It takes years to build a solid online business reputation. That reputation can be attacked and damaged irreparably in a matter of moments. We recently experienced an unexpected fire drill with multiple attacks on our reputation via social media. We scrambled to put into action many of the reputation management measures we coach our clients to maintain.
We learned first hand how important it is to protect against guerrilla attacks; and, how, in some people’s minds, we were guilty by a perceived association.
Respond Swiftly and Honestly.
In a span of a couple of hours, we were in a defense mode with our social media accounts. We were working hard to preserve our reputation. Our company social media was on fire with negative comments.
You have to meet negativity head on
Respond to negative reviews and inflammatory comments
Remember to be honest and stay positiver
Specifically address the complaint
Not gonna please everyone – – but stay positive
Explain what you are doing to fix the problem
Going forward, sincerely try to improve
And, remember, you are not going to please everyone – but, you need to try.
Stay Proactive. Get in front of It.
Many of those who posted negative comments about our company on social media were satisfied when we presented true comments directly with private messaging and even phone calls.
Remember to stay vigilant to protect against guerrilla attacks.
- Always monitor review sites. Focus on the ones that most impact your business sector. For many businesses, YELP is at the top of the list.
- Setup and use Google Alerts. This service sends emails to the user when it finds new results—such as web pages, articles, blogs, or research—that match the user’s search term.
- Always monitor your own social media accounts. Periodically check other social media accounts for content that relates to your reputation.
- Monitor your blog. If your blog is open to comments, make sure any negative ones are addressed promptly.
- Verify your partners, Especially if you are closely associated with key contractors of free-lancers.
- Ask Your customers. Encourage their positive comments in their own social circles. Ask for their feedback when they are exposed to negative or destructive comments.
This episode was a true test of our crisis management process in dealing with reputation management and negative social media. Please reach out to us at SteerPoint if this is a real-life situation for your company where we might be able to provide some guidance.