The Internet has changed the way we play marketing. It has turned one-way talks to dynamic conversations. Before, businesses bombard customers with messages from printed, radio and TV ads. But with the explosion of company blogs and social networking sites, customers can easily talk back if they don’t like what you’re doing.
A double-edge sword if you will. Do great things and it will spread like wildfire. Yet, one fatal mistake can stir numerous protest and boycotts. The recent privacy issue (http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=13049) on Facebook has created hysteria in the online world, forcing the company to retract its terms within hours.
Conversation is a two-way process. Before, only people in the media can launch attacks against companies. Today, everyday customers can start conversations with you through comments in your website and other popular social networks. Passionate and disgruntled customers are now empowered to make or break your image. And they don’t need to pay a dime to do whatever they want to do.
Being responsive is more critical than ever. It can be your advantage over big corporations. These guys have to deal with bureaucracies before issuing official statements. As small business owners, speed and flexibility are on your side. With a little help from your slick BlackBerry or iPhone, you can reply wherever, whenever.
A well-designed website backed by a superior content management platform is a big help in managing crisis and reaching out with your customer. You might remember that there were toy recalls last year from Mattel, the renowned makers of Barbie. Its website became the main mouthpiece in resolving issues and informing the public about safety.
In the market filled with customers longing for personal attention, how you respond can be a crucial element in building strong relationship. Who knows what 1 comment can do to your business.