A common concern from small business owners when talking about social media is “What if someone says something bad about my business?”
It's a valid concern. People will share negative and positive reviews via social media if your business has a presence there or not. The solution is to be proactive in managing your social media reputation.
(Photo Source: Shashi Bellamkonda)
The Negative Review Opportunity
Unfortunately, people can be more vocal when something bad happens. Negative feedback is unavoidable. It's important to have a plan on how your business handles that feedback by focusing on the positive, which will be beneficial to your brand.
This is how we, at Fusionfarm, address that concern:
Let’s say that one person has a bad experience and they tell three friends. When they call to complain, you take care of the situation, which likely prompts the person to tell those same three friends how you handled the concern. Those friends are likely to then tell three more friends, and the whole word of mouth advertising begins.
Well, business owner, "How many people did you tell?"
A typical response for businesses not on social media: "None."
Our response: "Your current and potential customers want to know about your customer service, other positive experiences and your friendly atmosphere. Social media is a platform that can amplify word of mouth advertising."
You can handle any negative feedback in a public forum, and having others see how you handled the situation can result in more positive feedback. Here are three essential steps:
Provide an answer as soon as possible – social media is 24/7.
Be polite. You can always take the conversation offline by providing a direct email or phone number for the customer to call.
Document the experience so others can see your wonderful customer service. It can lead to more customers who have positive experiences, which leads to more sales and more positive reviews.
How to Encourage Fans to Write Reviews
Customers of all businesses are more likely to be vocal on social media so its important to be proactive. People often ask opinions from friends on places to eat, services to use and products to buy. They also seek information through social media from the businesses themselves.
Neilson reports that almost 70 percent of consumers go to social networking sites to read product reviews .
Hubspot, an in-bound marketing agency, reports that consumers who followed a link to a retail site from Facebook spent an average of $102.59 a year with that brand.
Your business can take advantage of that by using social media as a marketing tool to grow your business and to manage your reputation.
Encourage your fans and followers to write positive reviews or share their experience with your brand, product or service. They already show their loyalty by "liking" your Facebook page, following you on Twitter or subscribing to your YouTube channel. Ask for their positive reviews through polls, photos with a question or asking for a recommendation. Customers are willing to share their positive experiences with a business on social media.
One way to realize an immediate return on your investment from social media marketing and gain positive feedback is by creating Facebook exclusive offers. Track the number of redeemed offers. When someone uses the promo code, send a follow up email with a survey to gain their review.
The bottom line is consumers use social networking sites for product reviews and other essential information dealing with businesses just like yours. Having a proactive strategy can limit your concerns and enhance your social media reputation.