W ise companies carefully craft the content they release online to engage current and future brand loyalty. It is important to stay on top of what is being said about your company online to ensure a favorable brand presence. Control your impression online to ensure that current customers and prospects receive a positive experience when they go to learn more about your brand.
“Conventional marketing wisdom long held that a dissatisfied customer tells ten people. But… in the new age of social media, he or she has the tools to tell ten million.” Paul Gillin, author of The New Infulencers
Many people believe any online conversation can be great for your authority on the web. While we agree, managing a positive brand image online assists to long term growth. No company’s brand is gleaming with 100% positive reviews. Inevitably, someone will say something negative about your brand. Although this is Impossible to avoid, negative feedback can be thought of as a tool for free insight. These comments, depending on the validity of the statements, can help your product be better in the long run .
What would be the best way to take care of negative reviews? By rule of thumb, you should not respond to everyone. Selectively responding, with the proper timing and tone is everything.
The importance of managing your online presence
Having your name (company and product/service offerings) present online is a necessity to be found by new and already educated customers. Consumers are empowered with the internet and social media to search your company’s background, beliefs, etc. Properly maintaining your image online helps control the feelings consumers experience online while they are in the purchasing cycle of your products/services.
Three quick reasons you should be relevant (Positively) online:
- Social media is all interconnected – Customers’ satisfied (and dissatisfied customers) opinions have the ability to show up organically on google when a person is searching for your company, or the products you offer. One study shows that 90% of customers buying decisions are influenced by online reviews no matter if they are positive or negative according to a study by dimensional research. Remember to keep positive and remarkable content about your products online to help the customers involved in the purchase process motivated and happy to buy.
- Social influencers – Social media allows people to influence your brand online. Users have vast webs of people in their social networks; use this opportunity to positively showcase your brand. As a business you can harness the power of these social influencers by publishing remarkable content that takes off virally. Poor content and weak effort can lead to a tarnished brand image online, please avoid this at all costs.
- Power of interconnectivity– On Twitter, you now have the power to tweet over multiple platforms, thus extending your reach to more people, all over the world. We like this quote from Paul Gillin, “Conventional marketing wisdom long held that a dissatisfied customer tells ten people. But… in the new age of social media, he or she has the tools to tell ten million.”
Social media Crisis 101
Example of what not to do:
The full story of the Air Berlin social media crisis can be found online at Slate.com
What to do with negative social media responses
Depending on the situation – regain control of your account. May that be changing the person in charge of your social media, changing passwords, and most importantly, start planning. Planning is crucial to keeping the image of your brand positive in the eyes of the consumer. Responding effectively with a sincere thought out statement can save lots of long term PR cleaning up.
Quick action steps
- First, figure out if it’s worth getting involved. The internet is filled with “Trolls” who are looking to pick fight with your brand.
- Do not try and “stand up” or snap back at any users – this usually ends up with the internet winning, not your brand.
- Do not quickly tell the world you’ve been hacked; it’s a poor excuse, and usually this wasn’t the problem. (Although sometimes brands are hacked: Burger King Twitter account hacked )
- Issue an effective and sincere statement and make it public what steps you are taking to resolve the problem
- Do not delete the posts written by users – see VW’s social media blunder where they deleted posts from users.
It’s always a great idea to have a strategy on hand if any problems arise online about your brand online. Have a few pre-determined protocols for responding helps reduce panic and any premature responses a social media manger might feel is right. We understand there are many different scenarios but this chart on slide share is a great way to start.
How to monitor your online presence and prevent social media fails
Prevent: Set the boundaries of your social media brand presence online. As a business owner/marketing manager, educate the person responsible of your social media about the style of content that is the best for your brand. Although there is a lot of noise online, anything published online by your brand has the potential to be read and shared. Also, it doesn’t hurt to set up disciplinary actions upfront (job description, employee handbook) for a social media manger, should any crisis happen for your brand caused in house.
Don’t capitalize on a crisis – domestic or world news. Be sensitive – common sense says don’t use sarcasm or witty responses to comment on any large news.
Plan: Do you have a social media strategy? If you are improvising you know it, and chances are your followers know too. Setting a specific strategy is a whole other topic in and its self depends on the execution of a great social media strategy. Try planning out the next quarter and see how things carry out.
Mention – Use mention to keep up with who is talking about you online
Google Alerts -Free. Monitor your industry, competitors content, and any misleading content that might be lingering about your brand on the internet.
Socialmention – Great platform to search the internet for anything mentioned on your brand. Always nice to be aware.
Managing your social presence online is important for maintaining your brand in the long run. Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter approach to create a pristine social presence online. We say, take an extra moment to think before you send out remarkable content to your social media channels. If you have an unsatisfied customer, make sure your social media manager knows how to step back and respond appropriately (that is if it is necessary).
Have you experienced any social media success or troubles? Join the conversation on Facebook and tell us how you managed the situation.