The US Open, Tiger Woods and Brand Moderating

Do you Moderate like Tiger?

What happened to Tiger Woods?  I couldn’t help but wonder that while staring at the TV in disbelief as he walked up to the last hole of the U.S. Open.  He was about to finish his day with the worst score of his professional career.  How could that have happened? What went so wrong?  Sure he’s struggled lately, but not like this.  There had to be an explanation and I couldn’t wait to hear it. Just then, the announcer let the viewing audience know that Tiger wouldn’t be granting any interviews after his round.  What?  Did Tiger think that by not addressing his poor performance, the whole thing would go away?  Just a quick explanation on his part would have gone a long way in satisfying his loyal followers and more importantly, in preserving his brand.   As I shut the TV off in frustration, I realized that the same holds true for every brand and business.  Is it really better to stay silent and not respond to negative comments about your business? Or is it better to address them directly and move on?

Having spent a lot of time lately learning about, implementing and getting feedback on brand moderating services (technologies that scrape the internet paying close attention to social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., to detect negative events or posts about your brand), I’ve concluded that removing every negative comment is not necessarily  a good thing.  Do I want to hear Tiger wax on poetically about shooting a career worse 80?  No I don’t.  But, it did happen and nothing can erase the fact or moderate it away.  He should have addressed the situation and moved on.  That kind of accountability strengthens a brand.

Tiger Woods Image

We work with many brands that need good strategy for moderating social media.  Some are very controlling and others not so much.  All seem to agree that there is a fine line where too much moderation could create a large problem if a brand’s practices here went viral.

A good example of this was when Lowe’s home improvement was caught in a controversial social media debate.  There were well over 28,000 comments about whether or not Lowe’s should be advertising during a reality TV show.  At that time, the only thing Lowe’s could do was remove any hateful posts.  Eventually, Lowe’s removed everything, saying: “While we appreciate the desire to discuss previous advertising, the focus of our social channels is helping our customers with their home improvement needs.”

Building strong relationships with customers through social media is more important than ever.  You can increase engagement with your loyal base by monitoring the conversation fans and followers are having and then segmenting your digital communications to react accordingly.  When done properly, this type of interaction is invaluable and will drive loyalty, advocacy and ultimately revenue.

The lesson we can all learn from Tiger here is that sometimes things go wrong and mistakes are made, but don’t let that be your defining moment.  Stand up and defend your brand!  Let your loyal followers know that you hear what they are saying and are working hard to improve your practices and exceed their expectations!  This approach will allow your business and your brand to grow bigger and better than ever imagined.  Don’t be like Tiger.

Post author