Word of Mouth “Buzz” – What if it’s negative?

I saw a Dr Pepper commercial this weekend featuring famous rapper/producer Dr Dre, and commented to my friend about how I was surprised he would put his face on such a corporate message. It didn’t make me have any negative feelings toward Dr Dre, but I felt like some of his fans  might not take kindly to his cozying up to such a large brand. I wondered if they might be talking about it online…

I wondered what the Dr Pepper executives would have thought if they had been studying our conversation from behind a one-way mirror. I hoped that they would embrace all conversations relating to their commercial, because it embodies the essence of Word of Mouth marketing and social media.

The buzz surrounding your brand will rarely be totally positive, and interacting through social media gives your fans and your critics an easier way to communicate with you, and about you to their networks. So what do you do if there is negative buzz?

First of all, LISTEN. This is your audience after all. They can give you insight into what they want, and that information is valuable for marketers. Also, if your audience is going to criticize you, they will do it whether you are in the discussion or not. So wouldn’t you rather have a chance to give your point of view? Sometimes negative buzz is simply miscommunication that can be solved with some good ‘ole customer service. So enter the discussion! And even better than just talking when there is a problem, keep the lines of communication open at all times.

Express clothing stores give their customers a place to interact online. This is a smart way to enter the discussion and control your branding.
Express clothing stores give their customers a place to interact online. This is a smart way to enter the discussion and control your branding.

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