As previously discussed, there is no denying that technology has become an integral part of society.
Organisations have increasingly relied on the power of technology and the Internet, so much so that when David Jones experienced a profit drop during early 2012 they immediately launched a 70-80 million dollar project to invest on online retail.
Many organisations, especially retailers have joined the trend and have increased their online presence as it seems all major brands have an app, an Instagram or a Facebook page – in most cases all three.
As much as social media can ease the process of getting a message across and increase brand awareness, this tool can make organisations easily susceptible to negative feedback from consumers.
For example McDonald’s Twitter campaign, where they asked their customers to share stories using the hashtag #McDstories of their positive experiences with McDonalds backfired terribly, as customers started sharing stories of finding eggshells or fingernails in their burgers. Despite quickly taking down the campaign, tweeters still hashtag #McFail to this day when discussion of the campaign arises.
This can prove to be crucial as statistics emphasise the significance of positive feedback as:
- 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews increase their trust of a business.
- 65% of consumers are more likely to use a business that has positive reviews online.
- 79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
In saying that, when social media is used effectively it can yield great results for an organisation.
Big brands like IKEA, Audi, H&M and Nike have shifted away from ads and have put emphasis on instilling themselves into apps in order to increase brand recognition in a different way.
For example Audi created its Start Stop app, which essentially notifies you of apps that can be closed to help save battery life on your device. This parallels with a new feature in Audi cars that when it’s idle the car will power down, receiving positive feedback for their “energy efficient outlook”.
This new age two-way communication channel can be a great platform in launching an organisation’s path towards success. However, with this reliance on technology PR practitioners would need to be mindful that we cannot control what consumers will write about an organisation. Therefore it is imperative to monitor social media and have a plan of action when replying to negative feedback in order to maintain an organisation’s reputation.