When it comes to SOCIAL media, I’m often asked by customers and peers alike “What can I do to really manage my brand’s reputation through social media?”

(Yes, somewhat a redundant question, but I’ll get to that in another post…)

Well, a lot of that answer depends on the circumstances in which your “reputation” finds itself.  In the case below, I had a conversation about a peer’s client wanting “Edit” reviews on FourSquareHmmmmm

As always, I try to keep my advice “Above The Line” and beneficial to all parties, but the implications of what the client wanted to do seemed pretty drastic…

This is how it all went down:

Original Email:

Have to ask you a question. I just had a client tell me that if you “claim” your location on Foursquare, you can remove unsavory reviews from a user…has something changed that you know of with Foursquare that enables that function? I “claim” the location and can manage all the check-in specials, but certainly can’t access that edit function at all.

What the hell?

My “PC” Response:

No, you’re not crazy…  at least when it comes to the whole FourSquare thing…  🙂

From what I can tell, you can add / edit campaigns and specials and even add comments and “to Do” items on Foursquare, but to edit or delete negative comments on your account would be …  well …  unsavory in itself…  I don’t know of any geo location marketing service (DexKnows, YellowBook, etc.) that will allow the editing or deletion of submitted content by users.

I advise clients to respond to any possible negative comments with a positive clarification of details or an offer to make amends. Once that has been done, ask the critic to append or add a new review stating “All is good in the world.” If the request goes un answered, at least future viewers will see that the client made an effort to serve the customer (if it is a customer) in a positive way.

Such is the life of SOCIAL media marketing.  🙂

…Mind if I use this email as a post / case study in my blog?

Of course, she approved…

Ethical business practices aside, if you COULD go in and censor posts about your company, would you in favor of better reviews? Certainly the desire is there, but what happens when “Disgruntled customer X” sees his comment was deleted?  Would you be in line for a hailstorm of negativity then? Where would it stop?

Where I work (shameless plug), we use an array of Social Media Monitoring tools to assure our clients that they are being kept “On Top Of” any brand mentions, discussions, tweets, articles, etc… but when it comes to managing those remarks, where is the line drawn?

So, what do you do to help clients manage their brands and reputations in social media?

Food for thought…

Keep Cooking,
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef

(originally posted 12/28/11 on http://thebrandchef.tumblr.com)