Announcing Something Major – Consumers are Talking. Are You Listening?
by Andrew Krebs-Smith | August 11
People Are Afraid of Change
Change is never a bad thing. Innovation is what drives people forward and results in the breeding of competition amongst businesses, both big and small. In every situation, when a company looks to innovate, there are certain changes that must be made, be it the addition of new features or the removal of old ones. But in any situation there will no doubt be people upset by these changes.
Mostly because people are comfortable with the unfamiliar, change means learning to cope with something strange, which is, to some, a very scary prospect. Companies like Facebook for example, have a history of unveiling new features without the consideration of their users, and ultimately suffered a public backlash because of it. Whether it’s the Facebook Beacon fiasco or the “new and improved” chat system, Facebook has taken knocks publicly about these changes and has done little to compensate users because of their complaints (unless faced with legal action as was the case with Beacon).
They Also Have A Lot To Say
Although Facebook is in the top tier of businesses online, their strategy of essentially ignoring what users are saying about their product isn’t necessarily a marketing strategy you’d want to follow. With an ear to the ground, you can keep tabs on how consumers feel about certain changes you’ve made as well as the overall sentiment of your brand. The point of doing so isn’t so much to make adjustments based on the online buzz surrounding your announcement, but more so to keep an eye out for potential crises. In these very digital times, almost anyone can be influential – consumers are essentially armed with an arsenal of tools and tactics to publicly embarrass a brand’s image, and even potentially impact their bottom line. Though it would be far-fetched to suggest that every negative tweet or Facebook post about your announcement has the potential to turn into a social media firestorm, here are a few things to look out for:
- Blog Posts: It’s easy to tweet a 140-character complaint about a product, but someone who puts in the effort to write an entire blog post is someone you’ll likely want to monitor, even if their reach is minimal
- Tweets That Are Retweeted: Take note of any negative tweets that have been retweeted by several users. This is likely a complaint shared by many people.
- Several Negative Mentions From A Single User: Most people will take to Facebook or Twitter when they are in the moment and first hear about your announcement. The users that continue to post and tweet about their dissatisfaction may be angrier than everyone else.
When it comes down to it, a brand who listens is better prepared for whatever is thrown its way than a brand that does not. Be where your customers are and take note of what they’re saying. In the wake of a major announcement, be sure to monitor Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, forums, and anywhere else you know your target audience to be. Depending on the scope and reach of your announcement, you can either do this manually or via a social media monitoring tool. However you do it, just make sure that social listening is utilized.