News travels fast – and with the ever-increasing popularity of social media websites it’s only getting quicker. This speed comes with pros and cons for businesses and organisations. It’s wonderful when good news about your company is pinging its way around the web; but when a crisis happens it can now take just minutes for word to spread. If you don’t monitor social networking sites regarding news and opinions about your business, damage can be done very quickly.
That’s why it is imperative that businesses have a social media presence. While you might not be able to stop the onslaught of negative news, you can at least respond in a fast and efficient way to ensure your side of the story is heard.
Getting your message across
In days gone by, businesses had to rely on the daily newspapers to get their voices heard. Even the advent of television posed time restrictions and edits, which meant any comments were delayed and often not put across in their original context.
Today, organisations can monitor the internet to find out exactly what is being said online. Whether it is merely a poor review on a forum on a disgruntled customer “tweeting” their dissatisfaction, it provides an opportunity for you to respond in a timely manner and hopefully resolve the situation.
The internet is a multimedia platform, providing you with a multitude of ways in which to respond – from the written word on sites like Twitter, to longer, more descriptive blogs, images and videos.
When is the best time to get involved in social media?
There is no point waiting for a crisis to occur before setting embarking upon your social media accounts. At this point it is generally too late. By engaging with people through social media before a crisis occurs, businesses and organisations are more likely to attract people to come direct to them with their questions and problems – rather than simply spreading news of your incompetence across the web.
Many people don’t have the patience or time to phone in a complaint – but they’re more than happy to put out a 30 second tweet. Social media can even help companies to discover problems they might not have otherwise known to exist.
Managing the situation
If people come direct to you with their problems over social media platforms, you have more of a chance to resolve them in a timely manner. By “getting in there” first, you can minimise the potential impact of negative comments openly, on a very visible platform. While customers do appreciate businesses getting it right first time, your ability to deal with and rectify a problem – and of course the word “sorry” – go a long way to boost customer satisfaction rates.
As the old saying goes: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Social media is certainly a way in which an organisation can fortify its resources online.
This article was written by Rachel Hurley who writes for Appliances Online When she isn’t trawling the web researching social media and its benefits she enjoys reading and going to the cinemas. Follow her on Twitter @Rachel_Hurley23.