How to Build Your Brand With Social MediaPosted by Click Finders in Branding, Social media | 3 comments
Social Media is more than just an SEO booster or enhancer…it’s a branding opportunity! In a previous article (Social Media and SEO: How does it Affect Your Rankings?) I wrote about social media and how the interactions that you and your followers / friends have with your social platforms affect your Search Engine Results Page rankings. It’s great to have social media platforms, but if you are using them JUST for SEO then you better stop and you better stop yesterday! Social media has grown to a whole new level and negative reviews, comments and negative buzz can kill your social media platform and all of your branding efforts in a matter of days, if not hours in some cases. Here is an example of how it can work for the good.
I recently had a bad customer service experience and it caused me stop and think about branding and social media for quite a while the other night. Well, to be perfectly honest I have had several bad customer service experiences lately. Let’s face it…customers come to us for value and nothing else. If you build a strong customer relationship (Brand) it means you have proven that you bring value to them in a way that makes them not want to even think about considering someone else to perform the work / products / services that you perform for them. But when someone has a bad customer service experience that causes them to consider the relationship and the value they are getting from it…you have lost some major branding ground.
“Are you kidding me? In this economy? You value my patronage so little you are willing to allow employees to interact with me and provide a substandard customer service experience that forces me to consider seriously the value of our relationship?”
My experience was simply this…I walked into a well known book store the other day. It’s a fairly large chain store and very well known. I shop there often (even have a rewards card) so I knew the layout of the store and went right to area I needed to for the book I was looking for. I could not find it so I looked around for someone in a green shirt and gold nametag to see if they could help…no one in sight. I wandered over to a desk where a young lady in a green polo shirt and gold name tag was texting and politely said “excuse me?”. She did not stop and look up, she finished her text, hit the send button and then closed her phone. She then looked up and said “can I help you?”. I explained what I was looking for and asked if the store had a copy. A quick check of the book name and author revealed that is was in fact…not available in this store. Surprising since it’s a new release and a NY times best seller, but okay whatever. The answer I got from the young lady was “nope, not here” looked away and sat back down and opened her phone. At this point, I walked away…thinking to myself “no worries, I’ll check my fav online book store when I get home!”. And then I left.
“Every single person that interacts with your customers is branding you whether you know it or not. Every employee, every manager that deals with customer service issues or vendors and even the janitor. No one is exempt from branding your company to the world.”
As I drove home from this bad customer service experience a few things begin to click with me as I ran through the events in my mind;
- I had not asked her to check the computer to see if another local store had the book. Of course she should have offered to do it, but I did not ask either.
- She did not offer to order the book for me. Same as number 1…I did not ask her if she could either.
So I decided when I got home to go find these guys on Twitter and let’s see if they can do any better before I just willy nilly order from someone else. I am after all a loyal customer and have the card to prove it. So I find the twitter account and notice a couple of things right off the bat. First, they are active (about 20 posts that day). Second, they are not just spamming content and links to other content out, they are having actual conversations with customers! I was encouraged to say the least.
So I took a chance and sent them this message:
“@companyX just dropped by your XYZ store. U did not have this book (XXX) in stock and employees were not very helpful”
Reply from company:
“@click_finders Sorry to hear that. The book is available on our online store and two others stores close to you. Would u like a link to the store site?”
“@companyX no thanks I have it. Just wanted you to know about my experience”
Reply from company
“@click_finders thanks so much for taking the time to let us know! If you decide to order your book from us, please check your DM for a coupon code”
As you can see…this interaction was very positive (for me at least). It was positive though only because I am a social media NUT and believe in second chances. How many customers have these guys lost because others who are not as willing to reach out as I was just left and never came back?
“When it comes right down to it…every interaction with a customer or potential customer or even someone who might know a potential customer is a branding opportunity. Actually, it’s a branding event one way or the other. You either increase your brand likeability or decrease your brand likeability. There really is no middle ground here. “
Social media is a powerful tool if you use it properly. It’s more than just an SEO enhancer, a means to blast your content all over the internet, it’s also an extremely effective branding tool that can make or break a customer’s loyalty. Imagine what this post would have been about if I had had a bad experience with their twitter account ;o) ! I am sure it would have been quite different then it is right now.
What about you guys? Ever had a really good or really bad Customer Service experience that changed the way you thought about a particular company or brand? If so please share in the comments section.