So it’s happened, you knew it would only be a matter of time, but there you see it right in front of you on the screen. Someone has left you an unhappy message on your Facebook wall, or sent out a Tweet to all their followers expressing their concerns with something you’ve said / not done / sold.
That’s the problem with the public nature of Social Media, it’s given the people power!
Now the comments could be fabricated, perhaps a little mountain / molehill situation, or maybe absolutely on point. I’m here to tell you today that this isn’t the end of the world, and (if) handled correctly will not have as much of a “bad” impact as you are first thinking.
Kneejerk reactions are great (believe me I’ve made them myself) in the heat of the moment, when someone is unhappy they say things they might not mean/say on reflection, so it’s VERY important that you don’t react in a similar manner.
Building your online reputation takes time and is hard work – the effort and thought gone into your website, email marketing campaign, even your social profiles all counts. You really don’t want to see that destroyed by an irritated customer.
Dependant upon your business type and where the negative comment was posted will determine the effect it has on your business however.
For example, if you are running a hotel / B&B and you are in Trip Advisor, or a hotel booking site like booking.com, or you are an Amazon seller and something negative has been said it can be a little bit devastating.
If it’s a rogue tweet, it tends to disappear from the newsfeeds quite quickly so it doesn’t tend to be too much of a problem, that said however I do firmly believe and recommend that you respond – follow up with a call, email or message to try and rectify the situation.
In those situations, take note of it, and try to avoid it from happening again in the future.
Responding to Negative Comments on Facebook
The easiest and most simple way here is to delete said comment if it has been posted on your own Page wall, or alternatively you can just make a few page updates – text, links, photos, videos and pretty quickly the comment will just filter down the page list, without too many people seeing it.
If the comment is made on another person’s Facebook page then the only option you really have is to ask the page owner to remove it, or report it to Facebook or just ignore it (which yes I know can be hard, especially if you find it to be untrue)
Personally I’m actually a fan of the negative comments, they give you an opportunity to REALLY excel with your customer service skills and actually turn a positive into a negative pretty quickly.
Take a look at the screenshot below – a perfect example of someone who was disgruntled by some Facebook advertising appearing in their newsfeed so decided to take it out on the page post. Some carefully polite words later, another person picked up on the attitude of Affordable Printing Co’s good manner and actually said that reading the response had made them sit in that person’s mind for any printing if they needed it in the future. The disgruntled customer didn’t come back with any reply, but it certainly sparked some good feedback.
Responding To Negative Comments On Twitter
The same goes with Twitter; the very public nature of the platform with the hashtags means that if an unhappy customer tweets with a relevant hashtag to your business it will be seen by all who are looking for that keyword.
You need to be quick off the starting blocks, don’t ignore those messages / tweets if they are persistent. By remaining silent those people who are seeing these comments with your business name attached may think you simply don’t care.
My advice in that instance is to respond with all the relevant hashtag keywords used directly to the user, and offer to get the situation resolved in a mutually beneficial way, and steer the conversation onto email asap – out of the public domain.
People don’t like to be ignored, they know that by using their virtual “speakers corner” they will be heard and taken seriously. I’ve seen many instances of negatives becoming positives by the swift action of the person at the centre of the negativity.
Responding To Negative Comments On Your Website / Blog
The good thing about your website / blog is that you are often in control of who / what posts on it. People generally respond and will warm to those who keep their cool, so its very important to remain composed in these instances.
If the comment on the site isn’t derogatory or carrying bad language I’d be inclined to let it ride on the site, and you respond demonstrating your company’s ability to handle the good, the bad and the ugly.
State fact: if it’s over lost or damaged goods, provide proof; offer an alternative solution that keeps the customer with you.
Ask yourself “are you at fault? If the answer is YES then you apologise and make the situation right (i.e. refund, resend goods, re supply service)
There are those people that no matter what / how you respond will just go on a rampage of negative comments, this can be quite tiresome. Aside from taking legal advice if the comments are bordering on slanderous, the only thing you can do is try to use it to your advantage.
Screenshot the comments, and put it out there for your happy customers to see – let them respond, or collate testimonials in favour of your services, if you are doing a good job the ratio won’t take long to imbalance itself in your favour. Varied positives from different customers soon stamps all over repeated comments from the one source.
In conclusion, don’t panic! It’ really isn’t the be all and end all on your social channels if this does happen. You can use this to your advantage, and turn it into a PR success! If, you don’t feel confident in your responses, then the Bizzebee community team are here and happy to provide impartial advice on the best course of action you could take to keep your brand in the best possible light.
Joining Google+ is not optional if you’re serious about establiising a solid presence both socially and from a search engine perspective. The reason is simple. Google is throwing its weight behind its social media platform and is ranking websites with G+ pages highly. Your chances for appearing in top Google searches for any given keyword are exponentially higher if you have a Google+ page and have optimized it by taking the following steps:
How Google+ Works
Google offers customized search results these days. It knows your search history from your IP address and from your login, and will display results on top which it thinks you are more interested in. If you have a Google+ page and one of your followers is searching for one of your products, Google will display your G+ result among the top results for that user (personalised search result). Google has merged its web search with its social media search, and the results have favoured businesses which have a strong Google+ presence.
Optimize “About Me” Section
Google’s spiders work off keywords to track and rank content. When writing the “About Me” section of your Google+ page, make sure that you include keywords which your customers are likely to be searching for. The keyword(s) should appear as early in your text as possible.
Establish Google Authorship
If you haven’t claimed Google authorship yet, you probably should get started. Google authorship links all of the content that you produce across the web to your Google+ profile. What it means is that whenever someone searches for a piece of content you’ve created and sees the link on the search engine results page (SERP), your picture and name will be visible right beside the link to the content. The search results will also show the number of Google+ Circles that you are included in. This improves the clickability of this particular search result. Moreover, Google also recognises you as the author of this content and this builds towards your author rank but we’ll save the authorship and author rank discussion for a separate post.
Use Circles to Build Relationships
There are other pages on Google+ that wield a lot of influence, basically because a huge number of people have them in their Circles. G+ Circles are like groups to which you can add people or pages. Similarly, other people can also add you and your page to their Circles. When you have made your Google+ page, the next thing you should do is look for highly influential pages in your category and add them to your Circles. Build your relationships with those pages by frequently sharing your updates with them but also sharing their content and engaging with them (not one way traffic). If they get to know you and share your updates, this could mean a lot of exposure for your brand. Also, there is the potential that Google will rank you higher based on your G+ influence, as your profile will have links from many influential G+ users.
Use Google+ for Immediate Indexing
Sharing your content on your G+ page ensures that it is indexed by Google crawlers more quickly. If you publish a post on your blog or website, Google can take weeks or even months before it displays your post among the search results. Sharing it on G+ is a surefire way to make the spiders notice it almost immediately.
Use Content SEO
All the rules of website FoogleSEO also apply to your G+ page. Use your keyword in your titles and posts and try to maintain a keyword density of 1-2% (as a basic rule of thumb). Your keyword should appear early in the text of your post. Use hashtags and title tags to increase your exposure.
Get a +1 Button
Google also favors content that has been +1’ed by a lot of users. After creating a G+ page, the next thing you should do is to get a +1 button for your website, so that people can share and +1 your content to their Circles. I recently wrote a post on the new Google+ follow button which you can easily add to your site.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this summary of how Google+ can really catapult your website up the search rankings if you employ the right SEO tactics to your G+ page. I’ll end this post by suggesting the golden rule to your G+ success is to engage, engage and keep engaging and not to continuously push your own content. Users will reward you by adding you to their circles but also approaching you for an opinion or seeking your advice which naturally turns you into an authority.
Clair here again, I thought it would be a great idea to follow up on my last post, where I tried to break down “Where Would I Be Without Social Media” and talk to you this week a little bit about the Social Media commitment.
In order for Social Media to “work” there is a level of commitment involved often far bigger than anyone would realise from the outset. I hear and have spoken to a LOT of people who talk about ROI, and is Social Media really worth it?
The simple answer is YES it is, but it doesn’t come without work ethic and a level of commitment from YOU.
Your commitment is to TURN UP – for example, if you are running a Twitter account, it is your responsibility to BE THERE.
For me, because pretty much all of my working life revolves around social media sites, my audience know that over a weekend I am “off work” and that is across the major sites that I manage a presence on.
The ROI from Social Media comes once the trust has been built between you and your followers, the trust only happens when you’ve proven yourself to those around you – this can / is easy to do in a variety of ways, but all essentially boils down to the fact you need to be committed to your profiles on the platforms and be there.
There is nothing more frustrating than someone recommending another business or person for a service and then when you go check their profile out to find they aren’t utilising their profile. There are countless people out there all hungry for business, so you need to ensure you do whatever it takes to win that business, or at least be in the running too.
Unfortunately I see this all the time in my line of work. When I speak to people and ask them “what happened” I’m often met with the response “it doesn’t work for me” or “I don’t have time” – Both answers are true, to a degree if you don’t understand what it takes to make this commitment work.
If you embark on a Facebook page campaign or open a Twitter account – make your intentions clear from the outset – let your audience know when you will be around and who is managing things – this is a part of your virtual shop front, and very much an extension of your customer service team. That is the Social Media Commitment and you should stick to it without question.
Building trust doesn’t need to take a lifetime.
You don’t need to be knocking down doors 24/7 trying to sell one service after another through your social channels.
What you do need to be doing is talking to the people around you – look for those locally, those in your industry and forming bonds with those people. Are they after a recommendation for a service you’ve experience with, and then tell them where you’ve been!
Recommendation is the driving force in the success of Social Media marketing for small business owners. You get that “seal of approval” from a fellow twitter user, 9 times out of 10 you’ve then got the business.
As much as people will engage with you if you are active and out there, they won’t come looking for you if you suddenly go quiet – for the most part anyway. You’ve got to have a very good bond with your fellow social community for that to happen. There’s only so many times a person can walk past a shop to see if its open, until they start going elsewhere.
There is no “comfort” zone with social media, you never really get a chance to “rest” or feel “safe” if you want continued connections and success you need to keep working hard at it, and that is a commitment.
As business owners I appreciate that your time is precious – whilst it’s the most affordable thing you can often spare in the beginning, the whole commitment to turning up during the days you are open can be off putting, so use the time you have got and make it count.
Whether you have 30 minutes or 3 hours – you need to ensure you schedule your time properly.
There are lots of great third party apps out there that let you set up auto tweets (which are essential for time management and productivity) so you NEVER forget to get your important messages out there. Syncing profiles together so Facebook talks to Twitter (or Vice Versa) so you aren’t “doubling up” on some messages, which means your available time is put to real time engagement – replying to messages and tweets, reading through your timeline, getting involved in networking hours, live chats and generally seeing where you can add value.
Bizzebee as a collective understand the commitment needed to really make Social Media work, during the coming weeks as the site develops more you will see some really excellent training and advice from the team to really help you streamline your social media efforts which makes the whole social media commitment easier, and most definitely worth it!
Every business worth their salt these days has a business Facebook page. Why? Because times are changing or rather times have changed! Facebook has over 900 Million users worldwide so to ignore this platform would be unwise and just plain silly. You have the potential to reach an audience and spread your message in a way you never had before.
You can loosen the tie with your Facebook page – you do not have to be so “business” if you know what I mean. Have a bit of fun with it.
Facebook users are more of a “share and like” type – they love the interaction. Remember it’s a social media site, the keyword there being social.
It can be a great way to run competitions and if your message goes viral then you will be attracting a lot of extra potential customers but more importantly your brand will be getting more exposure. Great for the long game.
With a business Facebook page your potential reach to people comes directly from your “likes” to start with, but then what they like and share also appears on their friends timelines – further increasing your exposure. Sort of like a ripple effect – although Google will probably tell us off for using that term so, as Facebook calls it – insights.
Although the difference between a successful, vibrant, interactive page and one that just sits there gathering dust with nobody to talk to comes down to a few things.
If your page is brand new you should probably start by sending your page out to your friends, you can do this straight away from the invite friends link.
Whatever you do – DO NOT BUY LIKES – these will be fake, offer no interaction and be a waste of money. A page with 100 interactive fans holds much more value than one with 1000 fake fans. All these sites do is fuel peoples egos. They will get found out soon.
Do try to keep your content relevant to your audience but do not be afraid to test the water with something that you would not ordinarily be associated with. Consistency is also key with these pages, try to post at least once per day – this will give your audience the thought they are on your mind. Which they should be.
You could also add some personal touches to your Facebook business page, how about some pictures from the office, a staff party or perhaps a video of the production areas? Think a little outside the box – it can be a great way to show your human side. Things that you may want to keep away from your main website for example.
The 10 Tips Infographic below will give you an insight into improving your Facebook business page.
So, go ahead – get your Facebook business page online now and start to take action on the steps outlined above. You will soon see your captive audience grow.
Please, if you do have any comments or thoughts add them below. We would love to hear from you.
This is my first post for the new Bizzebee community site, so I thought I should start my work with you all answering a very important question, because it will help you understand where I am coming from and WHY I am so passionate about Social Media. But more importantly might trigger some thought patterns inside your own mind if indeed you are curious about Social Media and your business.
“Where Would I Be Without Social Media?”
This is a question I often ask myself, infact I find it quite strange that I can’t quite imagine either my work or personal life without Social Media.
Quite simply, Social Media has transformed my day-to-day life, and just like each of you reading this post I am a regular person going about their daily life trying to make a living in an economy that is in downturn.
Social Media has changed business for the better – that is because it has allowed people to talk publicly about their experiences, their likes, dislikes and also bridge the gap between those in business power and those who keep them there (the consumer)
Don’t get me wrong, Social Media Marketing has not replaced traditional marketing methods – such as guerrilla marketing, flyer campaigns, email marketing and the like, but what is has done is add an additional element to the marketing mix which has broken geographical boundaries.
I GENUINELY BELIEVE THAT EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS OWNER NEEDS A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Whether you are the local sweet shop or a large blue chip corporation, your business can and will become better and achieve longevity by tapping into the social networks that surround and consume our daily lives.
I wanted to test the theory that I had about Social channels – as someone who has been enthusiastic about Social Media since the MySpace days, I sat in my office wondering where people were looking for services, aside from the obvious of typing into Google.
I started with Twitter, I looked at it’s search facility, I looked for businesses and people I knew, and I studied their tweeting habits, I looked up specific words (just like I would with Google) only this time I saw something different, I saw people asking “can anyone recommend _____” rather than a load of businesses with something to sell filling up a Google search results.
That was my light bulb moment
Nobody told me “how” to “do,” Twitter, I sat there and over the course of about 6 weeks I’d figured it out – BE HELPFUL. So I was. I Created a business Twitter account and then started life as a great person offering my experience and help on many different things – relating to printing and design right down to what to do in Berlin.
It was relatively easy to gain my first “sale” via social media too. 6 weeks into having the business Twitter account we’d sold our first set of business cards for £27, and since then have built an exceptional reputation of being a good Twitter community member, so much so that we have approximately 15 regular clients (so have come back to order more than once) and in the last 2 years have increased the company turnover by about £60K
Some Examples Of Our Customers Comments In The Twitter Public Domain
At the time of writing this post, our company website has only been fully functioning for the last 4 weeks.
Ask me if having the company website alone without the social channels would it have had the same impact on company turnover, my answer would be NO.
Social Media is FREE – it has cost the company nothing except for my time, had we have relied on the website alone, we’d have spent a LOT more on SEO & Advertising.
I’m not saying you don’t need to pay for those kind of things (because they are an integral part of your business success too) but if you are a business start up then money is often tight – the one thing you can often spare is time – whenever you have 20 / 30 / 45 / 60 minutes you can tap into your social networks and carry on building / forging those all important relationships that build trust.
Trust is what gets you the referrals. If someone trusts what you are about and believes in you as a person they will recommend and open you up to their network. It’s exactly the same as face to face networking groups, only its online and not geographically tied.
Without social media my family’s business wouldn’t have even been in existence to some of the people we have done work for. They simply wouldn’t of known who we were.
I teach people like all of you reading this the principles to move forward and bring your brand online. When someone says to me “it doesn’t work for me” I spend my time wanting to learn more about their approach. If it works for me, then it will work for you, it just means you are going wrong somewhere along the line.
Systems Work, People Fail – it really is that black and white
In my now role as someone who helps others learn the social media ropes, I’ve made some AMAZING contacts, its opened up opportunities to learn and grow in both my personal and business life.
People I’ve worked with on Social Media efforts, that without Social Media I’d of NEVER connected with
Infact, if it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t be the Bizzebee I am now, working with some of the most honest and helpful people in this industry on this amazing project that is only going to give you all the benefit of our experience and the truth about succeeding and what it takes to get there.
In conclusion, I’m going to try and answer my initial question for you.
“Where Would I Be Without Social Media?”
Behind the times, falling down behind my competitors, losing business I didn’t even know I could have got, probably facing some tough decisions with the family business and how we carry on operating.
It is NEVER too late to build your social presence, which is why we took the best of the best, put us all together and built this bizzebee community.