On nightmare clients and the urgency of social media managementPosted 11 November 2011 by Sandy Cosser
Because online marketing people write so regularly about the importance of properly planned and implemented SEO and SEM strategies, we tend to assume that the rest of the world shares our views. We may not assume that our business clients know what we know – we joke about them living in blissful ignorance – but it still comes as a surprise when they don’t consider the glaringly obvious. We still see large, successful businesses with shoddy websites that either give us nightmares or make us salivate at the thought what we could do to improve them. And we still see companies that pay not one iota of attention to what people are saying about them online.
It seems that proper reputation monitoring is rather low down on the online business food chain.
eMarketer refers to a study by MarketTools, which looked at how companies are really using social media, especially whether they’re listening to what their clients/customers/fans/followers have to say. Shockingly, 44% of respondents don’t think that customers use social media to complain about their services. So, 44% of businesses think that all is roses and rainbows online; that online complaints are one big myth. Either that or they’re so deluded that they think their services are above reproach.
22% of respondents don’t know if customers complain about their services on social media platforms.
Digital marketers who champion social media strategies should be very concerned that 66% of companies either willfully or unintentionally fail to monitor mentions on social media. The potential for reputation disasters is tremendous.
As if failure to monitor social media mentions isn’t bad enough, the study also looked at response rates and found that while interaction on Facebook isn’t too bad, interaction on Twitter borders on dismal.
Only 25% of respondents always respond to comments (good and bad) on Facebook, but this is better than the 18% on Twitter. 14% never respond on Facebook but 25% never respond on Twitter.
It’s almost too much for one’s digital marketing mind to comprehend.
What can digital marketers do to address the problem?
Murder is out of the question, as is assault and battery, so we have to rule out beating clients over the head with a keyboard while yelling, “How can you be so blind!”
It’s not feasible for us to spend all day every day on the look out for social media mentions and it’s not feasible for clients either. Given that carefully explaining the importance of social media monitoring seems to have no effect, we should sit down with clients and help them physically set up alerts. These can be simple Google alerts for the company name, brand, logo and products and services, or they can be more extensive paid for services.
For particularly stubborn clients it might be a good idea to set up similar alerts on your own PC and then check in with clients periodically to see if they have responded to mentions.
There are few things more frustrating than working with clients who fail to understand that they are at least partially responsible for their success online. Digital marketers are not miracle workers; there is only so much we can do on our own. We need buy-in from clients to make strategies and ideas work.
(Image by StillSearc, stock.xchng)