I had a professor who used to say, “It’s only when the tide goes out that we’ll see who isn’t wearing a bathing suit”. Although he told me this to describe the current economic crisis that has left many unprepared businesses and speculators out on a wire, it came to mind while researching how to handle negative product or brand reviews online and I found it to correlate directly to Social Media today.
Social media has been described by any number of definitions: the “end-all” solution that can “cure” your brand’s reputation, an extra line of communication between a company and its customers, a risk and opportunity..
What, then, if we looked at social media as the tide going out? Whether companies want to or not, their reputations are available for any Internet user to find, influence, and share. Brands “without a bathing suit” (those that have poor or faulty products, customer service, etc.) are now able to be seen by ALL as such.
Scott Smith, an instructor in the Rosen School of Hospitality at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, said for example “hotels are forced to stay on their toes and good properties benefit while poor establishments suffer.” Here’s to the brands that are worthy of consumers’ hard-earned money, then. Cheers.