The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. — Oscar Wilde
It’s a big fear of the corporate attorneys that people are going to say bad things about them. That’s why they don’t do blogging and social media.
“We don’t want people to leave negative comments about us on our blog,” they say. (The solution, of course, is to solve the problem the people are complaining about, and then post the response that you fixed it, but that’s for another post.)
The thing is, people are talking about you already. Do a quick check on Google, Twitter, and even on Facebook to see if people are talking about your brand. If you’re a large company or nonprofit, you’ll find people talking about you online, whether you have a blog or not.
But what if you’re a small or medium sized company or nonprofit and nobody is talking about you? That’s a good thing, right?
It means nobody is talking about you. They’re not saying how great you are. They’re not talking about how much they love your product. They’re not saying a single thing about you.
In other words, they think you’re rather unremarkable.
And unremarkable companies don’t make money. Unremarkable nonprofits don’t get volunteers or donations. Unremarkable companies and nonprofits go out of business.
But you’re not unremarkable. You’re awesome! You do some amazing stuff. In fact, I was talking to John and Kara about you. You remember John and Kara, right? They were telling me about that time you were hanging out with them at that place, and that guy came up and did the thing. Don’t you remember? Well, they love you.
So why aren’t John and Kara talking about you online? Why aren’t John and Kara telling all their friends about you? Maybe it’s because you’re not on there to talk with them, which will remind them to mention that time at the place with the guy who did the thing.
But if you did, if you did take the plunge, and start using a social media tool — just one — they’ll start talking about you. They’ll leave reviews about you on places like Yelp.com and Google Local. They’ll mention you in tweets, and refer people to your website.
And you’ll be able to talk back to them. You’ll thank them for the reviews. You’ll answer their questions. You’ll solve their problems when they’re upset with you. Then everyone else will notice, and they’ll start talking about — and to — you too.
That way, you’ll start attracting more attention, which will lead to more customers, which means more revenue from new sales channels.
So if you want to increase your reputation, increase your customers, and increase your sales, just try it. Just a little. Pick a social media tool (we like Twitter), and start using it.
Because the only thing worse than not being talked about is being talked about in the past tense.