When you open the gate, they will come. That’s good.
It’s not all roses in the world of Social Media. Just because contacts in some of the most important social media sites are called “friends” doesn’t mean building an effective social media presence is easy.
The first thing to expect when you open a social media site is customers with issues.
The fact that you want customers to participate means it’s easy for them to make comments, both good and bad.
Good comments prove a point you’ve already made and help other visitors “believe”. Bad comments on the other hand increase the website’s credibility. How?
Because bad comments make your company more “human” and give you an opportunity to show your customers count.
The trick to transforming a negative comment into a positive dialogue is to acknowledge and address the real problems and disprove the false ones immediately and publicly.
This is where “outreach” happens.
Outreach is where you monitor the web and major social networks (Twitter and blogs primarily) for conversations about your brand that aren’t under your control and then activate measures to resolve the issues back at your home site.
By participating in external dialogues you show you’re listening, then by bringing the issue “home”, you address it publicly for a wider audience, gaining more authority and even greater trust.
Outreach then, by its very nature, is the fastest way to get your customer service division involved in your social media activities.