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Social Media: Harnessing the Power of the People

By Axia Public Relations

Utilizing social media is important, but there’s a lot to consider before you make the leap. We’ll help you prepare, monitor your company’s reputation online and avoid negative publicity.

1. How To Jump Into The Social Media Pool Without Drowning

While you’re hearing all the success stories about companies participating in social media and wondering how you can join in, there’s a lot to consider and prepare for before making the leap into the pool.

  • Participating in social media just for the sake of participating is a waste of your time and money.
  • Although the platforms are typically free, effective social media marketing requires a significant time commitment – and time is money.
  • In order to have word of mouth online, everything needs to be in top shape off-line. If your company isn’t in order, there’s a chance that word of mouth about your company will be negative.
  • Jump in with a specific plan. You need to have content and have something interesting to say and share.
  • You need to have an infrastructure in place to monitor various social media communications and respond to online comments, particularly negative ones.

2. Everybody’s Talking ‘Bout You; I Don’t Hear A Word They’re Saying

It’s easy to monitor what people are saying about your company, your service and product with these top tools:

  • Google Alerts: Automatically notifies you when your selected keyword phrases appear in blogs.
  • Technorati: Search blog posts using Technorati’s blog search engine.
  • SocialMention: SocialMention is an aggregator of everything social media.
  • Twitter: Use Twitter’s search engine, http://search.twitter.com
  • FiltrBox: This real-time social-media monitoring program uses filters to weed out junk messages.
  • Monitter: Monitors Twitter search phrases in real time.

3. Power To The People, But Make Sure You Don’t Break Any Guitars

We recently witnessed one of the largest and most devastatingly successful online reputation attacks on a corporation. A major airline was brought to the ground, humbled, shamed and reprimanded by a passenger for damaging his guitar during a flight.

Finally, after 12 months of the airline refusing to take his request for compensation seriously and exhibiting poor customer service, the passenger - a singer/songwriter - recorded a whimsical video and uploaded it to YouTube. After 4.5 million views and negative publicity nationwide about the airline’s customer service procedures, an embarrassed United Airlines finally took notice. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo)

Companies of all sizes should learn lessons from this incident:

  • If your customer service is substandard, the power is now in the hands of the consumer to use the Web to embarrass you.
  • Viral marketing has the ability to strongly promote the positive side of your business, but it can also rapidly tell the negative side.
  • To prevent negative publicity, respond quickly to any incident, question or complaint so that customer frustration doesn’t accelerate to the point of taking the issue to the Internet.

4. The 60 Second Close: How To Harness The Power Of The People

The power is in the hands of the people - your customers. We can show you how to harness that power to your advantage and increase your sales and profits. Ready to start? Call us. We can get you there – faster than ever.

Topics: public relations

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