Thursday, September 1, 2011

How marketers should interact with bloggers

If you work in marketing, when it comes to bloggers there are two types that concern you – those that write for you, and those that write about you.

Presumably the former are your friends. Hopefully the latter are as well. If they aren’t, there are ways you can make them come around.

Of those that write about you, there are three things you want to watch (listen) for:

The Good: Positive comments about your organization can come in many forms, from critiques of your costumer service, to observations on news coverage about you.  Watch for positive feedback:
·         acknowledge it – reach out with appreciation to those individuals in praise of you
·         collect it – gather positive feedback from a variety of social media sources
·         promote it – just like you would treat other testimonials, cite it on your website and social media profiles
The bad: Watch for negative comments about your organization, and try to catch them as early as possible. This enables you the opportunity to respond quickly. Negative feedback can also draw out other negative feedback. So if you can diffuse the situation early, it may discourage other disgruntled customers from adding their two cents. And your quick response can also demonstrate your customer service concern, and create good buzz.
The Needy: Pay particular attention to blogs that express a need, whether it is for help or for information. This is where you can really shine with the blogger with your desire to be a helpful resource. Keywords are one way to watch for need, or key phrases such as “Where can I find…”, “Does anyone know…” or “How do I..."
The sales director at a leading mobile commerce company recommends that you “Hire, or set up, methods to monitor what is said about you and determine how to respond to mentions. Always thank and appreciate mentions and re-tweets, for instance.” 

She stresses that organizations should always “Handle criticism with class, and be quick to make things right. Remember your competition is likely watching and will jump at the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. One tool I use is Google Reader. Set up an Alert for your company name and keywords. You never know what you’ll find. We actually detected a non-client misusing proprietary copyrighted product materials that way.”

And what about bloggers that are all talk, and no buy? If there are bloggers or influencers who are regularly talking about your products and services (but may not be buying them for themselves), you could extend an offer code or incentive to them to provide to their followers and fans.

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