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Brands Look to Take Control of Negative Social Media Buzz

Consumers head to social platforms for more than “likes”

NEW YORK, NY (July 16, 2012)— A new eMarketer report takes a look at best practices for brands dealing with negative social media buzz, creating a roadmap to response before, during and after a crisis of any size.

The new report, “Dealing with Negative Buzz on Social Media,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, exploring key concerns, including:

  • What can kick off negative buzz about a company on social media—and how do different types of negative situations require different responses?
  • What tools, tactics and strategies can brands use to handle negative buzz on social sites?
  • What role do social media monitoring and listening tools play in handling negative buzz?

“With social media playing a major role in consumers’ lives and their relationships with brands, this issue is not going away,” notes eMarketer. “But the good news is that there are new tools and techniques for companies to take advantage and use social to prepare for, respond to and fix negative situations on social media sites.”

Forty-six percent of internet users vented frustration at a company via social media according to a 2012 American Express Survey. Despite that fact, a 2012 Weber Shandwick study showed that only 40% of senior corporate communications professionals worldwide felt that their companies were prepared to deal with a social-media-based threat.

  • Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to voice customer service concerns and they expect to get a response.
  • Marketers must have a plan for connecting with and responding to consumers who complain, as part of a company’s overall social media strategy.
  • Constantly monitoring, tracking and responding to comments is key to keeping social conversation in check.
  • If and when a situation does arise, marketers need to tailor their response proportionally to the problem and the specific social network from which it arose.
  • Once a problem has calmed down, brands should acknowledge the situation and make sure customers are happy before jumping back into their everyday social routine.

For many brands, negative social media buzz is inevitable, but these conversations can provide important insights about their customers and target audience and prevent marketers from making the same mistake twice on future campaigns.

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Posted on July 16, 2012.