tweetIt wasn’t that long ago that an unhappy customer would ask to speak to the manager, and if they were really upset, they’d write a letter to the corporate office. These days, they’re paying for a promoted tweet to express their dissatisfaction in an incredibly public way. So what can you do to try to prevent a social media attack against your brand?

  1. Live your brand at all levels of your organization. Make sure that everyone from the CEO and the sales team to customer service and facilities management delivers your brand promise to your customers with every interaction. If your customers have a consistent experience with your brand, they’re more likely to feel a stronger relationship with you, and less likely to go to social media extremes should a problem ever arise.
  2. Don’t try to be something you’re not. If you know it will take at least thirty minutes to bake and deliver a pizza, don’t advertise a twenty minute delivery, and if your prices are higher than the competition, don’t promise the lowest prices in town. If your customers’ expectations don’t match their experience, you’re setting the stage for them to be disappointed – and talk about it.
  3. Own your mistakes. Sometimes things go wrong. It’s how you handle them that shows your true colors. Recently, I was served a salad with rotten lettuce in it at a local chain restaurant. The manager came over to the table, knelt down to look me in the eye, and apologized. I could tell that he had already spoken to the chef and that he had taken care of the problem – not only by making it right with me, but also by taking care of things in the kitchen. Will I eat there again? Absolutely. And because I know the issue was acknowledged and addressed, there’s no need to try to initiate a response via social media.

Is there a surefire way of ensuring social media mentions are always positive? No. But following these three tips will set your brand up for success.