The women’s shop La Vie en Rose recently published an advertisement that quickly became viral, for the wrong reasons:
You can imagine a little bad buzz that resulted and the publication was quickly reported by offended users, with good reason. Fortunately, the organization quickly recognized the mistake, removed the ad, and apologized to the targeted users.
Response from La Vie en Rose following a Facebook controversy
Whether we like the answer or not, we at least appreciate the fact that this company manages its presence on social media on an ongoing basis, with the occasional mistakes that entails. However, this means a minimum of resources allocated, internally or outsourced to one or more freelancers, and marketing budgets to boost communications, when it is part of an advertising approach for example.
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Continuous presence management also means that a company must answer questions and comments, which is not yet the case for a majority of organizations and brands. In the tourism sector, for example, it is estimated that only 34% of hotels respond to the opinions left on Expedia, Booking or TripAdvisor. This figure is even lower for restaurants and attractions, both on TripAdvisor and Yelp and other popular comment sites.
Doing the watch
If a crisis arises on social media and in a discussion group or popular forum, how will you know and how do you plan to react? Before thinking about reacting and extinguishing the fire, one must know the existence of the said fire. There are several tools, but at least think about:
- Enable notifications on your Facebook page
- Claim your TripAdvisor account, to be notified of new reviews and to be able to respond to them
- Claim your Google My Business account to respond to reviews and comments posted on Google
- Save Google Alerts for your business, brand, or industry name
- There are of course a variety of other tools, free or paid, that allow you to keep watch based on keywords, hashtags and other criteria.
Integrate social media into the corporate culture
Ultimately, it’s important to realize that social media discussions are not just about marketing or communications. Businesses that understand this can take advantage of the potential of these platforms to build a stronger employer brand, research target audiences, respond to customer queries, reviews and comments, launch promotions, create videos interactive and more.
This nonetheless requires awareness at the highest level of the company, and means to facilitate employee adherence to the corporate vision. It needs continuous training for the people concerned. A social media usage policy understood and conveyed, with frequent updates and one or more dedicated resources to respond quickly, if any.