Negative Feedback Online? Here’s Your Way Out
In December 2020, Google faced an unseen outage, and all sites shut down. People were locked out of their meetings automatically, Youtube stopped playing favourite tracks, and OK Google appeared Not So Okay. As a result, numerous brands took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social networking platforms to ask Google what was going on? Of course, they did it creatively.
But what would you call it if the brands criticised Google instead of checking up on it?
A Google spokesperson provided a statement about the outage:
Today, at 3.47 AM PT, Google experienced an authentication system outage for approximately 45 minutes due to an internal storage quota issue. Services requiring users to log inexperienced high error rates during this period. The authentication system issue was resolved at 4:32 AM PT. All services are now restored. We apologise to everyone affected, and we will conduct a thorough follow up review to ensure this problem cannot recur in the future.
This is a perfect example of Online Reputation Management (ORM). Google, the giant search portal (and more) could have easily ignored people’s questions and worries. The experts could go on fixing the problem, without bothering to notify people or explain themselves. But they chose to do the opposite.
ORM is all about monitoring and improving the lens through which people view your business. This includes analysing what a potential customer, reporter, or partner will discover about your brand and product/service when a Google search is performed. What will they find when they look for you?
In this blog, you will find:
How to Evaluate Your Reputation?
The common notion that there should be damage to control is incorrect. You do not wait for a disaster to happen. If you can anticipate it, be prepared.
But before you start preparing, first analyse your online rating, presence and what people see when they look for you. Click here to access the checklist.
How to work on Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Hire an expert
Yes, there tips available online, but there are additional benefits of hiring an expert.:
- You can focus on your business.
- Experts know how to create an action plan.
- Experts are well-versed with these situations.
- You might make the situation worse.
- All the tips available online might help, but will consume a lot of your time.
Pay attention to reviews
Remember that reviews are easily accessible today. A person need not go looking. Instead, one poll is all it takes for a competitor to win over you.
Reasons why you need to pay attention:
- People might wrongly accuse you of a bad experience or faulty product.
- According to Hosting Tribunal, 72% of customers won’t take action until they read reviews.
- Negative reviews can overshadow positive reviews.
- Negative reviews can damage your business reputation.
- People will doubt the claims you make, like” best in the city”, “ranked among top ten businesses”, even if it is true.
- Recommendations to use your product/service will decrease.
Partner with a digital marketing agency
Digital marketing agencies are a team of experts in various digital marketing services that can look at your entire marketing strategy and give you the best recommendations. While scrolling through the internet might result in strategies other companies used, they might not fit your business perfectly. A digital marketing agency can provide a tailored strategy.
Provide great customer service
Any brand is known for its service and how happy and satisfied their customers are, so give them the best service, and they will spread positive feedback and reviews, among others. This way, you will not have to request for feedback because your customers will be motivated and enthusiastic to share their experience and thoughts.
Give your customers a reason to review
People are curious and concerned about what they see on the first page of search engine results. Start conversations that can benefit your reputation. When a customer shares a good experience, highlight it through tweets and social media posts. Give them a reason to tell you how they felt about your product/service.
However, do not ignore constructive criticism, even if it is rude and unsatisfactory. Unless you can tell someone is only creating noise through bad reviews, responding to as many negative reviews as possible, will work in your favour. When you acknowledge a mistake, you are taking responsibility for failing to deliver on promises.
Benefits of responding to reviews:
- Customers know you are listening, reading and calling out fake reviews.
- Calling out fake reviews improves customer trustworthiness.
- Responding shows that you care.
To delete or not delete negative reviews?
The upside of deleting reviews is that customers will only see the right side of choosing to buy your product/service. The downside is that nothing can be hidden on the internet. The reviewer might have taken a screenshot and could share it on any social networking platform, making matters worse for you. The possibility cannot be ruled out. This can be avoided by addressing negative feedback on your Google My Business page, Facebook and Instagram pages as soon as you spot it. Find the root-cause and try to sort out the situation professionally.
In some cases, people use a brand name to poke fun or for meme purposes. In that case, you can ask them to remove or take down their comment. Secondly, you can submit a legal complaint to Google if it is a google review.
Lessons from failures
Fixing a brand’s reputation is very important, but also tricky. Social media is open worldwide for appreciation and criticism. Check out some instances where brands tried and failed to create the right kind of engagement, harming their reputation in the process.
- Account mix-up
You’ll find several cases where brands have had employees tweeting personal comments from a brand Twitter handle. While it can be understood, nobody will stop to think this could be the reason if your tweet is degrading, hurtful, or hateful. It will tarnish your reputation.
- Lack of information
Brands want to be the first to catch up on trending Twitter topics. Who doesn’t? But, when brands tweet puns, jokes, wordplay without proper information on why a particular topic or event is trending, that could directly hurt their reputation.
- Cultural ignorance
Racist images and jokes were never okay, but now brands should realise that they must be mindful and avoid thinking that imitating the people of culture is funny or cute. It is far from it.
- Twitter feuds
Again, very common. Sometimes the social media manager might be having a rough day or has a lot to say to the critic. This does not work well for the brand, in whose name everyone’s notifications are blowing up. Twitter feuds are one of the best ways to establish your unprofessionalism.
- Dependence on automation
Automated responses work best for direct messages (personal messages in your inbox). Twitter is very active with what is currently happening and when a customer/consumer tweets their dissatisfaction, the last response they want from you is “We are so glad you chose us!”.
If you are opening up the floor for questions and comments, get ready to answer them, all-this includes hateful and spiteful comments. Don’t be overconfident that all your customers are happy. Invitations like these invite haters to compare and criticise.
Internal ORM Management Tips
Create a strong social media policy in the company. This will ensure that employees are careful not to let the brand get affected in any way possible.
Here are a few key points:
- Monitor content posted that is related to your business.
- Don’t allow staff members to share internal updates on social media.
- Ensure that they double-check social media accounts when posting online. Mix-ups will cost you.
- Sensitive data should not be public. This includes financial, legal and private client information.
- A captivating online reputation is all about professionalism. This also applies to publishing content on social media.
- Set in place a two-eye review system when posting social media content on the brand’s social media.
Fill out the form to download the checklist ofHow to work on Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Useful ORM tools
Google Alerts: Google Alerts is the best tool to notify people about business-related activities that could interest them. Search for a specific keyword and decide how often you want to receive notifications about new content via email, across content sources like news websites, blogs, or videos.
Twitter Search: Twitter Search is used to stay updated on the usage of your business name on Twitter.
Social Mention: Social Mention is the social media version of Google alerts. It allows users to monitor the credibility of their brand easily on various social media platforms.
Mention is a platform that scans more than 1 billion sources from social media networks and forums to blogs and many other web properties. You can use it to track your brand, competitors, and customers by using different search criteria.
Cost: 14-day free trial period and plans starting at $25 per month.
Talkwalker calls itself a “Google Alerts alternative.” You can monitor everything online regarding your brand and track your competitors’ activities, recent events, and so on.
Cost: Various plans available
Social media is a growing ally of how businesses position themselves in the digital space. Potential customers, current customers, and influencers have their eyes on a brand’s social presence and determining their competency. Managing ORM will result in opportunities to grow your business. ORM is not a one-time activity. Like marketing, it requires constant upkeep and monitoring to analyse your performance.