There was a time, not too long ago, that we (people doing business in the marketplace, any marketplace) thought that if people were talking about us, it was a good thing. Even bad press is press, we would say.
Not anymore. Bad press or, in the world in digital marketing, haters, bad reviews, naysayers on social media, etc., create a huge problem for any company trying to win new customers and keep existing ones. As sure as good referrals can build your business fast, even one bad review or even simply a not-so-positive comment can wreak havoc with your company faster.
What To Do?
When a negative online comment is posted, and it someday will, because try as you might, you can’t please everyone, you have to recognize it, not ignore it, and manage your reaction appropriately.
In the world of digital marketing strategy, we call it online reputation management. And, if you are doing it well, you have a proactive plan in place to stay on top of all online comments, good and bad.
Size Doesn’t Matter as Or Does It?
Whether your business is a two-man shop or a big corporation, negative tweets, posts and comments will hurt your reputation. They may scare potential customers away. And, if the action that caused the comment is particularly egregious — even if it’s just a perception issue — the damage will be even worse. The size of your business matters in one way, the smaller the company the more damage one ding is likely to hurt.
One thing is certain, you cannot ignore social media. It won’t go away. And neither will the haters.
If you want to grow a business in today’s digital economy, accept that people’s voices, opinions and reviews matter…A LOT.
So, here are some tips to help you get out in front of your reputation and behind your brand if you get attacked.
- Attract Fans. If you work very hard to get your customers to rely on you, respect you and trust you and your products and services, they will naturally speak kindly of you, refer you and post and tweet great things about you.These fans and their positivity will come in handy when you have to balance any negative comments online.
- Know What You Need to Know. In other words, you don’t know what you don’t know! Therefore, monitor all of your online platforms including your blog and online review sites such as Google and Yelp, etc.If you do this well, you’ll be able to spot any negativity right away and manage it appropriately so that it doesn’t impact your reputation long term.
- Act Fast and Politely If and When the Need Arises. If someone writes a negative review or makes a negative comment about your company, take the high road and respond quickly. Apologize, and try to make amends. Do everything possible to immediately take the conversation away from the public eye. Email, DM, phone calls all work.After the dispute is resolved, make sure you post how you resolved it. If you truly made the customer happy, you may get lucky enough and they either will take down their original negative comment or post how happy they are that you made things right.
- Don’t Be Too Proud to Make Changes to Ensure the Problem that Brought on the Negativity Doesn’t Happen Again.You know what they say doing the same thing twice and not learning from your mistake the first time, right? It’s really really a dumb business.Companies are made up of great people and, even the best people, the most competent employees, make mistakes. We are human. So, if you get caught making a mistake, and it causes a bad reputation issue, make it right.
Then, assess your business plan to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Making the same mistake a third time is more than dumb.
Finally, Don’t Go It Alone. Talk to the reputation management experts at Harmonia Media. We understand how uncomfortable it is to have to deal with little problems after they become monster problems. Let us stay on top of your brand and reputation online so that you can continue to grow your business and keep customers happy.
Contact Harmonia Media for a free phone consultation about all your digital marketing strategy needs