Archive for "Branding"

5 Ways to Handle Negative Comments

Branding, Online Marketing, Social Media Aug 31, 2016 No Comments

Turning Scared CEOs into Social Media Supporters

No matter how well-respected your brand, how brilliant your customer service, or how sincere you are with your community, you’ll inevitably face that thing that strikes fear in the hearts of many CEOs and business owners — negative reviews, unflattering feedback or potentially brand-killing commentary from someone in your community. That fear is the single factor holding back even the most forward-thinking manager from entertaining social media activities.

You know this type of manager. You’ve developed a comprehensive social media strategy, outlining all the awesome things you plan to do online and how you’re going to engage your customers to generate all kinds of new revenue for the company. You take your plan to the executives and they refuse your innovative ideas by raising issues of potential negativity and brand-busting. Why in the world would we risk putting ourselves on the line to invite negative commentary? Because the negative can be easily turned into positives with five easy steps.

Five Steps You Should Take to Address Negative Comments Online

1. Ignore Negative Comments at Your Own Peril

Never ever ever ignore negative feedback about your brand. Some brand managers still believe it’s a good idea to ignore negative posts, preferring instead to remain silent, praying they go away. Wouldn’t your response just bring more attention to the issue? This is the old way of thinking. It’s crucial you respond to every issue as soon as possible. If you don’t take the initiative, you voluntarily give up control, something you can’t do if you plan to succeed in social media. Resolve the issue publicly if possible. But sometimes you may find it necessary to take the discussion offline, handling it via email or with a phone call. There’s a possibility you may find some truth in the negative review, allowing you to permanently fix something that’s broken with your brand. As an effective communicator you should be able to resolve the issue and turn it around.

2. Goes Without Saying – Be Nice

Be as open, honest and transparent as possible. Social media is a very transparent medium, and you as brand manager must be as forthcoming and sincere as possible. Responding in a way that appears argumentative, defensive or condescending will backfire. Remember, in the community, you’re the face of the brand, and as such you need to be thoughtful, courteous and considerate even under difficult situations. If handled properly, your most vocal critic may actually be turned into a brand champion.

3. Live the Promise of Your Brand Everywhere

If your brand is truly a good brand, you must maintain your promise across every channel.
It’s important that in all interactions — online and offline, with customers and employees — that you maintain the integrity of your company, product or service everywhere. This starts in the workplace — with employees on the factory floor, with management and in the executive suite. If your company actually holds true to the values it claims, it will be evident in all your promotional efforts. Brands that are honest with themselves are rarely criticized. If you find you’re getting a lot of negative feedback, it’s likely you’re not as good as you think you are. Frequent online criticisms often result from a larger issue with the brand itself. Resolving negative feedback may be your opportunity to permanently change your brand for the better.

4. Develop a Contingency Plan

All social media activity should be based on a comprehensive social media strategy. This should include a clearly defined contingency plan that everyone involved in your social outreach is abiding by. Before embarking upon the world of social media, you should identify every conceivable situation that might arise and determine a plan of action to address each. Depending on your business, this might be a simple Q&A document or a more detailed crisis plan. And since there’s no way you’re going to identify every possible situation up front, make this blueprint a working document and add to it as new issues arise.

5. Never Fake or Stage Positive Reviews

Strategically placed reviews are a big ‘No No!’ There’s few things worse for your community than to be subjected to overly positive reviews that have obviously come from the corporate PR department. Considered established practice for some unethical spin doctors, strategic placement of positive reviews are unacceptable. Your community will see through overly-flowered and faked reviews, and you’ll lose all the credibility you worked to build.

Turn Your Detractors Into Your Evangelists

Our recommendations aren’t entirely ground-breaking, nor hard to implement. Simply put, when faced with negative online feedback, as a responsible brand that’s truly one of the “good guys,” you must respond like a genuinely concerned human being who’s a sincere member of the community, and interested in resolving the situation. No matter how cliché it may sound, the customer really is always right. And it’s your job to make sure they know you understand that.

Adspiration: Carlsberg Beer ‘Punks’ Moviegoers in Hidden Camera Spot from Duval Guillame Modem Ad Agency

Advertising, Branding, Creativity, Uncategorized Oct 06, 2015 No Comments

Exposing Stereotypes

In this inventive spot from Carlsberg Beer, the brewery gives moviegoers more than they bargained for with its own version of a hidden camera stunt in what could be affectionately titled as “Beers Behaving Badly.”

In this installment in the ongoing ‘That Calls for a Carlsberg’ campaign from Belgian ad agency Duval Guillaume Modem, unaware couples planning to take in an evening showing at the Kinepolis Cinema in Brussels, Belgium are greeted with something very special – two empty seats and a 148-member strong, all male audience consisting of the roughest, toughest, and most tattoo-festooned bikers, metal heads and leathermen ever gathered together in one place outside of the mosh pit at a Slayer concert.

Watch what happens, as it speaks for itself.

5 Reasons Every Thought Leader Should Be on Twitter Right Now

Branding, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media Sep 01, 2015 2 Comments

So You Want to Be a Thought Leader, Eh?

You believe you’ve got something to say. Sure you do. And logically, everyone wants to hear it. So you want to become an industry thought leader. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Everyone’s doing it.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a thought leader. It’s not always driven by ego or self-promotion. Oftentimes you do have essential knowledge about your product or service that’s truly worth sharing with an interested community. So go ahead and take the step. But there’s one thing you’re going to need first — a Twitter account.

Faster is Better

In today’s modern digital age where instant gratification is a way of life, if you plan to make ground breaking waves in your industry, change the way the world thinks about your product segment, or you simply want to personally brand yourself, you need be on Twitter. If not merely to serve as a distribution hub for your blog posts, your Twitter account is what’s going to make you relevant with your audience.

Five Reasons a Twitter Account is Essential to Being an Industry Thought Leader

1. Twitter is Where All the Real News Breaks First

There’s no place on the web where news is released faster than on Twitter. For all the black eyes the sometimes misunderstood and often maligned microblogging site gets, Twitter has literally revolutionized the way we get information. As an aspiring thought leader for your product, your service, your industry, your company, or for yourself, a Twitter account will be your lifeline to the rest of the world.

As we all know, some of the most important stories of recent time were broken in 140 characters or less. There was the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals last Spring. Then of course there was this week’s Twitter-shaking report that Beyonce and Jay-Z were having a baby. Jimmy Fallon may have “broken” it best, on Twitter, naturally. Both stories sent the Twitterverse into a veritable tizzy. And if you plan to be a spokesman for your brand, your cause, or are seeking to position yourself as a resource, Twitter is your first best bet. You will, of course, need a blog, a Facebook page and other online resources as well. But you can start here.

2. You Have a Huge Audience That’s Ready to Listen

It’s been widely reported that Twitter has somewhere in the realm of 200 million registered users. This estimate varies depending on the source. But either way you shake it, it’s a whole bunch of people clamoring to listen to what you might have to tell them. According to Wikipedia, Twitter users send up to 155 million tweets a day (again, depending who you talk to). You might say that’s a hefty number of messages to compete with, but with approximately 40% of these tweets considered by a Pear Analytics survey to be ‘pointless babble’, your challenge becomes much less daunting. As an effective communicator offering valuable knowledge and insight, you should easily be able to break through the clutter while also having a built-in distribution hub.

3. Twitter is One of the Web’s Most Popular Sites

Alexa, the California-based web traffic reporting company and subsidiary of retail giant Amazon, ranks Twitter as one the Top Ten most visited sites in the world. If none of our other arguments convince you to get involved on the platform, that should.

A true thought leader needs to be where the action is, and Twitter is truly one of the “in” places. Estimates are that the site’s success is only going to increase over time. And considering they’ve not yet come up with a plan to make money but still remain a viable and hugely successful business, the likelihood of the site going away anytime soon is very small. Any thought leader considering it should get on board now, if not only to ensure you can still claim ownership of your own name, or some close semblance of it.

4. Journalists Are There Looking for You

The people who actually report the news are using Twitter to find the news. More and more, journalists are looking to Twitter to get ideas for stories, locate contacts to quote, identify current events to cover, products to review and conduct research on all the above. And Twitter knows this. The company recently released a user’s guide just for journalists entitled “Twitter for Newsrooms” that helps editors and reporters find their way around. The fact that you’re a thought leader for your industry and you need to reach out to reporters who are actually searching for you should tell you that you need to be on Twitter today.

5. Your Competition is Already Taking Over

While Twitter may be new to you, it’s not new to others in your industry. If you want to take control of the message and influence consumer perception of your industry or your brand, you’d better have a good handle on what your competition is up to. And you can find out on Twitter. Or, if you prefer, you can slog through endless pages of online industry publications to find out what the movers and shakers in your field are up to. However, it’s likely the news you find is going to be more “history” than “breaking,” as it takes 1000 times longer to write a 1400-word article than it does a 140-character tweet. And once your competition is out in front, you’ve got a long way to go to catch up.