The big opening idea I submitted for consideration by my peers is:
Conversation won't change a detractor's mind - it may create the conditions necessary for the detractor to change his/her mind.
Here are some questions I'd like to extend to you here:
- Why is doing nothing so bad? Might they just go away?
- What is the cost of doing nothing to you? How can you move from monitoring a situation to a strategy that addressed the issue(s)?
- How do you keep up with detractors?
- Is the secret just to engage and acknowledge? Or is there more to it?
- Can you integrate other teams an channels to address the concern? Ia m thinking about customer service, operations, engineering, etc.
Some Case Studies
Connie Reece shared a case study of how engagement turns critics into allies. What happened: the press releases issued by a provider of Web and mobile software for parents of newborns, Babble Soft, was picked up by an influential blogger who wrote a very negative review. Every Dot Connects, Connie's company, worked with Babble Soft on a strategy to engage the blogger in constructive conversation. The result was an apology by the blogger and continued interaction between the blogger and Babble Soft on social media. Download the case study here.
Update: See Aruni's follow up post here.
Shawn Morton encountered a situation when he was at CNET. He ran a community team for TechRepublic.com. They had an active community, but had a handful of popular users who could get very negative against us and other members. They came up with a private "insiders" group where they asked 40-50 members to help them shape the community, preview upcoming features, etc. Those detractors quickly became evangelists simply because they felt included and listened to.
We've talked about a case where a press statement missed the Target here a couple of months ago. The communication was designed to push a message instead of engaging the people who were talking with the organization. How can we improve on that score? How can we talk with instead of at? Do you think it goes across the board, or does it apply only in certain situations?