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How to Avoid Social Media Nightmares: A Cross-Channel Approach

by Daniel Ziv  |  
June 13, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Four steps to preventing a social nightmare for your brand
  • Ways to monitor and manage customer feedback across multiple channels
  • How to improve your organization's VoC approach

In today's market, your brand and reputation aren't always safe from the scorn of disgruntled and social-media-savvy customers. Some of the best-known brands in the world have fallen prey to online discussions across the blog community, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social channels.

As a result, reputation management in this new era of the digital-native customer has changed the way we view customer service.

Looking ahead is critical to managing social media communications and anticipating when something may go awry. In doing so, organizations can both take meaningful action early into a crisis and arrive at a better understanding of customer needs and behavior.

The key to this new approach is an unyielding commitment to interacting with the customer. Such customer service focuses more heavily on "listening" to your customers across different channels and rethinking how to use customer data to re-evaluate and alter your organizational structure (if need be) and flexibly adapt to the changes around you.

The following are four important steps toward achieving the ability to sidestep social media disasters.

1. Be realistic

Instituting a social media strategy doesn't mean you'll be able to control all that your customers say about your company, products, and services. However, it does mean that you'll have access to their interactions, discussions, and conversations.

Having accounts across the standard social media networks is a prerequisite to becoming an active participant in online conversations; at the same time, social listening tools can help you monitor the discussions.

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Daniel Ziv is vice-president of customer interaction analytics at Verint Witness Actionable Solutions.

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  • by Dan Soschin Mon Jun 13, 2011 via web

    It's a good idea to have a social media policy if you have more than just one or two employees. Even if your employees are not in marketing, chances are they are using social media, whether or not you like it. Here's a post I did on handling negativity:

  • by Michael Mon Jun 13, 2011 via web

    You mention "social listening tools" that can help you monitor the discussions across multiple social/online channels. I agree and this is very important as it is very time consuming and almost impossible to monitor ALL the social media, review, PR, blog sites.
    That's where a service like chatmeter would help. It is a great online tool for agencies to monitor their clients accounts.

  • by Daniel Smith Mon Jun 13, 2011 via web

    Great article and nice tips. Number 4 is particularly critical in today's communication landscape. Without the flexibility to react quickly to situations companies can find themselves in a lot of strife..

  • by Daniel Ziv Wed Jun 15, 2011 via web

    Thanks for the great comments. Obviously monitoring the social media sources is an important part of the voice of the customer puzzle. But we need to keep in mind that a holistic approach to all sources of voice of the customer is critical (including internal sources such as direct phone call, e-mails, customer surveys etc). without these it may be hard to prioritize the most cost effective and impactful actions need. Without a clear path to action, VOC insights may be left without the full potential return on investment.

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