want to directly engage with their customers. Tony has provided a great example of how social media can be used with great success in his article Social What?

Whether a business does or doesn’t maintain an online presence via a website or social media – the social media staples including Facebook and Twitter, among others, can still have a huge impact on the reputation of a business.

Social media platforms are instant forums for word of mouth, and ideally this will be positive – but what can a business do to protect themselves when comments in social media turn bad?

A businesses reputation can be protected by establishing positive online content – a great example of this would be to ask clients to write a review which could then be posted online. By doing this, if negative comments crop up on the interwebs, customers can be assured that there’s a history of positive feedback, adding brand protection.

Monitoring where and how a brand or business is being mentioned online often can be useful to manage negative feedback, reviews or comments when they happen. It’s not very helpful to discover months later that a customer tweeted about how they were very unsatisfied with the service they received.

If this particular situation was identified straight away the business could move to defend themselves armed with positive reviews as a form of protection. They could offer the customer an apology and reimbursement, all via Twitter so other users would see that the business has taken positive action.

Something to consider:

I recently came across a blog article that contained some very interesting stats about trust in social media – information that definitely made me realise just how influential social media could be on consumers:

92% of consumers say they trust earned media, such as social media, word of mouth, recommendation from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising

90% of consumers trust peer recommendations

85% of customers expect businesses to be active in social media

82% of consumers trust a company more if they are involved with social media

See the full article here.