While you may think that you have complete control over the content created about your product, social media has empowered each and every person who has been impacted by your product or service to speak about their experience. These people may not always be customers, which means that being aware of this content and leveraging positive comments for word of mouth advertising can be extremely beneficial for you and your brand.
Many members of mainstream society utilize at least one form of social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, or a form of blogging or video blogging. Much of this content is related to customer service experiences, whether directly — such as a complaint about an in-store experience — or indirectly, such as criticism about a company’s failed PR campaign. While these are negative examples, many people turn to social media to rave about new products, especially in the fashion and beauty industry. A whole sector of bloggers called Mommy Bloggers often review household and family-related items.
If you find that other bloggers — especially those with a large reader base and with a far reach — are writing about your product, you will want to be sure to leverage this word of mouth advertising to increase sales. Not only will you want to share their blog posts or YouTube review via your own social media channels, but you may want to provide an incentive for them to review more of your products again. By offering an incentive to a blogger who could generate several leads and sales, you both profit from the relationship. At the very least, the public appreciation of their effort will encourage others to write similar reviews, which could lead to more interest in your product and potentially more sales.
Keep in mind that not all reviews may be positive, and as part of your larger social media strategy you should devise a plan for handling any negative PR about your product that you do not have control over. While each marketing team, in tandem with the legal department, may have their own needs, you should never try to quiet the complaint, such as what happened in the recent scandal with a blogger named EJ and her experience with AirBnB. Publicly acknowledging you are aware of the situation and at least offering compassion is a necessary step in maintaining the good relationships you have left with the rest of your customers.