If a customer walked into your business, would you ignore them? It may sound like shocking behaviour, but many brands are giving their customers the cold shoulder unintentionally. If you’re not replying to mentions online, you’re ignoring potential and current customers. It’s the number one reason why you need to monitor business mentions.

The complaints, comments and compliments all come through the same channel. If you’re not reading and replying to every single one, you’re doing your customers, and brand, a disservice.

Unlike emails and phone calls, @mentions aren’t private, so if you’re ignoring or selectively replying then your customers can see that. No-one likes to be ignored and it’s a quick way to pick up a negative brand image.

You can’t have a community without communication.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

We know the feeling, that rush of endorphins you feel when you hear the ‘ping’ of a notification. You check your phone with excitement to see what people are saying about your business, only to see a complaint. Every business deals with them, from big to small. It’s how you deal with them that matters.

Soap giants Lush were recently hit by a spate of negative reviews following an ill-advised campaign. However, instead of replying to the negative comments and aiming to rectify the situation, they hit the delete button. Removing all negative comments from their social media may have seemed like the safest option, but in fact it led to a backlash from angry customers who felt like their voices weren’t being listened to.

Here’s the thing, as a business you have to reply to all of those social mentions.

However, should it really be a bad thing? It may seem like the easiest thing is to bury your head in the sand when you hear something negative about your business. However even those negative comments can be useful. Firstly, they give you a chance to make things right. If you can turn a negative experience into a positive one, you’ll end up with a loyal customer who appreciates the time and effort taken to repair the situation. It’s also great feedback. Big businesses often pay for market research, but @mentions are a great way to delve into the mind of your customer and react to their comments. Positive and negative.

Monitor Your Mentions and Make Friends

We know we keep saying it, but it’s worth repeating. Community is key. If you have a business, the value that a community can bring you is worth its weight in gold.  Not only does it give you an engaged audience, a community can also:

  • Hype up your brand to their followers and begin a positive feedback loop.
  • Provide free feedback and help you improve your business.
  • Boost your brand’s SEO by actively engaging.

This is why you need to monitor business mentions regularly. If you don’t, you can’t see who is talking about you. You’re effectively shutting out your potential community by ignoring them. A community should be rewarded for their service, and a big part of this is interaction. Just a few minutes spent liking and replying to their messages will show them that you care. Customers like to see the human side to your business. If you show them this, then you’re building brand loyalty.

You can also use community feedback to inform future content and ensure it addresses their pain points and needs. Make sure your content is valuable, usable and wanted. If you deliver what your community are asking for, then you’re well on your way to become a thought leader in your sector. It’s why you need to monitor your business mentions. How else will you know what people are asking for?

Collaboration Opportunities

Collaborations are everywhere. Think of some of the biggest brands you know, they’re working together with other brands, influencers and their community to further their message. Not only do you offer fresh content for your community, but you gain access to your collaborator’s audience too. If you’re not keeping an eye on your @s, then you could miss valuable opportunities to work with others in your sector.

If your idea of social media marketing is just the odd tweet here and there (it shouldn’t be – see why here), we understand this can seem like a lot. But you get back what you put in. If you take the time to nourish your community and social media accounts then you’ll be rewarded.

Keep your eyes open and remember to monitor your mentions regularly. You never know what you might miss otherwise.

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