Should Your Advocates Help Manage Your Company’s Reputation?

Social and digital media, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and product review sites, present fantastic opportunities to grow your company’s brand and acquire new customers.

But these tools also present some risks as well. As a marketer, you can’t control everything that is said about your company or its products and services online – even on your own social media properties.

One way or another, a customer, competitor or commenter is bound to post something online that is less-than-flattering about your brand and you’ll have to determine the best course of action to address it (or not).

Ignore, respond, delete or…advocates?

Until recently, marketers have really only had two or maybe three options when it comes to dealing with negative comments: ignore, respond or – on your own blog or Facebook page, for example – delete. Let’s be real, though – ignore and delete aren’t really viable options anymore.

According to NM Incite’s 2012 State of Social Customer Service Report, “a single negative customer experience posted in public can wipe out the effect of up to five positive customer messages.” Yikes. It looks like the only option left is respond.

Many forward-thinking B2B marketing professionals now have a fourth option, however: unleashing their advocates.

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Once you have a successful advocate marketing program in place, you can draw your advocates to the criticism and ask them to add their thoughts and experiences to the discussion by replying or commenting.

Why Ektron unleashed their advocates

That’s what Fred Bals, Manager of Customer Advocacy and Media Relations Programs at Ektron, did after a developer published a not-so-positive blog post detailing issues he had with Ektron’s software product. He and his colleagues felt the criticisms in the post were unfair because these issues had largely been resolved in the latest version of the software, which the developer was not using.

At first, Fred was reluctant to ask the company’s advocates to get involved, but he spent some time crafting a challenge to post in Ektron’s AdvocateHub, the Ektron Inner Circle, asking the advocates to provide their unvarnished opinion – good or bad.

“I linked to the blog post, made the challenge visible to the developer segment of our advocates, emailed them…and waited,” he explains. “I didn’t have to wait very long. Several of our developer advocates jumped into the discussion.”

Want to know what happened next?

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Join us and Fred on the third stop of Influitive’s Advocate Marketing Summer Tour for a live Google Hangout tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. EDT to find out what happened after he challenged Ektron’s advocates to respond to the negative blog post. Then, go backstage to learn how AdvocateHub can help you unleash your own advocates to help manage your company’s reputation online.

The Advocate Marketing PlaybookDownload The Advocate Marketing Playbook to access your “getting started” worksheet

The Advocate Marketing Playbook provides marketers with a blueprint from which to build and manage a successful advocate marketing program; it’s a detailed “how-to” guide based on proven best practices.

Get it now

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