Small Business Tip Tuesday: Every Day is Election Day for Your Brand

by Ken Mueller on November 8, 2011 · 8 comments

IEC voting station

Today is Election Day and around here it means we go to the polls to vote for City Council as well as some lesser local and state offices. And it seems that year after year, each election is the same, regardless of whether it is local, statewide, or national. The candidates do everything (or what they presume is everything) they can to get our attention in order to get elected. Then once in office we generally don’t hear from them again until it’s time for them to be re-elected.

But in business, it doesn’t work that way. Every day is Election Day.

Every day is a day where you  need to impress your voters.

Of course the most important votes might be the ones where people spend money by purchasing your products and services. Those are the bottom line votes.

But with Social Media we need to realize that every vote is a public vote.

Every person who “likes” your business on Facebook is casting a vote. Every comment and “like” of a status update is a vote.

Every retweet on Twitter is a vote. Every share across social platforms is a vote.

And all of those votes have the ability to influence other voters.

And while it may seem that many politicians and elected officials don’t really want our feedback and input (despite telling us they do), we need to take the comments and feedback from our customers very seriously. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, every comment is worthy of a response. And the negative comments need to be addressed, not ignored. Even if the tone is nasty, a negative comment should cause us to re-evaluate how we are doing business. We should always respond internally to every negative comment with, “Can we do better?”

Politicians make promises in order to get elected. And we tend to accept this with a nudge and a wink, knowing that they will most likely never follow through. But in business, if we don’t hold to our promises, our customers will walk. Fast.

In business, every day is Election Day. You can’t let up. You’re never done campaigning. Every transaction with every customer is a chance to impress them and cause them to vote for you online. If you let them down, they will certainly vote against you.

All the voters want from you is the same thing we want from our elected officials: do the job well, be honest, and put your voters ahead of your own interests.

Can you do that in your own business? You can’t just get elected and then cruise through until the next election, because in the business world, the next election is always just minutes away. Remember, the Internet and Social Media change the game. Everything is in real-time now, and there is little time to act and react. We may not like it, but it’s the reality of running a business now.

Is your business ready to get re-elected daily in a fast paced, real-time environment? What are you doing to keep your constituents happy?


Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

You hit the value of Facebook here Ken. It is a very simple platform for feedback. I definitely view that as it's biggest asset for a brand. Who cares if you only talk with 0.001% of your customer base for a big brand and 0.1% for a small brand. Still much bigger pool of data than contrived focus groups and faulty surveys.

The businesses that react smartly win. I remember when I lived in LA I asked my supermarket why they didn't carry my favorite upscale champagne. Immediately they brought a bunch in. They didn't ask 'How much will you buy'. They moved the stuff because it was popular but not like they were expecting. I bought 2 bottles and was like 'Thanks for responding...but you over responded'

KenMueller moderator

@Howie Goldfarb Businesses are still learning how to deal with feedback, and how they should respond. Right now I'm writing a piece for later today on Google+ Business Pages, and I checked out a few of the ones that were among the initial rollout, and was rather underwhelmed. On the Angry Birds page, they got a few comments with people asking them questions about updates and platforms, and they responded. But their response was basically along the lines of "hey, keep giving us feedback here because we'll read it, but don't expect us to respond". Those weren't the exact words, but it was the spirit. That can be very dangerous.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@KenMueller Do you think the in house talent often doesn't exist when new technologies roll out and instead of hiring the talent try to plug and play existing people regardless of expertise?

I checked a few pages too. It was interesting that you don't have to follow a brand to comment. Fox News was littered with negative comments and the moderator responding they are blocking people. Thing is what if you have thousands of people assaulting a page can you react like that?

Fox News was funny because it doesn't seem they can erase comments and negative ones got tons of +1's

KenMueller moderator

@Howie Goldfarb I think so, but that shouldn't matter. These are big companies and the people running these should probably be the people running other social platforms. On Facebook you no longer have to follow a brand to comment, either. That was changed last time they made changes to the platform. So the same thing can happen on Facebook.

I get the feeling Google + hasn't fully thought thru a lot of this. I just published my thoughts on Google + so you can check them out:


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