In business, you can’t ignore what’s being said about you online. Most importantly, you need to respond appropriately. The internet is a free-for-all of consumer commentary, inevitably, some of it can be damaging. Crisis management comes with the Online reputation management (ORM) territory of changing negative sentiment around your brand into a positive. It can be difficult to know how to respond, keep things positive, or change the sentiment around your brand. If you’re at a loss for how to go about jumping into the fray of social media commenting and opinions, here are a few tips to protect you, your business, and your brand’s reputation.
- Avoid a Knee Jerk Reaction: Reading what could be perceived as negative commentary on your brand, business, products, services, or employees, can cause you to jump straight into responding by justifying yourself or trying to show that the consumer is off the mark and misinformed. These are normal reactions, but it isn’t necessarily going to help your brand or positively push your online presence. Rule number one is not to place blame, especially on the consumer or commenter, even if the comment is negative, false, or misleading. Rule number two is never to take it personally and do not to respond emotionally or in an accusatory fashion. Pay attention, think it through, then respond in a calm, professional and appropriate way. Set a clear ORM response policy around commenting and responding to comments.
- Consider Comments as Free Research: Think of the comments you receive on social media, both good and bad, as consumer research. Keep a record of your comments and responses, tips, questions, suggestions, and key problems. You’ll find that your customer, fan, and follower will give you valuable information that you would not otherwise have. The idea is to change negative sentiment around your brand into positive while at the same time leveraging off the information and data gained through this process. This perspective will assist you to see the value in this engagement with your brand. Online Reputation Management should be a daily task. This is all part of maintaining your online reputation and digital media presence.
- Remember That Everyone’s Reading Your Responses: The most important reason to respond to both positive and negative comments is that everyone else on that thread is reading the banter. The amount of people reading the comments usually outweighs those actively participating in the conversation by commenting. They are all paying close attention to how the business and brand responds. Appropriately responding to less negative comments presents the opportunity to demonstrate how connected the brand is with their consumer, it is the perfect platform to solve potential problems and defuse particular situations. When a business listens and responds to feedback online, in an appropriate manner, a sense of trust is created. It shows that the brand is prepared to go above and beyond. This can stretch far beyond the commenter.
- Hire Talent To Do Your Responding: In order to fully tap into the benefits of social media, you should consider getting a specialist on board to manage your social content along with the responses that this content creates. It is important to be on the same page as your marketing team. If you are looking for an agency with the experience, guts, and glory to carry your brand, then get in touch with So Interactive for your digital marketing needs.
ABOUT SO INTERACTIVE & DARREN MANSOUR:
Darren Mansour is the founder of So Interactive, celebrating its 10th year of digital. So Interactive is a creative agency that delivers digital-first marketing experiences and digital products that drive business results. The Company specialises in strategy, creative, content, social media and technology. Incepted in 2007, So Interactive has grown its portfolio exponentially from a specialised, small design and build studio to a full-service digital agency that meets the demands of industry diversity. Sectors of service range from retail to beverage, lifestyle to automotive. Based in Gauteng South Africa, So Interactive aims to play at the forefront of the digital landscape, keeping its clients ahead of rapidly changing trends in the digital space.
So Interactive was recognised in 2017 for Mobile Excellence by Awwwards – the first SA Agency to achieve this. For more info visit www.sointeractive.co.za #ADecadeOfDigital