Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How should businesses respond [or not] to negative buzz on social media

Some people do things like that because they’re just trying to get a reaction. Part of the challenge is that not everybody has the experience to make good calls on this. It’s a real challenge and it’s new to companies, which is why it needs to be, at some level, a team effort and why you need to plan and understand what the options are and how to evaluate these situations. What you really need to have is an evaluation escalation plan.

SHOOT: Interesting article and interesting topic. I believe we'll see this issue coming up on multiple occasions as social media gains traction.
clipped from

eMarketer: How should retailers deal with negative buzz on social media sites?

Ms. Zimmerman: You’ve got three top-level options. The first is to ignore it. This is interesting because if I got up in front of a crowd of people, retailers or nonretailers, who wanted to know about social media and I told them that a viable option was to ignore it, they would probably look at me and say, “That’s so antisocial.” But it is a very clear option, and there are times when that’s appropriate.

The other obvious option is to respond, but then the questions are, how to respond and in what way? There are other things to consider in making that decision. Then, the third option, which also seems incredibly antisocial, is to take the negative comments down.

eMarketer: When should a retailer ignore negative buzz?

You need to ask, who is this person? How influential is the person? Is he addressing and illuminating a real issue? Is this all about him, or is it really about my business
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