A Lesson In Reputation Management
This has to be one of the more creative ways to leverage a negative slanted social media post in your favor. What Smart USA did was nothing short of brilliant.
What makes this such a great teaching tool, though, isn’t what they received as a result of how they handled the Tweet. It’s about the very fact that they found the post in the first place. It’s about…
Social Listening and Reputation Management
If you look at the Tweet that started the poop flying…
Smart Car USA was never mentioned. That meant no notification from Twitter. (If the Tweet was about your brand, would you have caught it?) Smart Car USA was clearly using social listening tools like Mention (my favorite) or Google Alerts (not really a fan anymore) to monitor for brand mentions and keywords (in this case Smart Car). Reputation management is about maintaining your brand image. That doesn’t happen if you don’t know what others are saying and where and when they’re saying it.
Smart Car USA’s response was possible only as a direct result of social listening. While this post wasn’t an outright negative about the brand or business, it did play on a stereotype with negative connotations. It could have easily been a direct attack and something that needed a response.
Brand reputation management is critical for even the smallest brands and solopreneurs. It can take a single negative post left unanswered to undo years of reputation building.
A well thought out response in a timely manner can minimize the damage, or completely spin it in your favor. (I have seen and helped clients handle posts questioning their integrity, quality of their service and levels of competence – one initial poster not only thanking the client in the end for a job well done, but baking cookies for the staff!)
Make the time to develop a good reputation management strategy (and don’t forget about online reviews). If you’re not sure what to monitor or what tools you should be using, ask me!
If you’re not listening, you have no idea what you’re missing – and it can hurt you.