01 May 2013

What’s in a Name? The Importance of Online Brand Reputation & Customer Relations [VIDEO]

whats in a name the importance of online reputation and customer relations

Watch this video to learn more about the importance of customer service via social media and how to uphold a good reputation for your brand. Learn how to respond to unhappy followers and customers all the while being cautious about what and how you share online.


For companies today, having an online presence is key. Blogs and social media have changed the way companies interact with, market to, and engage with their customers. Proper etiquette and brand reputation are critical considerations for building relationships with online audiences.

In 2005, one of the first media fails was an unsatisfied Dell customer, who was also a high-profile blogger, wrote about his unpleasant experience online.

Dell did not respond promptly, triggering thousands of blog readers to add fuel to the fire with their own negative comments about the brand. Dell, however, learned from the experience and became extremely invested in conversing with consumers. Today Dell is a highly-respected brand in online customer service, even earning praise for their turn-around from the jilted bloggers.

Monitor your brand’s social media every hour and respond to customer questions, complaints, and comments, quickly and directly. But…don’t be hasty. If the complaint continues to require conversation, ask for an email and converse privately with the customer. First and foremost, take time to respond promptly, concisely, and professionally. Learn from your mistakes and turn a negative situation into a learning experience.

In early 2013, a waitress at Applebee’s posted a customer receipt on Reddit – with her snubbed tip – and the image went viral.

The restaurant fired the waitress and released a lengthy apology that opened doors to even more customer comments on their Facebook page

All employees are potential representatives of your brand, so including social media guidelines into the training process is a must. As a company, monitor your audience’s behavior across social media channels. Go to the original social channel, in which the issue occurred and respond positively about fixing the situation in a manner that is respectful to all parties involved. Write direct responses across each social media channel when needed.

Last year, McDonald’s promoted the hashtag, #McDStories, prompting followers to share their pleasant experiences dining at their restaurant. However, followers used the hashtag to voice their complaints and bad experiences.

The campaign was pulled within 2 hours

Test social media campaigns and properties before launch to get feedback from a sample target audience. A couple of testing pointers to keep in mind…minimize the range of responses, incorporate a campaign that utilizes more than one of your social channels, offer more creative, direct and engaging content that links back to a share-worthy page. If you are faced with many complaints, reach out and form a focus group asking what your brand could do better and make sure to address complaints that can be answered or fixed.

In early 2011, fashion designer, Kenneth Cole, used a serious political situation in Cairo, Egypt as leverage for a joke promoting his new collection on Twitter. Within an hour the off-color tweet received 1,500 negative responses.

The designer deleted the original tweet and publicly apologized on Facebook.

When reaching out to customers on Twitter, keep it simple, to the point, and genuine. After all, humor and tone are hard to convey in 140 characters. Stay away from controversial topics and off-color jokes. If you do want to start a social conversation revolving around issues that can be controversial, have a plan in place and be prepared for any possible backlash.

Within our fast pace world, news travels like wildfire. Make sure your brand is on point and have a plan for the worst-case scenario. Set up social media listening tools, like Google alerts, so you are able to catch comments as they happen, promptly and directly respond to any unsatisfied customers, and test out any creative campaigns you plan on releasing via social media.