Beware! Your average Jo(e) Bloggs has found their voice!
As Simon from iJump told me, “Caveat emptor (buyer beware) is dead”.
As you sip your coffee and read this, thanks to social networking sites like Facebook, Twigger, Digg, myspace and a million blog entries, a magnitude of potential buyers could be discussing your product or service without you knowing it. Technically, people discussing your products should be nothing new. What is new is the opportunity to find those conversations, discover what people are saying and, most importantly, react.
We all know the saying along the lines of “Someone happy with your product will tell 2 people. Someone unhappy with your product will tell 20”. The danger now is that potentially, that conversation becomes a review for the world to see and is even at risk of appearing above your own website when someone searches for your company! Oh no! That’s horrific!
Or is it? Isn’t this an incredible opportunity to fix issues that you may otherwise have never been aware of? We now have this awesome opportunity to join in on the conversation, find out the cause of the complaint and do our best to put it right. As we know, how we deal with the problem, i.e. our customer service, is often more important than the problem itself.
The key issue is finding the time to trawl through the millions of blog entries and comments out there until you find those relevant to your business. For that very reason, Google has created Google Alerts. In a matter of seconds you can enter your company name and e-mail address and start receiving notifications each time your company name is used in a blog.
This does of course have its limitations. I entered “Mark Lincoln” and you wouldn’t believe how many times people mention my name in reference to American vehicles and presidents!
However, if you have a unique company name, (cough-Hot Pyjama Productions-cough) it’s perfect.
So remember, social networking isn’t just for our kids to discuss their favourite Simpsons character. As part of your marketing strategy, get out there and take part in the conversation!