Listening, Engaging and Measuring in Social-Media Spaces
Group 2: Friends. They exhibit a generally positive attitude toward your brand. Not as vocal as fanatics, but there are more of them. These are the voters.
Strategy: Reward them. Retweet (on Twitter) or repost positive things they say, acknowledge and thank them. And most of all, show them you appreciate them.
Group 3: Acquaintances. They exhibit an awareness of your brand but are more or less neutral about you. Perhaps they're trying to figure you out.
Strategy: Befriend them. Share what you know and like, give them positive tidbits to help move them closer to your organization. Dispel misinformation quickly when you encounter it.
Group 4: Foes. They aren't out to get you but just voice a generally negative impression of your brand. Perhaps they heard something and are just passing it along, or had a bad experience and want to share it.
"Sometimes, it's a negative comment that has nothing to do with your brand, but mentions it," Blanchard said. "And you're just along for the bumpy ride."
Strategy: Combat the efforts of foes by sharing your more positive experience with your organization. You're not telling them they're wrong, you're just sharing an alternate experience. This will help to neutralize negativity.
"Make negativity feel like the exception," Blanchard said.
Group 5: Fiends. They actively want to spread a negative vibe about your organization, and they can inflict a lot of damage. They might hate what you stand for or what they think you stand for, might feel wronged and see this as a path to revenge, might be misguided, or might have a legitimate beef. While they are few, they can be powerful.
"Left unchecked, they can intimidate and silence your fanatics. They can coax passive foes into becoming active fiends. They can convert the undecided over to the dark side," Blanchard said.
Strategy: The fiend antivenom is engagement. Put out fires where you can. Disarm them with apologies, when possible. Be the voice of reason. But most of all, don't be afraid of them.