Whether your business is in the public eye, or you are just building it to the point where it shows up on Google results, the time is now to start better managing your social media presence.
Social media doesn’t manage itself, and if you are running your own business, you certainly don’t have the time to do it yourself.
There are a lot of strategies to combat negative social media events. All of them occur on two fronts:
- 1) the side of customer service
- 2) the side of social media reparations.
We’ll talk a little bit about both.
1) Do a good job of customer interactions whenever possible.
Even if you can’t reply to every SM post, you can make sure that the customer interactions you do have count. This means replying to the occasional email personally and genuinely. This doesn’t mean you have to grovel or kiss up, but it does mean putting energy and intention into these customer communications.
Remember the internet’s amazement when Steve Jobs himself replied personally to customer complaints? The press couldn’t have been better. You don’t have Jobs’ reach or status, but customers still appreciate when you give them the best of your time every now and again. Doing this will give you fewer social media problems to clean up later.
2) Invest in social media protection and management.
It is very important to hire an individual or company to manage your social media. Good and accurate information must be available at the social media channels where you customers spend their time. Not everyone goes to your website to learn about you, so these places must be up to date. You also want someone out there in the trenches saying good things about you, which is complementary to social media protection.
Finally, you’ll want someone available to scrub away negative comments and search results. Sometimes it’s the vocal minority that changes your reputation online. If complaints and smears are what is visible in search results, this will tarnish your image. Get a company to elevate the right stuff in the public eye, for you and your business.
3) Hear Criticism, but continue with business as usual.
At the end of the day, haters gonna hate. No amount of web scrubbing and PR will get rid of complaints. In social media time, complaints and compliments have a lifespan of a few minutes. In the end, public sentiment is about consistency on your end of things. If you are doing good work that deserves customer loyalty, that’s what you are going to get.
So if a few people complain here and there, don’t worry about it too much. Getting neurotic about scrubbing away every bad mark can look desperate to customers, and you don’t want that.
Some things are worth getting rid of, like really bad sentiment in search results, and people devoted to making you look bad. But if you play the long game, you’ll outlast negative sentiment like this.
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