Use Social Media to Protect Reputation

Design and construction professionals pay attention to what their peers are saying. You might never know what people are saying about your company or products when they gather around the office water cooler, but you can monitor their discussions in online social media.

An excellent example of this is a recent exchange on the Construction Specifications Institute's group at where someone posted a question soliciting advice about window films that can be applied to glass for shading, safety, privacy, or insulation.

Within hours of the question, an architect posted a warning:
"I would strongly suggest staying away from window film. You can end up voiding the warranty for the insulated glass unit (IGU) since it can overheat the airspace."
In subsequent days, several other individuals gave qualified endorsements of films, but the tone remained, as one post put it, "don't use it on IGUs."

Then a manufacturer's rep responded. He began by stating his credentials to speak knowledgeably on the subject, then explained,
"The "airspace" in a typical IGU is evacuated and replaced with an inert gas...typically Argon, but sometimes Nitrogen or other inexpensive inert gases. Inert is the key word...those gases are there to be an insulator and, as such, can't hold onto heat energy."
He then went on to share guidelines for situations where films should not be used; his honesty about these demonstrates that he is a fair broker who can present a balanced appraisal of the product. He ends by offering assistance and giving his contact info.

His answer seems to be the last word on the topic, as no one has challenged it in over two weeks. The forum automatically sends updates to individuals posting comments, so the people with concerns about films have the benefit of the reps knowledge. Further, anyone finding the conversation through an online search will benefit from his insight.

Identify the social media channels used by potential buyers and specifiers. Then assign someone on your team to monitor each channel to seek opportunities and to protect against misinformation.

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