Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Social Media: Why Negative Online Comments Must Always be Refuted

In managing social media, many companies often adopt the approach of not responding to negative online mentions as they believe that it will fade over time. While this approach will deny the comments of additional attention, unfortunately the damage to the organization's brand and reputation will not fade.
 
During the Second World War, Psychologist Carl Howland studied the impact of propaganda films on soldiers. What the study found was that while there was no noticeable change to the soldiers' attitude immediately after viewing the film, noticeable changes were identified 9 weeks later. Carl Howland concluded that this was due to psychological effect where the source of the argument fades faster than the arguments in the memories of the soldiers. This phenomenon is termed the sleeper effect.
 
The sleeper effect is further validated in election campaigns around the world where negative campaigning continues to shape election results. Even if the source of the negative information is included in the collateral as dictated by law, it does not have an effect on voters. Similar to what happened with the soldiers in WW2, the source will be forgotten but not the content. Ironically, even if the arguments are discredited outright by the fact that it is being promoted by the opposing candidate, the fact that the source is more readily forgotten, the message will still ring true in the voters' ear.
 
Extrapolating from this, it is therefore imperative that organization's vigorously defend themselves against any and all negative online mentions. As shown, ignoring the mention, will not mitigate its negative effect on the organization's brand and reputation.
 
 
dealing with online trolls
 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Social Media Management Service ... Social Media looks easy, but is not!

While using social media to boost your company's business looks easy, it is not ...

The recent hoo-ha over The Western Co. poor attitude, service and sarcastic responses to online criticisms once again highlights the danger that lurks behind the use of social media by businesses. Given the vocal nature of dissatisfied customers and the amplification effect of social media, simple misunderstandings can snowball into a crisis which could ultimately trigger the demise of the business.

social media crisis singapore

Today in Singapore, many businesses adopt the DIY approach for their social media management with the intent of saving money. What these business owners do not realize is that they are being penny-wise but pound foolish. This is because a social media management company will not only more effectively help boost business via quality contents and the use of influencers, but they will also be in a position to step-in to assist in the management of negative online mentions. In the case of The Western Co., we believe that the hoo-has was totally unnecessary and could have been easily avoided with timely intervention and a sound crisis communications strategy.

One major mistake that The Western Co. did that exacerbated the crisis was to address customer unhappiness online. Even though this might seem like the logical approach, dealing with unhappiness is best done offline where egos are not on display for all to see. What The Western Co. should have done was to acknowledge the customer's unhappiness, offer an apology (and perhaps also reiterate their customer service policy) and then request for the customer's contact for a face-to-face meeting. In our experience, in all but a few of such cases, the issue is settled amicably and the unhappy customer is won over and turned into an online advocate.

Depending on the business' exact requirement, engaging a Social Media Management company will cost in the region of $500 per month. In our experience, this will more than pay for itself in terms of increased sales plus having the added "insurance" that lapses in customer service will not turn into a crisis.

As we always say .... "everybody knows social media. But not everybody know social media."

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

[Branding] Karhoo closes shop

In a sudden turn of events, British taxi-hailing start-up Karhoo, announced that it was shutting down citing financial woes. This comes just two weeks after its team met taxi operator ComfortDelGro to discuss the launch of its service here.
 
While the closure took some by surprise, we are CW Fong & Associates (CWFA) were not. This is because money and branding will not guarantee a business' success. Branding must ultimately be based on a strong USP that fulfills a market meet. In the case of Karhoo, their product/ service was not sufficiently unique and thus they could not set themselves apart from the crowd. This then resulted in them not having a compelling proposition for prospective clients to choose them over their competitors.
 
branding lessons singapore karhoo
 
This is why, as part of our proprietary framework, CWFA first develops our client's USP. We believe that it is only with a strong and clear USP in mind, that any social media marketing campaigns succeed.