We speak to a lot of brands about 'Social Media' and how we can help train, teach, and empower them to really take control of the social media space - you could say we help them unlock their Social Selling 'Superpower'.

One of the most understandable concerns companies have about Social Media is the fact that unlike all their other corporate stuff, this is one area they can't control. And the reality is that's a very true way to feel, especially if you are using it as a medium to just 'advertise and promote' the corporate message.

Part of what we do is to take companies and employees through a strategic framework journey that leads to them being in a position where their actually proactively managing the social space, ergo stimulating the conversation and some of the narrative as a key part of listening. 

After all we live in the real world and social media is the place we've learnt to express both positive and negative views around a brand, but is staying away from 'engagement' and not listening really the answer? 

“Although consumers are lodging complaints, asking questions and providing feedback on social media, they don’t necessarily tag the brands they’re talking about. In fact, only 3 percent of customer service messages actually tag the companies.”

I found some interesting research that looks at some of the hype and myths surrounding 'online complainers' and how the perception of a small minority of people is skewing what could be a huge opportunity for brands and companies.

Here's a soundbite from the research (link below) and I suggest you pay particular attention to the last part of this quote;

According to the study, 80.9% of those who speak out against brands on social media are “hotheads,” people who vent and post emotionally charged content toward brands, mostly through retweets. 

The other 19.1% are “rational activists,” people who write original content with low emotional intensity focused on harming and seeking remedy from brands. The rational activists may seem less explosive — they usually aren’t cursing or telling you to die — but Legocki says that they may deserve brands’ attention.

“Nearly 84% of all consumers participating in one of three social media crises we examined posted fewer than two times, an average of 1.19 times,” Legocki and Walker wrote in the research paper. “With only 16% of consumer activists writing original content, the quality of a post may be worth more of a brand’s time than simply the quantity of posts.”

On most occasions, Legocki says that angry social media posters will retweet another angry post, adding their own brief commentary — perhaps a “WTF” or an angry emoji. 

But marketers should pay attention when calmer online posters call for action.