It can be difficult to know how to respond, keep things positive or change the sentiment around your brand.
Here are four tips to protect you, your business and your brand’s reputation:
1. Avoid a knee-jerk reaction
Reading what could be perceived as negative commentary on your brand, business, products, services or employees can cause you to jump straight into responding by justifying yourself or trying to show that the consumer is 'off the mark' and 'misinformed'.
These are normal reactions, but it isn't necessarily going to help your brand or positively push your online presence. Rule number one is not to place blame, especially on the consumer or commenter, even if the comment is negative, false or misleading.
Rule number two is never to take it personally and do not to respond emotionally or in an accusatory fashion. Pay attention, think it through, then respond in a calm, professional and appropriate way. Set a clear ORM response policy around commenting and responding to comments.
2. Consider comments as free research
Think of the comments you receive on social media, both good and bad, as consumer research. Keep a record of your comments and responses, tips, questions, suggestions and key problems.
You’ll find that your customer, fan and follower will give you valuable information that you would not otherwise have. The idea is to change the negative sentiment around your brand into a positive one, while at the same time leveraging off the information and data gained through this process.
This perspective will assist you to see the value in this engagement with your brand. Online reputation management should be a daily task. This is all part of maintaining your online reputation and digital media presence.
3. Remember that everyone’s reading your responses
The most important reason to respond to both positive and negative comments is because everyone else on that thread is reading the banter. The amount of people reading the comments usually outweighs those actively participating in the conversation by commenting.
They are all paying close attention to how the business and brand responds. Appropriately responding to less negative comments presents the opportunity to demonstrate how connected the brand is with their consumer – it is the perfect platform to solve potential problems and defuse particular situations.
When a business listens and responds to feedback online, in an appropriate manner, a sense of trust is created. It shows that the brand is prepared to go above and beyond. This can stretch far beyond the commenter.
4. Hire talent to do your responding
In order to fully tap into the benefits of social media, you should consider getting a specialist on board to manage your social content along with the responses that this content creates.
It is important to be on the same page as your marketing team. If you are looking for an agency with the experience, guts and glory to carry your brand, then get in touch with So Interactive for your digital marketing needs.
For more information, visit www.sointeractive.co.za
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Sentiment analysis of media coverage has been helping brands and businesses manage their reputations and improve their offerings for years. Learn more in our article, Three quick facts about sentiment analysis.