Getting Feedback: Do You Know What's Being Said Online About Your Brand?

One of the emerging benefits of the social media phenomenon is the technology's ability to put franchisees right in the middle of fresh customer feedback.

"Social media provides a valuable forum for customer feedback, and whether positive or negative--intercepting and responding to these responses is a critical step towards retaining customers," says Lisa Wehr, CEO and founder of Oneupweb, a digital marketing agency.

Take Dominos, for example, says Wehr. The brand offers up a great example of utilizing the power of consumer response - and social media - to their advantage. Inspired by their harshest critics, Dominos decided to reinvent their "from the crust up"--and document the whole process in their "Pizza Turnaround" campaign. They released a video that addressed the issue (the taste of their pizza)--and showed exactly what steps they were taking to fix it. More importantly, Dominos integrated their social media campaign directly into their plan. "The Pizza Turnaround" microsite includes the original "Pizza Turnaround" YouTube video Dominos had posted, as well as a live Twitter feed featuring Tweets that include the campaign's unique hashtag, #newpizza. So how far did their social media efforts take them? Right onto The Colbert Report, where Dominos was said to taste "like an angel giving birth in your mouth." And it doesn't get much better than that.

Here are four more key social media tips that Wehr recommends if you really want to make the most of your social media efforts.

  • Evaluate Your Social Media Presence. Is your business where it needs to be? Or, could your business expand its social media presence? For example, you may have a Twitter account--but what about a YouTube page? Does your company maintain a blog? A Facebook page? If not, these are all possibilities to consider. Because the more ways you can place yourself in front of your customers, the better.
  • Spark Conversation and Engagement. Once you've established your social media presence, it's critical that you keep your content fresh and respond to customer feedback in a timely manner. Additionally--rather than fearing negative feedback, use it to your advantage. Choosing to ignore negative feedback won't make it go away. And you can't fix anything until you know what the problem is. On the up side, chances are good that you'll receive more positive feedback than negative.
  • Integrate. Be sure your social profiles are easy to find. There are a few quick and easy ways to start incorporating your social media marketing efforts into your daily regime to build your network of brand advocates. Post links to your social profiles wherever possible. Be sure that they're in obvious places like your website or your company newsletter, and that they're very clear and easy to find. This provides customers with quick and easy access to your social channels and increases the likelihood of sparking the coveted two-way conversation.
  • Monitor and Respond. It's imperative to monitor what is being said about your brand at all times. Because if you don't know what's being said, you can't respond. So locate these conversations and rather than sitting on the sidelines, become an active part of them. Answer any questions people may have, and appreciate and use the feedback social networks provide.

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