How to Conquer Social Media Negativity

How to Conquer Social Media Negativity

The rise of social apps and networks in recent years is kind of a big deal. A quality social media presence is a vital component of a successful brand or business in 2018.

Social platforms have a large number of advantages: easy connections, cost efficiency, and instant feedback for starters. Social media provides an honest way for brands and customers to communicate, but this transparency comes with a price. Let’s face it: the truth hurts sometimes.

Running a brand on social platforms is all fun and games until the inevitable happens: your brand is forced to face negativity head-on. Negativity on social media can come in all shapes and sizes. From hurtful or inappropriate comments, to bullying, or even getting sucked into the vicious cycle of comparison (How does the chick posting constant pizza and ice cream indulgences MAINTAIN HER SIZE 2 PHYSIQUE??!!).

From unsolicited rude comments to the bad vibes we create in our head, negativity is bound to enter our social space from time to time. So, how are you going combat the negative and maintain a positive perspective?

5 Tips to Conquer Social Media Negativity

Adjust your perspective.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

This quote is the truth. Not everyone you encounter is going to be a ray of sunshine. It likely has nothing to do with you or your brand. You can’t please everyone, but you can change your perspective and control how you let the negativity affect and influence your business. My advice? Kill ’em with kindness.

Block inappropriate keywords

As social media evolves, we gain more abilities to better our social presence. One of these abilities is that we can block any keywords that we choose.

If you’re not sure where to begin, most brands start with blocking swear words, sexual, political, and abusive keywords.

When keyword blocking you can rest assured that no comment or message will appear on your page if it contains any of your blocked keywords. This allows you to conquer negativity by giving you the power to eliminate it altogether.

Learn the difference between constructive criticism & ‘trolling’

For those of you that don’t know, trolling is when someone makes unnecessary offensive or derogatory comments simply to get a rise out of the receiver.

In order to build positive relationships with your audience, you have to analyze and understand negative comments as well. However, it is vital to distinguish the difference between constructive feedback or criticism and comments that are just hateful for the sake of being hateful.

If your brand is being trolled, accept the negativity for what it is, and take it with a grain of salt. If the comment is constructive, analyze the situation and adjust accordingly.

An example of trolling, and a smart response from the brand.

Take a breather

There are times where I feel out of touch with reality because I’ve been so consumed with social media. When I recognize these feelings, I put my phone on silent and focus on being present.

I’m not suggesting you delete your brand’s social media page. While taking breaks is important, so is consistency. Don’t fall off the face of the earth – your brand depends on you!

The breaks I take are short and sweet, and they give me the ability to mentally recharge and maintain a positive mindset.

Good vibes only

Ultimately, your mindset is everything. Stay focused; stay on brand, and discover what helps you maintain a positive attitude.

do your thing

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Reputation Management SEO: Monitor Your Branded Keywords

Reputation Management SEO: Monitor Your Branded Keywords

Reputation management goes beyond building credibility via social media platforms and an established website. Brands spark discussion on various channels all over the web, and the loudest of these conversations come together on Google.

Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.
– Chris Anderson

Have you ever typed your own name in a Google search? I’m willing to bet money that you have. Maybe it’s not something you’d admit to, but with access to endless information at our fingertips, who can resist?

Personally, I’m a Google searchin’ fool! I literally lay in bed at night and think of things to look up on Google. It’s slightly pathetic, but hey- no shame in my game. So, naturally, I search my own name semi-regularly. My results are probably similar to the majority of self-searchers: my LinkedIn profile, my company’s “Staff” page, and a handful of results featuring total strangers that happen to have the same name as me.

Maybe you’ve searched yourself out of curiosity, or boredom, or because I’ve put the idea in your mind just now. But sometimes your name gets searched for a specific purpose, like a business owner considering hiring you, or a new love interest making sure they’re not about to go to dinner with a serial killer.

In situations like that, the search results could make or break your reputation.

And of course, the same is true for brands.

Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are searches that include the name of a specific business or brand. For example, branded keywords for “Business X” would look something like this:

  • Business X
  • BusinessX.com
  • Business X hours
  • Business X Greenville, NC

These results a consumer gets from searching these keywords have a major effect on that businesses reputation, and that’s where reputation management SEO comes in.

Reputation Management SEO

This refers to search engine optimization approaches and techniques meant to positively influence the results for branded keywords with the goal to improve and uphold a brand’s digital reputation.

How Does Google Search Results Impact a Brand’s Reputation?

It’s Sunday morning, and your crew is daydreaming about brunch, but they’re over the usual go-to brunch spots. So, you whip out your cell and Google the name of that restaurant downtown that opened up recently.

One of the first things you see in your search results is a preview of their Trip Advisor rating:

26 reviews – 2.3 stars – $30-50 price range

2.3 stars for a $50 brunch? #Nope

And, just like that, your opinion has soured.

Review sites can heavily influence your online reputation. Not to mention articles, blog posts, directory pages, Google reviews, and the long list of other third-party sites that rank for branded searches. There wouldn’t be an issue if brands could control the content of these sites, but that typically isn’t the case. So, now what?

Reputation Management SEO Strategies

1. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!

Review sites are so important regarding local reputation management. The reason so many review sites rank on the first page of a Google search is because they provide relevant information in the form of authentic reviews from real customers.

If you play your cards right, you have the ability to turn these sites into a valuable source for reputation management. 

  • Scope out the options available on third-party sites. A lot of them will allow brands or businesses to “claim” and revise their profile. Take the opportunity to add valuable information to the profile, using it as a platform to reach potential customers.
  • If there’s a section for photos, upload relevant, attractive, high-quality photos of your brand or business + your products and services.
  • Encourage existing customers to add positive reviews to the site, lessening the influence of the negative ones.

2. Create New Content

When carried out strategically, blog posts, videos, and photos that utilize branded keywords have the ability to outrank the review pages that you’re not so cool with.

Utilize every resource. Creating new content on your brand’s website is a great start, but go the extra mile. A few ways to create content for reputation management SEO outside of your website are:

  • Creating content and engaging with followers on social media platforms.
  • Branded Youtube videos!
  • Check out the local discussion boards that are relevant to your industry and join the conversation.

3. Reach Out to Credible Outside Sources About Discussing your Brand

Start by contacting your local news source. You would be surprised at how many opportunities are available to local brands and businesses through these sources, but you have to be proactive to find out! Other options include:

  • Partner with influential locals that have a strong online following.
  • Sponsor events that are likely to get press.
  • Partner with industry bloggers with a large readership.

Spreading positive news and information about your business helps to scatter a variety of brand-relevant content across the web.

Online Reputation Management

Reputation management SEO, like regular SEO, takes time, but hear me when I tell you it is totally worth the time and effort.

Get in touch with us if you’re ready to chat about where your brand resides in the digital marketplace.

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Give ‘Em Something to Talk About: A 4-Step Guide to Boosting Your Brand Reputation

Give ‘Em Something to Talk About: A 4-Step Guide to Boosting Your Brand Reputation

If you’re looking for a surefire way to win customers’ trust and grow your business, you need to pay special attention to your brand reputation. In today’s world, consumers have tons of options when it comes to online retailers. If you want to encourage more people to choose your website, it’s important to have a stellar reputation as a brand.

When people see your brand logo, you want them to instantly think of your business as one that’s dependable and passionate about helping customers. As you continue building your reputation, you’ll notice that more people are visiting your site, which significantly increases your chances that they’ll convert to customers.

Your brand reputation hinges on several factors, including established marketing channels such as social media and email. In this article, we’ll examine several things your business can do to make sure you’re establishing a favorable brand reputation.

I got a reputation! A following! My brand is on the rise!

Demonstrate Your Value

One of the best ways to bolster your brand reputation is to demonstrate your value. Many organizations like to talk about what they do that makes them great – and sometimes that approach is successful. But if you want your business to grow by leaps and bounds, you need to show visitors what you bring to the table.

There are many ways that you can highlight your brand’s value in a manner that your audience can better understand. A SaaS provider, for example, could present a full demo of the dynamic features their product offers. Instead of merely reading about how quickly someone can construct a form with your software, show them by providing a demonstration.

We would appreciate a good review.

Another great way to underscore your value is to showcase customer testimonials and reviews on your website. This method works particularly well because it’s someone else – not you – who is touting your company’s value. New visitors can see what actual customers think about your products or services, and that can be the determining factor when contemplating your value proposition.

Research proves that reviews and testimonials can help increase sales by building social proof – the idea that our behavior is influenced by the actions, attitudes, and beliefs of others, assuming it must be the correct behavior – which generates trust and a positive reputation. Adding these blurbs to your business website can improve your conversion rate by 270%!

Finally, someone's talking to me!

Engage with Your Audience

If you’re not purposefully engaging with your audience daily, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build up your reputation. Consumers expect online brands to engage with them on social media, email, and their websites.

There are several ways that you can enhance engagement across all your marketing platforms.

On your business website, you can allow comments and reviews on your blog posts and product pages. Engaged visitors will take advantage of these channels to communicate with your brand. Make sure your team is available to address users’ concerns and thank them for their feedback.

You subscribed to my email list; prepare to buy!

Email marketing is another avenue where subscribers want to see more engagement. When you send out emails as part of a drip campaign, you can expect to get responses from users based on what you sent to them. By personalizing future emails in the campaign, you can offer specific answers to customers’ questions.

When you engage with users directly, they’re far more likely to regard your brand as trustworthy.

Social media is another pivotal platform for customer engagement. Whether you’re a small, independently owned business or a major corporation, social media engagement can generate substantial results for your business.

Who here is on social?

Reach out to consumers who comment on your posts and join relevant social media groups where you can interact with your target audience. Customers recount that when a brand engages with them on social media, they typically spend 20% to 40% more when they shop on that brand’s site.

The reason for this is simple: when companies deliver targeted, interactive experiences to consumers, they’re taking significant steps toward strengthening their brand reputation.

Is there something I can help you with?

Improve Your Customer Service

Your customer service and support teams are essential to furthering your brand reputation. Should a customer have questions or concerns, your customer service team can make the difference between a completed purchase and an abandoned cart.

Let’s say you’re visiting a particular website to make a purchase. After selecting the products you’re looking for, you realize you have a question about one of the items in your shopping cart. So, you begin searching for a way to contact customer support. Upon finding the appropriate link and typing out your query, you find out that the promised response time is 3 to 5 business days. Would you patiently wait for a response or abandon your cart and seek out a competitor with a team that’s ready, willing, and able to support you?

Hmmm...I think I'm gonna pass on that one.

In this age of instant gratification when consumer patience has dwindled to almost nil, most people would choose to find the items they need on another website.

Ideally, your website’s live chat options should include a combination of real customer service agents and chatbots. The chatbot is your first line of defense. This handy tool is typically located at the bottom corner of a site’s homepage, so customers can easily access the information they need when they have questions.

When I think of chatbots....

Chatbots should be able to accommodate essential operations such as password changes and blog references. If an issue is more complex, you can program your chatbot to transfer that customer to a live agent where they can get assistance immediately.

When your team can answer customer inquiries in minutes instead of days, you’ll be well on your way toward building a positive brand image. Customers will return to you time and time again when they perceive your business as hospitable and reputable.

Implement Social Listening

Implement Social Listening

Social listening involves monitoring and cultivating your business based on what consumers are saying about you and your competitors on social media. It’s also a powerful tool for improving your brand reputation.

Nearly half the population (49%) uses social media platforms to talk to friends, watch videos, and make purchases. Identifying how people think about your products or those of your competitors can help boost your brand reputation.

Big Reputation, Big Reputation...

Through social listening, you may notice that several people outside your primary social media group are discussing a feature your product is missing. Instead of viewing this feedback in a negative light, you can use it as an opportunity to show your commitment to customers. Implement the requested features whenever possible and work towards building an all-inclusive package for users.

Overall, social listening can help you pinpoint customers’ persistent or recurring problems, as well as identify potential areas for improvement in your products or services.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to boost your business’s brand reputation. The tips covered here are broad in scope and applicable to a variety of different industries. Carefully consider where you might be missing out on critical opportunities to deeply connect with your audience, and make the necessary changes to rectify these problems.

Before you know it, you’ll enjoy a world-class reputation with both new and current customers. Bear in mind that reputation is much easier to lose than it is to gain. Build your audience’s trust, continue delivering on these standards, and you can expect to see exponential growth in the years to come.

If you’re looking to boost your brand reputation through digital marketing, HighClick Media is here to help! Give us a call today at 252.814.2150!

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The Basics of Brand Loyalty: Transforming Your Customers Into a Lifelong Community

The Basics of Brand Loyalty: Transforming Your Customers Into a Lifelong Community

Chances are, we all have that one brand which has effectively, in its own way, stolen our hearts.

Brand loyalty is when a customer consciously chooses your product or company over that of any of your competitors – not just every now and then, but each and every time. It’s when customers don’t have to be pitched or pressured in order to make a purchase; they will invariably choose a particular brand over any other brand’s services or prices – even if they’re cheaper! Having cultivated trust with their customers which goes deeper than details like pricing, these companies often command their corner of the industry.

It’s critical to differentiate between customer loyalty and brand loyalty. Customer loyalty is primarily concerned with prices and services, while brand loyalty involves people’s perception of your business and the emotions connected with it. In this day and age, many newer companies lack brand loyalty because shoppers have easy access to compare details such as pricing and online reviews.

Establishing brand loyalty is no simple matter. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best strategies for building brand loyalty and transforming your customers into crusaders for your business.

Engage with Your Customers Regularly

It’s crucial that you’re connecting with your customers across every marketing channel. This includes – but is not limited to – emails, social media, and text messaging. Customers are people, and people naturally respond well to engagement.

Being available to engage with your customers on all the channels helps to humanize your brand. Doing so can build confidence in your brand and let your customers know that you and your brand can be trusted. Listening is half the battle. To really demonstrate to your customers that you’re paying attention to them, you need to bring about change based upon what they have to say.

With that being said, it’s essential that your brand is consistent in your communications in order to establish and maintain a high degree of brand loyalty. It makes no difference if you’re reaching out to people across all channels if you’re not doing it consistently.

Customers spot inconsistency and regard it as evidence of what it is – a business that’s disorganized and unprofessional. By maintaining a powerful brand voice and outlook, customers will come to embrace that tone as who your company is and will instinctively remember. Apple is a great example of a brand that is continually interacting with their customers across all marketing channels. Subsequently, their brand loyalty is among the highest in the world.

Reward Your Customers

People like to be appreciated. When your brand rewards customers for their loyalty, they feel cared about – and in exchange, they’re likely to demonstrate even greater brand loyalty. This is a progression that becomes stronger and stronger each time a customer redeems a reward.

Consider Starbucks – a brand that offers a commonplace product at a premium price, yet has consistently clung to a boatload of brand loyalty. Part of why Starbucks is so adept at this is because of how they’ve “gamified” their rewards program in a way that engages customers and gets them excited about using it.

Take the time to download the Starbucks Rewards app – as well as those of other prominent companies that loom large over their respective industries (e.g., McDonald’s, Nike, etc.) – and you’ll notice how seamless and innovative they’ve made it for customers to claim their rewards. Draw inspiration from these examples and attempt to recreate their success on your own website or via a company app as a means to further build brand loyalty.

Another spectacular strategy for rewarding your faithful customers is to do so in astonishing and unexpected ways. Sending them a small complimentary gift or even a simple text message on their birthday or during the holidays goes a long way toward showing your customers that you’re thinking about them. People enjoy being pleasantly surprised, particularly when it’s from someone they might not expect it from.

Building Trust and a Community Takes Time

Even the top brands didn’t achieve brand loyalty overnight. For all the brands mentioned above, it has taken decades to build up the loyalty they enjoy with their customers. So if you don’t get the results you want immediately, it’s understandable. You’re playing the long game, and boosting brand loyalty is one of the things that takes the longest.

A good place to start is by establishing your business as a trusted authority in the field. Accomplishing this demands taking your reputation management seriously and being diligent when it comes to adjusting your tone in order to win the trust of your customers.

Reviews are extremely critical in 2021. Responding to negative reviews can be tough, but it is essential. When you can effectively deal with unfavorable reviews, it illustrates to customers that you value what they have to say and will reply in a manner that resolves their concerns.

It’s only natural for people to want to demonstrate loyalty to their own communities. Take advantage of this characteristic of human psychology to establish greater loyalty and trust in your company.

Form online communities either on your website or even through social media with a simple, straightforward hashtag. This will serve as a nexus for your customers to interact with each other as well as with your brand.

Celebrate Your Customers By Sharing Their Positive Brand Experiences

Customers trust other customers above anyone else, including company representatives and paid spokespeople. Never underestimate the value of word of mouth. An excellent way to draw attention to this and impart it to your customers is by creating a testimonial page on your website.

A testimonial page allows you to highlight the positive experiences that other people have had with your brand. This varies from a review section in that you have the opportunity to handpick and highlight the exact testimonials that you want to be shared.

When a customer sees the testimonials, they may be inclined to think: “If those customers had a great experience with this business, then so will I.”

Even now, word of mouth is still the most tried-and-true method of marketing. If you celebrate your customers by rewarding them or sharing their experiences, there’s a good chance that they’ll tell their friends and family about your business. So don’t doubt what you’re doing simply because you don’t see instant results – these results will ultimately manifest themselves in your sales.

Working with Influencers

You can boost your brand loyalty by capitalizing on relationships with people who have already established loyalty with their customers or fanbase. Whether that’s collaborating with another brand or with social media influencers, it’s a remarkable way to encourage new consumers to trust you.

Take the average influencer, for example. Tens of thousands (sometimes millions) of followers already value their opinions and trust them implicitly. When an influencer promotes your brand, thousands of people will see it and – at the very least – be interested in learning more about your company, if not place their trust in you without question.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to keep in mind that building brand loyalty isn’t something you can accomplish overnight. Keep at it and don’t lose heart if you don’t realize immediate results. Ultimately, you’ll be extremely gratified when you have a passionate customer base that will stick with your brand no matter what other brands in similar categories may have to offer.

If you’re looking to “up your game” when it comes to increasing brand awareness, marketing through social media, or updating your website design, HighClick Media is here to assist you! Reach out to us today at 252.814.2150 or visit the Services page on our website to learn all about how HighClick can help #elevateyourbrand!

 

A similar version of this article previously appeared on Business2Community.com.

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How To Deal With Negative Customer Reviews

How To Deal With Negative Customer Reviews

Negative customer reviews can happen even to businesses with top-notch customer service. Mistakes will happen from time to time; and unfortunately, social media makes it possible for a disgruntled customer to quickly tell lots of people when something goes wrong.

However, a negative customer review doesn’t necessarily signal disaster. It may seem counterintuitive, but getting a couple of negative reviews every once in a while can actually create trust with customers. Too many stellar reviews can make your business appear fake. Shoppers understand that no business is perfect – and your response to a negative review offers an opportunity to demonstrate that you truly care about your customers.

By following these steps, you can transform a negative review into a positive experience.

Step 1: Respond Right Away

To keep a negative review on social media or another public site from adversely impacting your business, respond promptly. You may not yet comprehend what went wrong – or whether you’re just dealing with a demanding customer. At this point, it doesn’t matter either way. Publicly acknowledge their feedback and advise them that you’re looking into the matter. It’s essential to address the situation with urgency in order to stifle the complaint before it goes viral.

The proper response can even turn a negative review into a positive one! Data confirms that 33% of negative reviews on Yelp take a positive turn when a business makes the effort to respond to a dissatisfied customer.

Step 2: Follow Up Discreetly

Issuing a public apology helps safeguard your company’s reputation. Once you’ve posted a heartfelt apology for others to see, attempt to get to the heart of the matter in private. Contact the individual via phone or by using a free app like Clover Feedback.

If you choose to communicate by email or direct message, bear in mind that anything you say in response can readily be saved as a screenshot and re-shared. If the customer is still unhappy, it’s important to let them voice their concerns in private where you can address them directly.

Step 3: Support Your Staff

Mistakes happen. As a small business, your employees are in the trenches every day, representing your brand to your customers. When a complaint is lodged, your staff needs to know that you are going to back them up. This could involve providing additional training on how to handle dissatisfied customers, establishing a complaint policy, or immediately handing off negative reviews to managers (or to yourself, as the business owner) to lighten the load for your team members.

Keep an eye out for “constant complainers” or “barnacles,” two particularly prickly types of customers who can turn a situation toxic quickly. These customers enjoy airing their grievances, regardless of whether they’re valid or not, in order to try to get a discount or a freebie. When you confront one of these customers, take the high road. Do what you can to rectify the situation, and then move on.

Step 4: Make It Right

Customers take satisfaction in supporting small businesses, due to the fact that they routinely establish personal relationships with you and your staff members. Because you’re most likely acquainted with many of your regulars, you’re ideally positioned to personally and genuinely resolve a negative review.

Determine the quickest, best way to remedy the immediate problem. This typically involves either returning an item, replacing it, or providing a discount. Acknowledge that you value this individual’s loyalty; empathize and engage with them in a way that sets your business apart from the dispassionate customer service centers at most big-box retailers.

“Apologize for and explain the situation, issue a refund (if applicable), and offer an additional benefit for sticking with you. Have a set strategy for specific problems, but personalize each response. Great customer service can turn unhappy customers into brand advocates. Poor service does exactly the opposite,” says Carlo Cisco, owner of FoodFan.

Step 5: Prevent Future Negative Reviews

Lastly, take advantage of this bad review as an opportunity to improve. How can your business function better, assist customers more efficiently, or enhance communication? Establish formalized procedures, such as a refund policy or return policy, and review them often. Role-play with your team members and coach them on how to respond to an irate customer face-to-face. Implement a system or tool where customers can provide feedback directly, as opposed to on a review site such as Google or Yelp.

In essence, a negative review should be seen as a gift. It demonstrates that your customers are fond enough of your brand to go to the trouble of leaving you feedback. Even the worst reviews can end up being positive experiences, if managed properly.

Final Thoughts

Do you need help engaging more effectively with your customers? HighClick Media can help! Our brand development specialists are ready, willing, and able to help create a comprehensive brand strategy which connects your business to your audience. Our social media marketing strategies can help elevate your business by increasing its website traffic, brand awareness, and customer relationships.

Reach out to us today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here!

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An earlier version of this article appeared here.

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