Social media marketing has revolutionized the way many of us market our businesses. These platforms let us easily connect and share with clients, find new prospects and become thought leaders in our industry. Social media marketing isn’t a one-way communication platform. These platforms, like Yelp and Google Places, have also provided clients with an opportunity to openly praise or criticize businesses. Hopefully you have more people singing your praises than critiquing your business. But, like most companies you probably have a blend of both. Here are a few tips to responding to negative reviews and building a positive online brand.
The best thing you can do is to be prepared. The faster you react to bad reviews, the better chance you have of squashing the review before it builds and spreads. To be first on the scene of a bad review, you need to continuously monitor what people are saying about your brand. We recommend subscribing to free services such as Google Alerts, so you are notified when your brand is mentioned online. Set up daily or weekly email notifications so you are sent reminders to your email.
You can also take the “head in the sand” approach and pretend that there aren’t any negative reviews about your business. Be warned, we strongly advise against this strategy. Nothing makes people more upset than being ignored. One of the best ways to handle a negative review is to “listen” to what your customer is saying about your business and provide a positive response. Most people will appreciate that you took the time to listen to their complaint (whether valid or not) and provided a personal response. You should always provide a positive response and thank the customer for their feedback – don’t add fuel to the fire by providing a dismissive comment. A few positive responses include: issuing an apology, informing them of a way to contact you in the future if they are unhappy, providing a discount for their inconvenience, or sharing how you are correcting the situation. You just might find that your customers are giving you good advice, or ideas for improving your products and/or service.
So you took the time to respond to criticism appropriately, but those negative reviews remain prominent in your social media accounts. A good strategy for hiding these negative responses is by building more good reviews to drive down the negative feedback. Please don’t forge these reviews – it is a good way to get kicked off these platforms. These need to be actual customers providing their own feedback. You can do this by personally asking people that visit your business, solicit them by email or phone call, or provide them with a reminder card asking for their feedback. Don’t just respond to negative feedback – thank your customers for positive feedback too to create a more open and engaging environment. A few platforms, such as Yelp, will let advertisers pay to highlight their more favorable reviews.
Building a SEO strategy for your business is another way to counter your negative reviews. A few ways to strengthen your SEO is by adding more content to your website, starting a blog, and participating in other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to help feature this positive content first when people search for your business. If you have any questions please contact Bop Design today about monitoring your brand or building your online brand.