Top 5 Ways to Kill Your Business’s Social Reputation in 2013
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media, a Vancouver based SEO company. Pitstop Media has been helping businesses across North America successfully increase their search visibility. If you want to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com.
Social Media Facts:
In July 2012 users spent 121 Billion Minutes On Social Media!
At last count there were 850 Million Social Network Users!
90% marketers use social media in their marketing mix!
These figures say one thing loud and clear – The social media landscape is expanding and changing fast. Therefore, as business owners we need to adapt fast. Ignoring social media is out of the question, for any business, big or small. In fact going by the rate at which social media is growing, it’s become imperative to handle social reputation with care.
Social media platforms today have the strength of numbers and the potential make anything go viral. This means the smallest mistake can blow-up into a PR nightmare if not handled right. The following are some such mistakes (not really small though) that you should stay away from:
1. Failing to counter to negative reviews: In any business, it’s impossible to keep all of your customers happy all the time. You need to always be prepared for unhappy customers and even people from the general public who disagree with you or your business policies.
Having said that, a few bad reviews every now and then are expected and normal. It’s failing to respond to them appropriately that can create problems.
Nestle burnt its fingers and learnt this lesson. Their social media debacle with Greenpeace has gone down as one of the biggest social media blunders in history.
2. Neglecting your website: While having an active social media page is important, you cannot possibly ignore your website – the online face of your business. At the end of the day, social media is a marketing tool, but unless what you are marketing (read website) is impressive, you can forget about securing conversions.
3. Making misinformed comments: Posting comments about or participating in trending conversations is a good idea, but remember social media is a public platform, so you need to be very careful about what you say.
A case in point is that of Celeb Boutique. On the day of Aurora shooting the company’s twitter account manager used the trending hashtag ‘aurora’ to tweet about its ‘aurora’ dress inspired by Kim Kardashian and even mentioned that ‘aurora’ is trending in the tweet!
The twitter community was obviously enraged at such insensitivity. Chances are that twitter manager had no clue about the shooting and simply assumed that the trending hashtag referred to their dress!
4. Not Keeping Track Of What Your Customers Are Saying: Social media may seem like your marketing team’s responsibility, it is important for other functions also to be aware of what goes on in this space. Many customers today turn to a company’s Facebook pages for lodging their complaints and voicing their dissatisfaction. In addition, they also leverage many online forums to share their bad experiences.
Your customer service team needs to constantly go through these sources for information about customers’ experience, and address the issues, if any. Most importantly, your team should be trained to handle customer complaints with humility and grace, no matter what the complainant says. The slightest hint of irritation, snarkiness or arrogance can backfire.
5. Self-Serving Spamming: There’s no one more hated in social network communities than spammers. You must always remember to respect the thin line dividing self-promotion and blatant spamming. You may use Toyota’s twitter marketing mistake as a ‘what not to do’ lesson.
As a part of its superbowl campaign, Toyota created multiple twitter accounts on the lines of @CamryEffect, @CamryEffect1, etc and replied with a promotional message to anyone that used a hashtag or phrase connected to Superbowl. No one was impressed and Toyota had to issue an apology.
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