As we prepare for the launch of our brilliant new reputation management system Little Birdy, we've been blogging on the importance of engaging with your audience, whether that means responding to negative or positive feedback. Right now, we want to discuss another common issue:
Frenemies – “but what are they?” We hear you asking.
We've all got them, people you have to deal with daily but don’t really like and colleagues you have to work with but you don’t necessarily see eye to eye.
We maintain harmony with these people for the greater good. This mentality is something businesses need to keep in mind.
The late Ronnie James Dio, frontman of Rainbow and Black Sabbath (after Ozzy left) was once asked why he spent hours in the pouring rain signing autographs and chatting with fans after a 3 hour gig. His response was simple ‘Without Us, they would always be. Without Them, we would never be.’ This sentence resonated with music fans and musicians everywhere, but can also be applied to business ethics. If you do not treat your fan base, or customer base, with respect they’re less likely to engage with your product or service.
The same goes for critics.
Of course bands and brands alike are going to get criticism. Internet trolls have nothing better to do than try and shout you down, but bloggers can especially feel like they have a duty to talk about your products or voice any issues they may have.
This is where we talk about Frenemies.
Of course customers are important to businesses. Whether you are B2B or B2C company, ensuring your clients are happy is a no-brainer. The internet allows companies to engage with their audience and reach demographics in new and exciting ways, but it also allows anyone with a keyboard to become a critic. Bloggers are a necessary part of the internet, and can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Although, you can’t always get people on your side it’s definitely a good idea that you try to turn them into Frenemies.
As bloggers spend years crafting their content skills talking about any manner of subjects, they can have thousands if not millions of followers looking at their blog per day. It’s common practice that businesses try and utilise these blogs and their writers for promotional purposes. However, businesses can get particularly scared if this person is blogging about their product in a negative way. It’s important that if this happens you don’t put your head in the sand and ignore it.
Engaging with bloggers is important, and although you may not always get them round to your way of thinking, simply showing that you are trying to fix the problem can go a long way. Their fans or followers will see that you are trying to address the problem and in turn realise that you’re not as bad as people are making out. You can address any issues there and then and even learn from what people are saying.
Even if they really dislike your product or service, you can use this channel by engaging publicly in a problem solving session. You are allowed to disagree with people’s opinions, just don’t get too defensive or worse, angry. You’re kicking a hornet’s nest if you antagonise a blogger or their readers so handle with care. For many issues like customer service problems it’s as simple as addressing the problem, apologising and asking how you can make it better. Comments on a blog or from blogger can help you turn a bad situation into a good one, just by allowing you to address any problems.
One of the worst practices for dealing with bad press is ignoring it, as bad feelings towards your brand can fester. As these bloggers have a certain ‘celebrity’ status with their readers, that can run into thousands if not millions, people respect their opinion and if not given an opportunity to see the other side of the coin would never know just how good your brand is. It’s your job to convince them otherwise. If you don’t know who is talking about your brand or services, you quite simply don’t know the full picture.
Reputation management is important in an online world where bloggers and online critics can have a major say in the success of your business, that’s why it’s imperative you have the best people looking after your campaign. In the coming weeks, we’ll be launching Little Birdy, our reputation management software that gives you the tools you need to find out exactly what people are saying about you, and blogging more on how to effectively manage your reputation online.
Call Hit Search the online marketing experts today on 0845 653 1435 and see how reputation management can help your business or to find out more about Little Birdy.