A fans Perception is your Reality
For many businesses socialising their brand through social networks is a scary proposition. Before social media their business had probably not received many brand mentions online. They only feedback or complaints received we're heard first hand, or not at all. So for perhaps the first time businesses who start using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks begin to hear honest stories, recommendations and comments from past, current and future customers.
What people say about your brand online might not be the truthful or accurate but perception is reality. What people think about your brand is real. If that perception is one you don't like or one you feel is inconsistent with your brand values action must be taken.
That action might be swift or subtle but changing perceptions into a brighter more positive reality is the opportunity social networks offer many brands.
Suddenly CEO's and Management teams are woken up to the harsh realities of public opinion, the honest truth. Or perhaps just hand-me-down information that gradually become more and more distorted and inaccurate over time. Either way these are opportunities to foster connections, learn and harness public opinion to tweak and refine ones business practice, messaging and behaviour.
It's important to remember when dealing with these situations to be calm, respectful and patient. Whatever a customer's perception is of your business or brand, that is their reality. It is now up to you to change their reality for the better.