-->When consumers participate on a corporate discussion board concerning topics about the company or a particular product, company’s traditionally harvest comments with positive remarks, and tend to rebuttal or delete negative commentary. In some rare cases a company will not get involved and leave the negative comments within the messaging string so that the discussion boards remains authentic.
As consumers are becoming more educated about WOM, they become more defensive and particular about the sources where they trust WOM and the places they don’t. Corporations are beginning to realize the importance of consumer-generated material, and the qualms of these consumers. They are becoming more aware and responsive to building channels where consumers can communicate their sense of concern or excitement about certain topics. Efforts to preserving a comfortable and trustworthy environment within these discussion boards remain in the company’s best interest.
It is obvious how negative comments within a message board can affect a company’s success. However, it is important to manage negative comments as well as managing overly positive comments in order to preserve the perceived integrity of the discussion board. An overly positive comment from a genuine consumer might be perceived by the greater population as one that was derived from and internal corporate source. This realization might cause a backlash against a discussion board due to the perception of being involved in a stealth initiative. Consumers are more likely to trust discussion boards that cast a neutral balance of positives and negatives. The effect of overly positive comments threatens corporation’s discussion boards integrity and it is important for companies to manage these strings of dialog in order to preserve the validity of a source.
Tags: WOM word of mouth Word-of-Mouth Marketing buzz marketing viral marketing marketing communication Northeastern University