If you and your company are active online, chances are you engage with your audience often through likes, comments and maybe even emojis. When you post great content on your pages, your fans engage with it, whether it’s photos of your products, client stories or tips about your industry.
So what happens if your brand gets its first negative Google review, which now shows up on the sidebar when new customers search your company name?
Or what about when someone gives you two out of five stars on Facebook, which lowers your overall rating?
Or if someone tweets something angry about your company’s customer service to their 7,000 followers?
Your social media pages are an extension of your brand, and can oftentimes be where your potential customers get their first impressions when they are researching which products or services to spend their money on. This is why social media management and your online reputation is important and should be valued and maintained with care, especially on social media.
Here are the best ways to manage and maintain your brand’s reputation on social media:
If you are not already doing this, today is a great day to start. There are plenty of free social monitoring tools out there that can make it easier for you to see who is mentioning your brand out there and what they’re saying. This way, you can measure general sentiment, be alerted to potential issues and deal with customer service problems before they turn into something bigger.
Whether you’re using Google Alerts, or sifting through your company’s Twitter mentions, paying attention to what is being said about your company and by whom can keep you keen to your audience and the perception of your brand.
Respond to All Messages, Reviews and Comments, Good and Bad
Here’s the easy part. When a fan comments something positive on your latest blog post, engage with them and say thank you. This will show appreciation from your brand and help you stand out when it comes to customer service.
It is even more important for your reputation, however, to respond when you receive negative messages. Consider every negative message as an opportunity. If you answer their questions and solve their problems, these formerly unsatisfied customers could be converted to fans who rave about your excellent customer service on their accounts, as well as by word of mouth.
A general rule of thumb, when it comes to questions or negative reviews: Don’t just expect them to go away. Leaving a comment or question without an answer for an extended period of time is easily noticed and noted and will reflect poorly on your brand.
Respond to Comments Quickly
According to a survey by NM Incite, 71% of consumers who receive quick brand responses would likely recommend that brand to their peers, while only 19% who received no response from the brand would give a recommendation.
Monitoring your mentions regularly can help with this, and the sooner you handle a complaint or issue, the easier it will be to take care of. Even if you don’t have a complete answer to their question immediately, acknowledging them and letting them know that you’re taking care of it, will mean a lot.
Making your customers a priority by responding to them quickly is always a good thing for your reputation, and may even result in a positive review.
Be Respectful, Always
As stated before, your company’s social media reputation is a direct extension of your brand, so be tactful and polite when responding to all messages, even if the commenter is angry.
Oftentimes, it’s best to apologize and show humility when it comes to responding to reviews, even when the issue is not your company’s fault. More importantly, you should offer a solution or answer to their issue. The bottom line is, the customer is (almost) always right as they are the ones who will be keeping you in business.
Take the Conversation Offline
If you receive a scathing comment or review which would be better handled privately, start by commenting directly on the post, and asking them to privately message you with their email address, phone number, or other contact information to get in touch with them.
Doing this will show your general audience that you are taking care of potential issues, while removing the specifics of a negative experience with your company from the public eye.
Negative comments and reviews are bound to happen, but by following these tips, you should be able to maintain your brand’s reputation when these situations arise.