Use Social Media for Reputation Management

Social Media, the most engaging platform on the internet to date. Social media has become such a phenomenon over the last few years that many businesses are now using it every day. Or at least, they should. 

Often businesses decide to trust on themselves when it comes to managing their social media. Most of the time this goes well. However, when it doesn’t go well it goes bad, very bad. 

The most famous examples of social media fails of the recent years are: 

  1. United Airlines and their aggressive behaviour towards a customer 
  1. Black Milk Clothing and their “Expectations vs Reality” post 
  1. Pepsi’s “Jump In” fail with police brutality 

These are all prime examples of how to not do reputation management in social media. United Airlines took forever to apologise for their rude behaviour. 

Black Milk clothing decided to double down and defend their choice of “Expectations vs Reality” for a long time. 

Pepsi’s campaign received such big backlash that many consumers vowed to never drink Pepsi again. 

Of course these examples stand out because they are prime examples of bad reputation management. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. We will provide you with general guidelines on how to manage your brand’s reputation online. Please keep in mind that every audience is different and might expect different ways of communication. 

Negative reviews 

  • Always respond to negative reviews 

This is the most important advice we can give. When we say always, we mean always. Even if a consumer is being incredibly  rude and disrespectful. Stay polite and respond to them professionally. Leaving an angry customer to be ignored will only make them feel more angry and less heard. You want to avoid this at all cost. 

Here are a few stats to explain why it is important to respond to negative reviews: 

  • 60 percent of consumers say that negative reviews push them away from doing business with an organisation 
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations 
  • Reviews have a small impact on your search engine ranking. 

Google has a review system that consumers can use, and many websites now show star ratings underneath the search result.  

By making sure to respond to negative reviews you are showing that you care about your business and want to improve. Which is great, because a response will stay online just as long as the negative review does. Which means, forever. 

Now of course, you’re wondering. How should we respond to negative reviews? Here are a few tips: 

  1. Take your time. Don’t sit on a response for a day, but take your time to gather yourself. Reading a negative review is difficult. Make sure you respond maturely and professionally. Don’t respond out of emotion 
  2. Be genuine. Consumers can see through a fake charade. If you don’t respond genuinely to a negative review this will stand out 
  3. Take the conversation offline. Don’t get into a heated argument on social media. Take it offline, or to email. By answering politely and providing an alternate way of communicating you can take the angry customer off of social media. This will make you seem mature and adult and is always great. 
  4. Don’t ignore it. As we said before, don’t ignore negative reviews or angry comments below negative reviews. Always engage 

How to Combat trolls 

We don’t mean the ones from that movie, or the one that hides under the bridge. We mean the online trolls. These are the people that decide to ruin a brand’s reputation. Purely for fun. Of course, it is hard to differentiate between a genuine complaint and a troll. But here are some general words that trolls use: 

  • Strong words such as “Never”, “always”, “horrible”, “hate” etc... 
  • Personal name calling or personal attacks 
  • Poor grammar, punctuation errors etc... 

If you do realise that you are working with a troll than keep the following things in mind. 

  • Stay polite  

Trolls want one thing more than anything. Keep you angry and upset. Don’t give them the fuel to make that happen. Stay polite and factual 

  • State facts 

Trolls will often say incredibly rude things but have no real experience with your business. Proof this and provide facts to prove too the trolls, and everyone who reads the comments, wrong. 

  • Don’t start an argument 

A troll will often start being impolite and rude. Don’t give in and continue the argument. State facts as to why the troll is wrong and don’t make it personal 

  • Don’t delete comments 

Often trolls will start swearing and being rude. Don’t delete comments, it will only fuel their anger and frustration more. 

  • Know when to stop 

At some point the conversation will go nowhere and that’s OK too. Know when it is time to stop and end the argument. 

What to do when you post an inaccurate message? 

Nobody is perfect. We all will post inaccurate messages at times. The most important thing is to keep your cool and own up to your mistake. 

  • Own up to your mistake 

As we said before it is important to own up to your mistake. Especially on platforms such as social media it is important to do this. Without owning up to your mistakes you will be unable to improve and do things better. People will take screenshots and share your message anyway. May as well leave it up. 

  • Don’t delete your message 

As tempting as it is to delete the wrong message it is not a thing that you should do. As we mentioned before, people will read the message and comment on it. Others will think it’s hilarious and take a screenshot and send it to their friends. By deleting the message you are thinking you are ahead of the curve. But most likely you are not. 

  • Offer the correct information in a different post 

By providing the right information in a different post. Make sure that users are aware that it is a new post. Add a title such as. “Update” or “New Information” this makes it clear that it is the correct version. 

Of course there are many different ways that your online reputation can take a hit. But it is important to not despair. It happens to everyone. If you follow the guidelines above you will be able to have a better response than your competition. Stay ahead of the game. 

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