When most people want to find out more about a company, they look online. It only takes a few complaints and bad reviews to damage your brand; your customers are all online, and you need to safeguard your online reputation because it’s often your customers’ first impression of your company.
Social media like Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Yelp make your clients’ voices louder than ever, and the potential impact on your business can be enormous. No matter what kind of business you own, someone will eventually post something negative.
Below you will find 6 Social Media Reputation Management Tips
1. Treat it Like Your “Real” Reputation
You should handle social media mudslinging the same way you would react to a personal attack. Handle it yourself, and don’t delegate the responsibility to someone else. Respond to negative posts in a calm, rational manner–after all, your reputation and brand are at stake!
2. Negativity into Opportunity
Every negative social media posting should be seen as an opportunity. Every dissatisfied customer can be turned into a fan, if the situation is handled correctly. Implement a corporate policy that every complaining customer will be personally contacted, with the goal of turning a problem into a solution.
3. Handle Problems Right Away
The sooner you deal with a consumer complaint on social media, the easier it will be. Respond right away, and your customer will appreciate the fact that you made them a priority. Don’t frame your response with the intent of your customer retracting their criticism, but with the intent to handle the situation.
4. The Customer Directly
When someone ‘slams’ your company on social media, do not respond in a public manner; doing so will only draw more attention to the negativity. Like any communication, customer complaints are best handled by direct message, a phone call, or in person. Be very careful not to suggest that the customer did something wrong; rather, see what you can do to placate them.
5. Take a Proactive Stance
The best way to manage your reputation on social media is to mount a good offense, and to stay off the defensive. Create a corporate initiative to collect positive testimonials about your company, and encourage your satisfied customers to spread the word about your products and services. Building a solid public relations campaign centered around your contributions, good deeds and efforts will all but outweigh any negative press you receive.
6. Know When to Walk Away
Every social media complaint is an opportunity for improvement, but you should still ‘pick your battles’. Don’t waste time interacting with those who are just out to waste your time and energy, or to divert your focus. Some people will never be satisfied, no matter how hard you try, and all they’re good for is creating negativity–so it’s best to back away gracefully.
Every company will have to deal with negative publicity eventually, and it’s inevitable that someone will post a negative comment about your business on social media. These comments can include greatly exaggerated dissatisfaction issues, and some are outright lies. If a company is well-known enough to get attention, it will eventually receive an equal measure of criticism. Protecting your social media reputation requires you to know what to do to make sure the public gets the ‘real’ story about your company–make that goal a priority.
See also: Watch Out Your Social Media Presence To Leave Competitors Behind