Leveraging the Persuasive Power of the Social Web
Today, all it takes is an angry person with thumbs and a Twitter account to start trashing your business online. Recently, a lead came into us that clearly displayed this newfound phenomenon and the persuasive power of the social web:
Please Describe Your Needs: Please help with a few negative comments about our business consisting of 14,000 patients and over 30,000 implants placed to date. Less than 5 negative google comments are destroying 8 years of a business I have spent everyday building 16 hours a day.
Ouch! Less than 5 negative comments posted on Google are destroying 8 years put into building a successful business. The weight of that statement is astounding! This prospect (from the dental industry) is prepared to spend upwards of $10,000 per month to address these negative comments that were posted on the "social web" and are adversely affecting his business in a very severe way.
There are good and bad effects of this evolution of the web into the social sphere. On the good side, consumers have more control, more information, and more voice to affect purchasing decisions. On the bad side, the reputation of a great business, established over many years of hard work, can now be tarnished almost instantly by a few dissatisfied customers.
Which raises the question: How is your business leveraging the power of positive feedback online?
This is perhaps one of the most important questions for a business of any size to be mindful of when evaluating the importantance of social media to their business. The answer is obvious: It's critically important. It simply doesn't matter what type of business you're running. Whether you're in lodging and vacation rentals, dentistry, dermatology, the ski rental or restaurant business, the end result is the same – it matters what people say about your business online.
I recently returned from a trip to the Victoria House in Ambergris Caye, Belize (it was amazing, albeit a bit pricey, but don't take my word, see what others have to say). As I was checking out I noticed a beautiful guest book (pictured at right), full of glowing reviews from past guests. The only problem was that these glowing guest comments weren't reaching the right audience. That's where we come in.
We create programs that reach out to your most satisfied customers, and turn them into your most enthusiastic online brand advocates – thus leveraging the power of the positive.
Anyone that's ever read the letters to the editor in their local newspaper realizes that many of the letters are people complaining about something. The social web has made it even easier for people to make their complaints heard. The trick is combat and overwhelm those negative experiences with positive ones. However, expecting these positive reviews to appear on their own is a dubious approach indeed.
This is where the strategic approach to social media comes into play. You've got to find ways to first identify who your most satisfied clients are, and then make it easy for them to share their experiences online with the right audience – whether it be on Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp or elsewhere. Think of this type of expense as reputation maintenance. And we all know that it's easier and less expensive to maintain your vehicle on a regular basis than it is to neglect it and be faced with expensive and inconvenient repairs when they inevitably occur.
Click here for more information about how we can help your company or organization leverage and maintain its positive reputation online.
– Josh Lewis