You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
For any business, it’s nearly impossible to avoid negative feedback. Social media has only made it easier for people to complain, leave bad reviews and share unkind comments about your company. What once was word-of-mouth is now published on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram where it lives forever and can be seen across the world. Yikes. The good news is, for every piece of negative feedback there’s most likely a positive one, too. What matters most is correctly handling the unwanted comments with grace and embracing the positive ones. This is why having an established social media reputation management plan in place is absolutely vital.
What is Online Social Media Reputation Management?
According to Sprout Social, social media reputation management is the “process of tracking, monitoring and ultimately eliminating negative social media material about your brand to improve your name or standing”. Much like we do at Social Motto with our Digital Brand Reputation and Monitoring. When done correctly, it builds your creditability to current and prospective customers every time they search for your business or brand online and strengthens confidence and trust in your brand.
BrightLocal recently released a study that revealed 88% of people read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. However, we’re not just talking Google and Yelp reviews (although those are just as important). All social media channels need to be monitored. You need to be tracking all of the social conversations happening around your brand.or use Social listening.
How Do I Know What to Monitor?
To improve your brand’s reputation, you need to track keywords that revolve around it.
There is an abundance of online tools that will search and collect this information for you (Sprout,Talkwalker,Go Fish Digital, and Rankur are great), but you can also manually do it yourself by searching for words, phrases and hashtags in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn search boxes. Here are a few things to monitor:
1. Your company’s name: At the top of the list should be your company’s name – it’s what defines you! Be sure to monitor common misspellings, too. For example, we would monitor Social Motto, SocialMotto, Social Mtto and Scial Motto.
2. Your company’s products or services: People may mention your product or brand, but not the name, making it important to track products and services, too. For example, Sony would monitor PlayStation, Toyota would monitor Corolla, 20thCentury Fox would monitor Star Wars and Apple would monitor iPad.
3. High-profile employees: If you have anyone who stands out as a high-profile employee, monitor their names! You can bet Facebook is definitely looking at Mark Zuckerburg.
4.Industry keywords: Keep up with what people are saying in your industry! For example, we would track Detroit Social Media, Detroit Marketing, Digital Media Agency Detroit etc.
5.Your competitors: Track all of the above information (name, products, employees) of your competitors too! This is extremely helpful to understand where you stack up against others in the same industry.
Don’t Be Afraid to Respond
It’s one thing to listen to what your customers have to say, but another to acknowledge it. Respond to both positive and negative comments to build trust and establish loyalty.
Did you know social media continues to grow as the number one resource for customer care? This means your brand receives a lot more messages than before, and it’s vital to respond to each message. Be speedy, too! Customers expect a response within four
hours, according to Sprout.
This is easier when the messages are pleasant, but of course, some negative ones are bound to come in. Be sure to respond promptly and empathetically – no one appreciates a response that sounds like a robot wrote it. People want to know people are hearing them, not an automated message. Here are the appropriate steps to take:
- Respond to the message
- Listen to the problem
- Offer a solution
- Check up on the status of the solution
It’s also important to note that you do have the power to remove, hide and delete public comments on your brand’s posts. If the comment uses inappropriate language, is off topic, or is not a first person account of your services, attacks or insults another user or contains confidential videos or photos it’s recommended you take action and remove it.
Share Positive Reviews
In addition to addressing negative comments and messages, be sure to highlight positive ones, too! If you’re short on reviews, encourage people to offer them in your brand’s social media posts. You can then turn these into review cards to share.
The conversation about your brand is happening online regardless of your participation. The biggest takeaway from this is to stay on top of what is being said and to respond when appropriate!