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Majority of BIG brands worries about negative comments generated by consumers online especially on social media while interacting with others or just putting across their opinion on status messages and company profiles. Econsultancy the online research brand I admire along with bigmouthmedia explored ways marketers can combat brand bashing and leveraged the importance of personal approach to social media activities in an ‘Social Media and Online PR Report”.

In the research performed they asked marketers and CEOS what their company had done to minimize negative comments in the past, nearly one-half (47 %) reported having ‘directly engaged with the consumer’ for negative comment management. The second-most-common strategy was longer-term in focus: trying to improve products and services.

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14% of the marketers attempted to get offending content removed by publish/blogger. But the tactic used by companies is of high risk as it majorly gets backfired and spreads negative word of mouth further. I remember a recent example of a reputed Market research agency where the employee after quitting the job made a blog post about the ‘unethical activities’ taking place in the company (with regards to the market research process). The management team from the ex-company called the HR of employee’s new work place, parents and emotionally forced him to remove the blog post. This triggered other employees and make anonymous negative comments about the unethical activity on Social Media.

Research performed noted that only 12% of companies tried to create their own content to counterbalance negative customer opinions and reviews in search results, and that more could go this route. Going this route is a great deal as majority of internet users use Google to obtain reviews but the process might consume a lot of time.

It is essential for marketers and companies to have element of personal approach while considering the Social Media Ecosystem in the business strategy. Three reasons why personal approach is essential:

1. Obtain credibility and trust
2. Approaching personal and solving negative issues is better than not concentrating and getting it broadcast wide.
3. Helps generate a positive word of mouth and build a customer centric brand reputation.

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