What’s the Right Way to Protect Your Business Reputation Online?
Social media accounts for businesses are invaluable tools enterprises use to reach out to their client bases to fully understand their needs and wants. Make sure your social media manager understands the proper way to interact with people online, especially those with bad things to say about the company.
Online reputation management mistakes
As long as you have a successful business or brand, people will always have something to say about it. And when it comes to online reputation management, the goal is to create positive engagement with your customers. So if the discussion about your brand swings negative, here are a few online reputation blunders to avoid.
- Reacting to negative commentary – Negative commentary is generally any commentary that constitutes a verbal attack. As a rule, if it isn’t constructive criticism, it’s probably negative commentary. Feel free to ignore these comments because engaging with them will escalate the conversation further, and fueling those flames are never good for business. It is one thing to stand up for values and principles in a diplomatic manner, and it is a completely different thing to engage in a word war with online commenters who will likely not endure any adverse effects to their negative commentary.
- Reacting emotionally – If your reaction to negative comments is to fire back with negative comments, you’ll appear unprofessional. Customers want to do business with a brand that is professional. If you react emotionally or negatively to a customer online, who’s to say you wouldn’t do the same in real life to the person reading it? As a social media manager, you are the voice of the business. If your voice is abrasive, immature, and easy to bait into a pissing contest, best believe that your customers will see your business in the same light.
How to resolve negative commentary
While a negative comment about your brand may upset you, don’t let your emotions get the better of you and post something you’ll later regret. Instead, calm down, compose yourself, and follow these guidelines.
- Figure out what the customer really wants – Every customer wants their problem to be resolved, but how they want their issue fixed will vary. Some customers want an apology, others want a refund, and some may simply want the product they ordered but did not receive. Just because the customer’s comments are poorly phrased doesn’t mean that they don’t have a legitimate grievance. Learn to ignore the personal attack and carefully draw out the true cause for concern.
- Stick to the facts – When engaging with a customer online, the initial comment can quickly turn into a back-and-forth discussion. If this happens, don’t get off topic when addressing the problem. The customer may try to engage you in a he-said-she-said battle, but avoid taking the bait. Respond with facts, stick to the matter at hand, and don’t get caught up in personal accusations.
- Turn the negative into a positive – Negative feedback is an opportunity to improve your business. So be honest with yourself and, if there’s truth in the comment, take a good hard look at your company. Did the commenter point out a glaring problem you can improve upon? Remember, a business is nothing without its customers, so it makes sense to do your best to please them.
To learn more about how to best manage your online reputation, or for assistance with any of your IT needs, get in touch with our experts today.