Into this foray comes what’s known as reputation management – the way a business is being viewed and commented on by others online – and the way social media is leading this charge. Now, instead of merely calling up a friend discussing the pros and cons of a particular product or service, consumers take to platforms like Facebook and let their feelings out about the company behind said products or services.
This one decision has a ripple effect you cannot possibly imagine if you’re new to the world of social media; a business and its reputation becomes almost immediately dependent on how “viral” that “Tweet” or Facebook post goes amongst the user’s “friends” network. While this can be great for positive feedback, it becomes a problem when a company or business is experiencing serial, often excessive amounts of undue criticism.
Now, what do we mean when we say “don’t argue with your customer”? As a responsible business owner, you may be overtly tempted to “get into it” with individuals that post copious amounts of negative feedback on your company – before you can even confirm whether the feedback is warranted or not – but you also know it’s not the way to handle it. You can use the same online tools everyone else is using to your advantage and in the process build your brand and create relationships with customers via social media platforms.
- Customers are now more comfortable leaving reviews/complaints on a company’s Facebook page; it’s simply not a face-to-face world anymore in many aspects of sales and marketing.
- Your company MUST be active on social media heading into 2016, and your employees should be given proper training with regard to navigating these platforms.
- You can turn bad reviews into return customers by creating an efficient workflow process that handles complaints on social media.
Top Tips for Successful Reputation Management Implementation on Social Media
- Get Customers to Share Positive Reviews and Experiences
First and foremost, the best route to successful reputation management via social media is to get customers to share positive reviews and experiences they may have had with your company. This can be achieved by a simple, heartfelt reminder or request such as “Did We Exceed Your Expectations Today? Please Share Your Positive Experience!” and it can be placed on your website and/or corresponding social media pages.
- Connect with Customers and SOLVE PROBLEMS
This demonstrates how your company is adding value to customers’ lives; in fact, many large companies have already begun to create specialized social media accounts specifically for addressing consumer complaints. When your clients see that you actually care and are striving to inject a positive effect in their lives, it can boost your reputation in ways you never dreamed possible.
- Find Creative Ways to Tell Your Company’s “Story”
This begins to touch on the subject of CONTENT – you can connect with consumers in a more personal way by revealing your company’s history, mistakes along the way and all. You can also provide real-life examples of how your product or service has benefitted a client, but through it all remember to use a friendly, conversational tone as opposed to regurgitating corporate techno-babble and confusing jargon. In so doing, your company’s image will be “humanized” and you will be able to better relate to consumers…ultimately enabling you to jump ahead of competitors that don’t.
- Monitor Your Presence and Direct the Conversation
You may not be posting about your company on social media sites but you can bet credits to navy beans that others are, and you need to know what they’re ultimately saying. Here’s a good example: Customers are taking to social media in droves to complain about a company’s customer service. If the business owner is unaware of this, he or she wouldn’t realize how much the issue was affecting their reputation, or that they needed to make improvements.
Jason Mudd, Public Relations of AXIA, once said, “Don’t be like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand, because then you just show your rear…”
If you still aren’t necessarily feeling the social media reputation management phenomenon yet, consider the corporate giants like Pizza Hut or Wendy’s that have expertly spun this to great advantage. Or, think about how Domino’s Pizza employees posted an off-putting spoof video onto YouTube two days before senior management at the pizza goliath became aware of it.
Because they were inexperienced in the ways of online reputation management, they chose to ignore the snafu and expected it to blow over – as if it were simply a media story. By the time they had realized their error, created a Twitter account and posted their own response onto YouTube, the initial video had gone wildly viral, being viewed over one million times.
Reputation management is essentially proactive damage control, and therefore affects your bottom line directly. Our advice is to stick with the aforementioned tips to gain a stronghold on negotiations training, customer interaction and your overall business profile.