This is part of our best-of 2008 series, previously featured on our newsletter, Advance. Social media offers brands the prospect of engaging in open and honest conversations with customers, and brands are embracing this opportunity by creating communities of their own. Unfortunately, negative buzz is a potential downside to these efforts. Jupiter Research found that although only 12 % of consumers post negative comments on these sites, negative UGC creators can be highly influential.
Choosing to ignore the conversation will come at a cost: Negative reviews or complaints can mean lost business. According to a London School of Economics study, just a 2% reduction in negative word of mouth boosts sales growth by 1%. Negative commentary is inevitable, so marketers may well benefit from developing a strategy to best respond to negative buzz. While there is no way to stop negative comments entirely, and it is impossible to think that a conversation in social media can be controlled, there are a few best practices that can help to protect your brand. Brands can improve their reputation by first listening, and then responding. Social media monitoring is critical to containing negative buzz. Conversation monitoring tools such as radian6 allow you to identify who is talking, listen to what they are saying, and track the spread of negative buzz. Continue reading “How brands can avoid a reputation crisis”