What people say and write about you on blogs, websites and social media can drastically change your business, for better or worse. Your digital reputation is just as important as any other aspect of your business. And it's not always wise to manage it yourself. A hasty post and click of a button could cause a viral travesty, so sometimes it's better to trust the experts.
Our clients have asked us time and time again what to do in the face of negativity on the web, so we wanted to share three tips to keep in mind when managing your brand online.
Be Ready for Negative Feedback
It's always best to be prepared. By laying the groundwork of putting your company in a positive light, you'll be better able to bounce back if things turn dark. Think about everything you do on the Internet for your business. This includes your website, social media, location sites like Google Maps, directory listings, online reviews like Yelp and on blogs and in forums. Make sure that you are engaged and active on many of them. Invite positive feedback from your customers so that when you get a negative review - which will happen - you already have a slew of positive ones.
Manage Social Media
In addition to your website, social media is part of your digital presence. Sixty-five percent of adults now use social networking sites – a nearly 10-fold jump in the past decade, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Even if your business isn't “on” social media, people could be talking about you on social media channels, a review site, such as Yelp, or in a forum. That's why it's so important to be the driver of your message, post useful information regularly and not just stick to your own social media pages to get your brand out there. There are so many places online to connect with potential customers.
- Are you registered with Google?
- Do you have a listing on Yelp?
- Are you a part of listings about your business?
If not, now is the time to do so.
Once you're online, be sure to check in a few times a week to engage with feedback, both positive and negative. If a customer leaves a negative review and it sits unnoticed by you, it could invite further damage. Put your best foot forward when commenting on public forums, like an online review site. Don't get caught up in details or in proving a client wrong. Remember, a customer is always right. Even when they aren't.
When you do get a poor review, take the following steps to try to make it right:
- Apologize – Offer up an apology letting the customer know that you'd never like them to have a bad experience.
- Take the conversation offline – Ask them to call or message you to get more details about their experience.
- Offer free services – Where appropriate, offer the unsatisfied customer free goods and a chance to experience your company again.
- Make good on your offer – If they come back to you, be sure they get the best level of service.
Another way to get immediate feedback on what is being said about your business is to use software like Google Alerts or Mention. These programs can pull articles and social media content that includes specific keywords that will help you get ahead of the chatter or post positive feedback on your social sites. Never be afraid to post good reviews, quotes or stories as this is one more thing that will shine when a negative review is posted.
If any of this makes you cringe or worried, LyncServe can certainly assist in handling your digital reputation. Reach out to us and learn how we can help your business.