Technology and social media play a considerable role in defining how brands are perceived by customers and the general public. Firms not only use social media and the internet to advertise their products but also to receive feedback from customers on the performance of their products. The feedback provided is often public and can be viewed by anyone with access to the internet. Negative feedback can adversely affect how a specific brand is perceived by the general public and can require plenty of resources by firms to rectify. According to Sun et al. (2021), online customer reviews can either strengthen or weaken a brand depending on whether they are positive or negative. Brands that receive positive customer reviews are more likely to attract more customers and retain them. On the other hand, negative reviews can weaken a brand and drive down its demand. Social media, therefore, exposes any negative customer service by firms, which eventually forces them to make improvements.
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Social media also forced brands to provide exemplary customer service by engaging with customers before and after purchases. According to Sashi et al. (2019), brands respond immediately to customer complaints raised on social media and clear any miscommunication that may have negatively affected the customer experience. The internet and social media have therefore made firms more sensitive to key issues that customers may face when using their products and services, which improves the customer experience. Customers can also easily make inquiries and receive useful information about a firm’s products and services through social media. As a result, customers can get timely information that can influence their purchase decision. Technology and social media have therefore made firms more accountable to customers, which substantially improves the quality of service provided.
I agree that social media is a key channel through which customers can reach brands and vice versa. Most companies nowadays are active on most social media platforms where they take questions from customers and provide answers to the best of their ability. Even high-ranking corporate leaders use social media to interact with customers and provide detailed information about the activities of their companies. As a result, firms need detailed and effective social media management strategies that can ensure they avoid possible glitches that can adversely affect their publicity. Well-trained professionals should be selected to interact with customers, which can aid in shaping the brand reputation of the company. Generally, firms nowadays cannot afford not to have a social media strategy.
Sashi, C., Brynildsen, G., & Bilgihan, A. (2019). Social media, customer engagement and advocacy. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31(3), 1247-1272.
Sun, M., Chen, J. l., Tian, Y., & Yan, Y. (2021). The impact of online reviews in the presence of customer returns. International Journal of Production Economics, 232.