Thanks for checking out The Social Influencer. This blog was launched to connect with influencers and share their experiences with the world. 

Social Influencer Series | President dRae Media, Dawn Wigginton

Social Influencer Series | President dRae Media, Dawn Wigginton

So I am on the tarmac, reading an article about the negative impact of one bad review. Exciting - I know, but this is my life now. I left traditional media on a quest to help companies make true digital transformations in the way they go to market.

One bad review.

"Research shows that negative reviews have become the #1 factor in consumers forming a bad opinion about a product or service. Statistically, 9 out of 10 consumers base purchase decisions on reviews, and 80% of those buyers will change their purchasing decision based on negative evaluations. The simple fact is, negative reviews affect the judgement and decisions of buyers. With two-thirds of consumers sharing their experiences and opinions on social media, recent data shows that only 14% of consumers will even consider buying from a business with 2 stars or less, and 19% will not buy from a business at all after reading just 1 negative review".

One bad review...shared over and over again. The power of social media. I had to meet the author of this important piece - Dawn Wigginton who is the President of dRae Media & Marketing based out of Louisville, Kentucky. One of her former clients is the Grand Ole Opry - I was part of a team that won a CMA for Country Radio Station of the Year. We had that gem to share.

Thanks to a flight delay and wifi we were able to connect about the importance of social readiness and the ability to listen, aggregate and respond to what people are saying and SHARING in social channels about your brand.

Here is what Dawn had to say: 

I loved your blog post about what a "single negative review would cost you"- what advice would you give to a business owner today to be more proactive in the social review arena? 

ALWAYS ANSWER. Whether you are right or wrong, or like what they said or were offended, ANSWER. They appreciate the engagement and if it’s a negative review, it is our duty as a brand to try to make it right. How do you protect yourself from bad reviews and how do you amplify good ones? Protect yourself by offering quality services. And if it is due to an employee’s reaction to a customer/client, then you apologize. But in order for these bad reviews to not occur, you should protect yourself by being a great leader, which in return equals happy employees (culture) who want to be on your team, not hurt it. As for how to handle social media in general, I would suggest social media training prior to allowing access to your brands platform. And to amplify your positive messages, I would give shout-outs and tag when possible. I also like to use hashtags to get my point across instead of writing a lengthy post.

We are moving into uncharted politically charged times - whatever your political views are, as a business being on the right or wrong side can lead to a PR nightmare (#deleteUber or #boycottStarbucks are two great examples). What advice would you give a CMO trying to navigate a PR nightmare in social?

First, social media training! Stay neutral. Don’t use negative hashtags or make controversial comments unless you are ready for some major PR issues. Some businesses may see it as an opportunity to stand out and speak for what they stand for, but for others, it could easily put them out of business. Either way, you should have a plan before it happens. It could only take one employee saying what’s on his or her mind... It goes viral, and then what? Be ready and be armed with a plan!

What are the top trends you are seeing in social today? 

The top trends I’m noticing are live videos (FB & Snapchat), messaging (FB, Instagram, WhatsApp) and the use of building custom audiences for targeting ads. No matter which avenues we chose, audiences are just seeking some transparency, honesty and real time communication. A perfect example: more people are going to Twitter for the news and current events instead of newspapers or even news sites. 

What is the most important social network, in your opinion for 2017?

Facebook. The reports I can pull from Facebook are far more beneficial than others. With that ammunition, I can now tell you what your full marketing strategy should consist of based upon the reports I am able to pull. For example, one brand can have numerous audiences. And those audiences need to be treated individually regarding content, imagery, calls to action… Even as individuals with varying lifestyles, beliefs and hobbies, we want to engage with others like ourselves. When we speak to them through poetry, copy that is attention grabbing or amazing photography, we are welcoming a conversation. The key is to develop a relationship with personal-touch messaging, transparency and collaboration. Then your audience becomes loyal to your brand.

You have worked with the Grand Ole Opry in the past. A perfect blend of history and the modern business of country music which is booming. What simple advice would you give a "traditional" brand that is rich in "history" to help them digitally transform and embrace social and digital media for a more modern approach? 

First of all, I would say hop on board – the social and digital ride is not going away. So update your website, and hire experts in the social and digital world to work side-by-side with someone who knows the history of your company. Together, you will transform old history into the new era, and because history is history and no one wants to see it go away, the fans are going to go wild. And one last note for the brands, just know it can be fun, exciting and breathe new life into what you created from the beginning!


Dawn Wigginton, in addition to being the President of dRae Media & Marketing is the proud mother of five (her most important accomplishment). Her go-to social channels for celebrating her Univeristy of Louisville, Cardinals are Facebook and Instagram. When she is looking for news and trending topics - Twitter. When she is stalking her grown kids - Snapchat!

She doesn't really drink, but if she had to pick a celebratory cocktail, she'd do her hometown state of Kentucky proud with a top-notch, local Bourbon. And lastly, an inspirational #hashtag she'd like to share with you - #success.

Dawn Wigginton is the President of dRae Media & Marketing - a collaborative team of professionals who help drive business success and sales through digital marketing and social media. She’s earned a unique skill set and expertise in business development, branding, online brand development and leadership through her work with clients such as the American Heart Association, General Electric (GE), Grand Ole Opry and Humana.

 About the interviewer:

Mark Keaney is a Husband, Dad, Coach, Mentor and Leader. With over 20 years of experience in the media industry and a wild ride in the world of tech start-up & social - Mark is helping brands deliver world class CX at Lithium Technologies, where he is the Regional Vice President of Sales for the East and Central. His mantra is - Brand Globally. Market Locally. 

e: markkeaney8@gmail.com or t: @markkeaney2pt0


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