The emergence of Social Media in recent years has been nothing short of incredible. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have grown at outstanding rates, with active users in the millions. Social Media can be a very beneficial tool for businesses, if used correctly. Consumers essentially rule the Social Media world – they tell companies and fellow consumers what they like, what they don’t like – which companies they love…and which companies they hate. This “Buzz” can be either very valuable, or very damaging to your company. Either way, you cannot afford to ignore the Buzz.
So what is Buzz Monitoring anyways?
It is basically the process of tracking, monitoring and managing what consumers are saying about your company on Social Media sites. Making Social Media accounts and then ignoring them can be a complete waste of time, and potentially damaging to your reputation.
Positive vs. Negative Buzz
On a very basic level, there are two types of Social Media buzz: positive and negative. Positive buzz can be the result of a Facebook user becoming a “fan” of your company or a satisfied customer raving about the high quality and service they received by purchasing your amazing product on their weekly blog. These examples of positive buzz are definitely beneficial to your company as it strengthens your reputation and spreads the word about you and how good you are. The other side of the coin isn’t so sweet. Negative buzz can come in the form of poor online reviews, negative blog posts or even Facebook groups forming for the sole purpose of boycotting your product. Yes, it does happen – just ask Wal-Mart and Starbucks.
No matter what kind of buzz is being created about your products and/or services in social networks, it must be monitored. Obviously the negative buzz may set off a few more alarm bells than the positive buzz, but they are both important to follow. By monitoring positive buzz, companies can learn a lot about their customers and their products. One major benefit of Social Media is that it is made up mostly of conversations. This gives companies a free in-depth look of who likes their products and why they like them. Instead of constantly pestering customers for feedback, they are out there telling you what they like.
Negative buzz on the other hand should be seen as “constructive criticism”. No matter how many people out there think you are amazing, there will always be somebody who is determined to take you down. Don’t take it personally, it is just a fact of life. Appropriately responding to negative feedback is essential in building and protecting you reputation. Be sure to address the concern and make a serious effort to fix the problem. Similar to positive buzz, negative buzz basically acts as feedback that can be used to change or improve your product and or service. This information can then be extremely valuable in future business decisions regarding production levels, target markets, advertising and product features.
No matter how big or small you Social Media campaign is, it is essential to use Buzz Monitoring to ensure that you are protecting and managing your online reputation.