Most companies rely on search alerts
Keeping tabs on buzz about your brand is vital. Even if a company is less involved directly in social media, its customers almost definitely are, and their conversations can end up a big story.
According to a survey of business technology professionals by InformationWeek Analytics, most companies are relying on relatively low-tech solutions to the social media monitoring problem.
A majority of companies were using tools like Google Alerts to monitor discussions of the firm and its competition across social media sites. Outsourcing the task or using a dedicated application for the purpose was relatively uncommon.
Respondents’ approach to dealing with online comments suggested many were not ready for potential negative buzz on social sites.
About a third of companies had a formal process for posting announcements to social networks, and more than a quarter had a plan for dealing with employee postings deemed inappropriate. But many were unready for the comments of outsiders: Just 21% had a process for responding to complaints on ecommerce sites, and even fewer knew how to respond to problems on Facebook or Twitter. More than two in five respondents had no processes in place for any social media content that might turn up in a monitoring program.
While negative buzz can be a headache for brands, social media also offers an opportunity to be responsive to customers, show off good customer service policies, and even improve products or services based on legitimate complaints and suggestions.
Meanwhile, a lack of a plan for responding to comments leaves marketers vulnerable. If a bad customer experience spreads across the web, an unprepared brand may be tempted into a knee-jerk response—likely not the most effective option.