Sir Isaac Newton discovered that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This can also be referenced as negative and positive poles, what come up must come down, the light side vs. the dark side or yin and yang. This idea, that for good to exist, there must be bad, is an interesting concept. It may seem pessimistic, but it is true. I have 6 Star Wars movies and countless other films to back me up.
Like with all things, for the good that comes with social marketing and media in general, there is an opposite and equal reaction (Newton said so). First, we need to recognize what each side has to offer.
The Light Side
- Good word of mouth: It has never been so easy to tell your friends what products or companies you like. Click like on their Facebook page and everyone knows that you are a fan. Customer testimonials are also significantly easier to get now that they just have to leave a comment on your wall. Thank goodness for free press on social media sites.
- Personal interaction with consumers and customers: There is no easier way to find out exactly what your customers want then by chatting it up with them, following them or repining them.
- Many channels of brand image: There are so many more channels to show off your brandâ€™s image and personality. This can appeal to your customers and invite them to get to know the brand better.
The Dark Side
- Bad word of mouth: Bad word of mouth is just as easy to spread as good word of mouth. Within a matter of seconds a disgruntled customer can be tweeting about your companyâ€™s mistakes for thousands to see.
- Personal images available to customers and clients: Customers can interact with you on a very personal level. This can be bad if your image is not what you want your customers and clients to see.
- Depressing or inappropriate content: There is a lot of really negative content out there that many people get sucked into retweeting or sharing on their company sites.
What can we do to defeat the dark side? Just like in the third movie of Star Wars, we just need the high ground. Yes, it worked for Obi and it can work for us. Even with all the negative social media, we should never lose our high ground. If a customer is bad-mouthing your company, donâ€™t unfriend them, block them or delete their comments. Talk with them. Find out if there is something you can do to fix it. If you canâ€™t, do not bad-mouth them or blame them. If you are posting content that isnâ€™t going to bring a smile to peopleâ€™s faces, donâ€™t post it. Find something cheery and upbeat instead. If your personal social image wouldnâ€™t make your company proud, change it. Letâ€™s keep social media on the good side, on the positive poles, in the yang, and on the Light side of the Force. All we need is to keep our high ground.