What is a prosumer? How to deal with negative comments

It is the union of consumer+producer, a new profile that we must keep in mind when designing strategies because it can become our great ally.

This term was born in 1980 by Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist , PhD in literature, law and science, known for his discussions about the digital revolution. Among his books, The Third Wave stands out, where he defines the illiterate person of the future.

“An illiterate person will be one who does not know where to look for the information he needs at a given moment to solve a specific problem. An educated person will not be so on the basis of immovable knowledge that he has in his mind, but according to his capacities to know what he needs at any given moment”.

Alvin Toffler


Wise and very interesting words, don’t you think? Toffler was a visionary and predicted the social changes that would be brought about by new technologies in the information age, as well as changes in the consumption model. A prosumer is a new profile that we must keep in mind when designing a marketing strategy. In fact, if we focus the information well,  can become our great ally. But what aspects should you take into account to create prosumers?


Knowing the buyer persona

Before starting any marketing strategy, you must define your buyer personas very well.  You know, they are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. They help us define who this audience is that we want to attract and convert; and, in this particular case, delight so that they become prosumers.

Elaborate the profiles of the buyer persona helps us, above all, to humanize and understand in more detail their personality, what they are like, how old they are, where they live, what their family is like, what they like, what interests them, what excites them, what worries them and, very importantly, what information they like to consume and share, and what platforms they use.


But beware, there are two types of prosumers. The prosumers and the negative prosumers. Yes, yes, consumers who like and are motivated to spread negative online information about your company. If you must take prosumers into account, negative prosumers , also known as trolls, must be taken into account even more. Just think, one negative comment can ruin your neat career path built up over the years. But this would be a separate publication. Now we will focus on prosumers and how they can help you promote your establishment.


Identify the most appropriate channel

It’s clear that if your buyer personas are comfortable on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, for example, you should focus on these platforms and forget all the others. With so many different channels, you may find it difficult to know where to insist. Therefore, we suggest that you implement the Bullseye strategy. This technique, put into practice by Sujan Patel, co-founder of ContentMarketer.io, will help you organize your platforms.

First of all, you should identify which networks help you create traction, i.e., which help you convert visits into leads, leads into potential leads and potential leads into customers. But here, the work does not end with the closing of the conversion. Far from it. Identify which platform focuses on the final stage of the funnel journey, loyalty/promotion.

As PayPal’s billionaire founder Peter Thiel said, “Bad distribution-not product-is the number one cause of business failure. If you can get one distribution channel to broadcast and advertise, you’ve got a great business. If you try several, but don’t hit the nail on the head with any of them, you’ve lost.” So you know, identify your target, determine the main channel and go for it.

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How to get them to generate content, to produce information

Let’s not forget that prosumers are within the inbound marketing methodology and, as such, the creation, distribution and consumption of content are very important, basic practices. This phenomenon, clearly in trend, is known as user-generated content.

But you can’t expect your hotel guests to generate content just like that. You must pave the way for them and make it easy for them. How? Create your own hashtags, organize contests and encourage maximum participation. Make your customers fantastic ambassadors of your brand. They have a lot of credibility, possibly more than you do.


The negative prosumer

But what about the prosumer who creates negative content on our online platforms?

Today, by making use of social networks and other online media, our brands are exposed to receive comments from users, whether positive or negative.  Both typologies represent an opportunity to improve our service and adapt it to the preferences of our buyer persona. Therefore,  must be managed and cared for with care.

Is it possible to avoid negative comments?

As we said, it is very difficult to avoid negative comments. But these should be treated as a source of improvement  and useful information to identify deficiencies in our service.

Even so, a single negative comment on any of the social networks where we are present can unleash a perfect storm. What can we do to identify, manage and avoid the crisis?

First of all, whenever we are going to launch our brand into the online world, we must establish a style guide. Who, what, when and how we will respond.

Next, it is interesting for any brand that carries out an online communication strategy to analyze its reputation in this medium. We must know what our followers think of our brand and its online prestige. How? By means of the analysis! Online reputation research and monitoring will be our tools to determine our positioning.  Remember, use the tools provided by the social networks themselves or go to Google to carry out such monitoring on a regular basis.

In addition, we must be aware of the double benefit of knowing what  buyer personas say about our brand. Thanks to these comments, whether positive or negative, we will be able to identify areas for improvement and key points of our service.

Remember! We must know how to accept these criticisms and, above all, know how to respond. Poor service will result in negative comments. All members of your company are an implicit part of your service, and therefore, in the satisfaction of your customers.




What happens if negative comments arise?

First of all, we must understand the process a user goes through when disseminating his or her experience:

1. The user has an experience they want to share.

2. Comment on your experience through public channels (social networks, blogs, etc.).

3. The comment is shared by other users with similar opinions.

4. The experience is consolidated on the web and is indexed by search engines, gaining visibility on the web.

Obviously, if this experience is positive, it is highly interesting for our brand to spread this comment as much as possible. But, what do we do if  this comment is negative?

First of all, in order to avoid an online reputation crisis, we must act asquickly as possible to prevent negative comments from being indexed in search engines. 
necessary to prevent negative comments from being indexed in search engines.

1. Be aware that this experience is created in our company.  Keep an eye on the customer service that  offers your brand at any stage of the purchasing process. Listening to the customer and responds appropriately. A bad response to any comment can lead to a bad online reputation.

2. Once the complaint has been published, manage each comment as if it were a customer service. Try to give the useful answer through these means. Be transparent. Remember that deleting or ignoring comments can backfire on you.

Speed must characterize the management of our online brand. Responding to comments, whether positive or negative, is critical. A quick response could prevent the spread and viralization of negative comments.

3. Once this negative comment has been published, and we have not been able to stop its dissemination, and this information has already crossed the online media,  is advised to issue an official clarifying statement to stop this information.  Keep in mind that this clarification must be in accordance with time and form, that is to say, satisfy and respond to the problems created.

4. If we have not been able to stop these comments, and they have affected our online positioning, there is only one thing we can do, keep working. How? Creating content.  This will have an impact on SEO positioning, helping us to ensure that the positive information related to our brand wins over the negative.



What do you think of the crisis management carried out by United Airlines following the  incident on board?  As we can see, and due to the diffusion both online and offline, its CEO was forced to publish a note of apology. 

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