All people do is complain

Now that brands are fully integrated into social media, customers have an easier way of communicating with companies. In the past to voice your opinion, you would have to either call the company or try and find an email address for them on their website. While both of those options are still available, it is much easier to find a company through social media and voice your complaint that way. Don’t get me wrong, people can share their positive experiences as well, but most people only share negative feelings.

I’m all too familiar with this. For years at the LPGA, I’ve been the one to receive our fan feedback that comes in through email. I would guess that 98% of the email I received was negative complaints. All that negativity could really get me down sometimes. While I enjoyed changing people’s opinion with a friendly response, it was hard to constantly have that negativity flooding my inbox. I have now passed that task on to someone else.

Our reading on social faux pas further reinforced the idea about sharing negative complaints. The surprising statistic in that reading was that only 50% of companies use social media to track and respond to customer feedback. This is now the place where a company is going to receive the most interaction with customers and half don’t even use it as a form of customer service.

Now with social media it is so much easier to let your voice be heard and companies have to monitor that conversation. Not only do they need to read it, but they need to respond as well.  Not that I share my negative experiences that often on social media, but when I do I feel like the company deserves it. They should know about the bad experience and it feels good to know that other potential consumers of will see it as well.

When was the last time you shared a negative experience about a company online?

Our reading on trust and reputation management was an interesting one. While some of it was hard to grasp, it was interesting to read about how rankings on certain websites are formulated. This area is very important to sites like Amazon and EBay. I don’t know that they would be as successful as they are without those ranking systems. It’s a tad scary to think that people are working on ways to tie in all the different communities that are online to contribute to a reputation ranking.

Our last reading on tracking your social echo gives me a bit of anxiety. While I understand the importance of it, that task seems so daunting. If a company is going to track this, they should probably have a team of people in place with this being their sole job. Tracking all the conversations happening around a brand, especially a large one would take a lot of time. Then once it is tracked it has to be analyzed. I really hope they come out with more tools to assist with this process, as I don’t see anyone being successful at it if they had to track it all manually.

To track the LPGA’s social echo, we’d have to look at national and local media outlets, hundreds of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, message boards etc. I think the interesting thing we’d get out of it is sentiment, as I think it fluctuates between negative and positive reactions based on what players are doing well.

Are you as overwhelmed as I am when thinking about tracking social echo?

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6 thoughts on “All people do is complain

  1. You made me think… I’m not sure I’ve ever voiced a negative opinion about a company online. Or even called or written to complain. I guess I like to praise more than I do complain. This is a pretty negative stance, but it seems like one blip on someone’s radar wouldn’t be enough to enact a positive change. I may have to think about this a bit more!

    The concept of social echo doesn’t necessarily mean you need to know every word spoken about you… plus, that’s what interns are for! 😉 Although the human factor can skew this sort of reporting, in my early days of social media, I was tasked with generating a weekly report about a new product for one of our clients. I searched retailer websites for product reviews and ranked them on a scale from 1 (negative) to 5 (positive), noting key comments. This was delivered to the company, and they actually seemed to listen to the feedback. As long as you zero in on one key element or aspect, it doesn’t seem nearly as daunting.

    1. Great point about not having to look at everything to find your social echo. When I was thinking of the LPGA and our worldwide coverage, it all seemed so daunting.

  2. It’s interesting you had an anxious response to the social echo. For me, I felt really into it. However, I’m thinking of small nonprofits, so the task doesn’t seem as daunting as yours’.

    The last time I shared a negative experience online was just a few days ago. I did it via Twitter, as I’m a new user and experimenting. I didn’t get any response though. Even if I don’t get a response, I agree, it feels good to know other people will see it and my “voice” is being heard. I love the power this puts in the hands of the consumer. It would be tough though being the person to respond to all of those posts!! Good thing you could pass it on!

    1. I’m glad you were not thrown by the social echo. When I think of a smaller company it doesn’t seem like such a big undertaking. I’m also glad I’m not the only one who feels good about logging complaints online so others can see it.

  3. I really love tracking social echo, and I am really impressed by companies that not only do it – but respond to the conversation. I’m sorry you had to receive so much negativity – but that really seems to be what motivates people to do something and take action – anger and frustration.

    I had a terrible experience with FedEx a few months ago, and posted on their facebook about it. They responded to me immediately and talle care of my issue. It was so relieving to see they had a team dedicated to social media. They did “hide” my comment so that only I could see it. But last night, I tried to look up a local bbq restaurant, and they had let their domain expire. I posted on their Facebook and messaged them, and got not response. Their website is still down – and they are losing tons of online orders because of it.

    1. It’s interesting how such a large company like FedEx can respond so quickly. I bet they have a very large team of people following their online conversations. It’s a shame the small bbq restaurant isn’t paying attention.

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