Creating Brand Opportunity Out Of Negativity

One of the basic rules of business is “Make the customer happy.” Companies know that a negative comment from one customer can quickly turn into ten.

The basic rules of business have not changed, but the power of the customers voice has grown exponentially. One negative comment can instantly turn into hundreds of shares and tweets, which can fuel blog posts and the need for large-scale damage control. While there is no way to guarantee that every single customer will be happy, there are many tools that can help you manage your brand’s reputation online. Whether it’s a comment about your company, or personal brand, there is a chance to turn a negative comment into a positive opportunity.Maintaining Customer Satisfaction

Monitoring Your Brand

How are you supposed to turn a negative into a positive if your never see or hear it. It is important to catch negative comments at the source before they spread out of control.

Several tools are available to track  mentions of your brand. A free and very simple tool is Google Alerts. You can set up for alerts to be sent to you each time a new search result appears regarding your brand. Each day Google will email you mentions of your brand on news sites, blogs, video platforms, discussion books, and online books. If you really want to stay on ahead of the game, you can even set up alerts for mentions of your competitors.

Monitoring mentions on social media platforms requires more effort. Check comments and posts on your company Facebook page. Do a Facebook search every few weeks for your company name to check for any new groups with a negative connotation and groups’ whose membership has increased greatly. The same can be done with Twitter searches. Twitter search should be done on more frequently, a quick daily search for any brand mentions and a more intensive search once a week.

Responding to Negative Comments

You cannot respond to all comments, and users’ response expectations vary by platform. Facebook users are more likely to expect a response than Twitter users, because the comments and posts stay visible on a company page for a longer period. Twitter is a real-time feed, so users do not expect a response to every comment. A response from a company to a customers tweet is often seen as more “special” than Facebook responses, though both are very important.

If a negative comment is found during monitoring, it should be responded to in no more than 24 hours, less is always better. Responses should be honest, strong, empathic (but not too much and not emotional), friendly, and involve an actionable item, such as “Thank you for your feedback, please email us your phone number and our team will make sure to personally call you to resolve any concerns”. Above all, do not delete negative comments or mentions; this can turn a quick fix into a full-blown tornado of negativity.

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Social Media and Your Career

Social media is probably the best tool that you can use these days when job hunting. Actually, when I was applying for my first job in the marketing and advertising industry, after college graduation, some companies requested that Professional Networking OnlineI include social media in my application. It was requested that I did not send them a traditional resume; rather they preferred my cover letter in the body of my email and a link to my public LinkedIn profile. This makes sense since I was applying for a position in an ever-changing industry. This type of application would showcase the applicants who were using the newest and best tools.

Usually, when you think of an online professional network the first platform that comes to mind is LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is undeniably an excellent resource, blogs and Twitter can be great tools as well.

There are quick changes that you can make to all your social media profiles that help portray your professional image.

  • Remove (not just un-tag) any unflattering or inappropriate pictures.
  • Delete any posts, tweets, shares, etc., which contain inappropriate or offensive language.
  • Remove any affiliation with a person or group in which you may be questioned about by future employers.

In addition to making the above changes to your personal profiles, I recommend doing a few searches on Google to see what comes up (what a future employer would see if they “Googled” you).

The most valuable thing to remember when building your personal online brand, specifically across multiple platforms, is to maintain consistency. You cannot be interested in every industry, instead try to highlight your strengths when creating a professional social media presence.


If you going to join a LinkedIn group, blog, or tweet make sure that all posts are connected and relevant to your industry. If you join 50 groups on LinkedIn, each with a different topic, you may come off as indecisive or unfocused to a potential employer. Joining groups based around a similar topic will portray drive and focus.

Keeping the information in both the experience and specialties sections up-to-date is particularly important, because potential employers can view your public profile at any point. In addition, I recommend rewriting your summary section to include keywords that correspond with your industry and expertise.


Blogging is a powerful tool to increase your professional online image. It can increase the likelihood of quality content (specifically related to you) appearing first in search results. However, this is only positive if you pick the correct topic. If you are applying for a job in the print media industry, blogging about your love for homemade juice is not going to help your professional image. Rather, blog about the industry you are in, or are interested in entering. However, do not pick too specific of a topic, because it will be difficult to come up with new posts. Blogging about your industry will highlight your expertise to the world, and even prepare you for future interview questions.

When blogging about your industry, always include your own insights about the topic and trends, as well as offer suggestions to your readers. In your profile, display your creative and deductive skills, along with your knowledge of the industry.


Twitter is becoming one of the big job “search engines” for both job seekers and companies looking for skilled employees. Companies are tweeting job listings more regularly, and professionals are searching for ways to stand out in the sea of tweets. The best way to make your tweets stand out on Twitter is by using Hashtags.

Hashtags specific to your industry

  • #Media
  • #Furniture
  • #Healthcare
  • #Restaurants
  • #Retail

Hashtags specific to your social media profiles

  • #LinkedIn
  • #Monster
  • #Blog

Hashtags about your qualifications

  • #MBA
  • #PhD
  • #Certifications

General Job Search Hashtags

  • #Resume
  • #CV
  • #Career

Above all, make sure that your Tweets are relevant, appropriate, and informative. The goal of your tweets is to highlight your skills and create a conversation with future employers.

Image: digitalart /

Image: renjith krishnan /

Social Media Week 2012

Today I was able to watch two great live presentations from social media week 2012:

  • Moves Like Jagger: Customer Service Evolved- from Social Media Week San Francisco
  • Applying Big Data Analytics to Social Media Data – from Social Media Week New York Business and Innovation

At the end of this week, I will do a recap of all the tricks and tools I learned from the different speakers and panels.

If you are interested, you can watch all the presentations, panels, and events from all over the world live online. You can even tweet in your questions, and they will answer them while you watch. I recommend watching the Applying Big Data Analytics to Social Media Data panel discussion, some really impressive social media analytics tools were discussed. All of the past event videos, which were originally live streamed, are available at the bottom of each event page (ex: at the bottom of the SMW NY Business and Innovation page).

Click following LiveStream link to watch presentations for Social Media Week live from New York, Hamburg, London, Miami, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Paris, Singapore, Toronto, and Toyko. LiveStream

Also, check out the Social media Week Real Time Inforgraphic. It is very cool! Real time info on the top trending topics, check-ins, hashtags, handles, tweets, and events. Below is a screen shot of the global Social Media Week Real Time Infographic.

Use the following link to check out the: Social Media Week 2012 Real Time Infographic

Social Media Week 2012 Real Time Infographic