Two great examples of brands actually listening to customers

When your customers post a negative review on social media, are you listening? If a disgruntled consumer were to call in to a talkback radio station to complain about your company, would you know? Are journalists publishing news stories about your brand without your knowledge?

Keeping your eyes and ears to the ground is an important consideration to protecting brand reputation. Not only can you effectively manage how the public sees your company, but media monitoring will give you a unique opportunity to align products and services with market expectations.

Here are two great examples of companies that leveraged media tracking to boost customer engagement and benefit their business:

Target

When Stephanie Giese posted a blog revealing her distaste for Target's overly sexualised children's clothing, hundreds of concerned parents added their voices to her's. Target was quick to respond to the backlash, getting in touch with Ms Giese and offering to work with her to change their ways.

In a follow-up post, Ms Giese revealed that Target had not only apologised for any offence caused, but had asked her to collaborate with them in a strategy for change. She wrote: "I am beyond thrilled to announce that I am going to start working with Target towards change, starting in my own house. They have asked me to provide them with some specific feedback about children's clothes, and I am going to start working toward a behind-the-scenes partnership with them to get more of what moms and girls want into their stores."

Ms Giese and her followers were so grateful for the quick and effective response that Target managed to turn a potentially hugely negative story into a minor bump in the road. Target  not only learned more about what their customers want, but also established a positive and ongoing relationship with a major social media influencer.

In fact, Ms Giese was so impressed with their response, she even ended her follow-up blog with heartfelt gratitude that was sure to sway many of her readers: "Thank you, Target, for hearing our voices and taking our concerns very seriously!"

Virgin Trains

When a young passenger on a Virgin Trains journey found himself on the loo without any paper, he did what many millennials would do in the same situation - he tweeted about it.

After posting a tweet about his predicament that included a direct mention of Virgin Trains, the company's social media spokesperson reached out. After uncovering which train and coach the teen was stuck on, they sent an employee along with a fresh roll.

The story quickly went viral across many media platforms, including Twitter, Reddit and other social networking sites. Soon, even newspapers were publishing the humorous tale - which is great news for Virgin Train's marketing department.

If your company could do with a boost in customer sentiment, now is the time to review your PR strategies to discover how social media monitoring can benefit your brand.

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