This is especially true if that feedback is unfounded. As I always explain to my clients, always take the high road as this is the long run can turn a possible negative into a positive. [ see blog post entitled: How to deal with negative reviews ]
However, this past weekend I came across a comment on one of the social media sites I manage that was so wrong. In fact, the commenter had this company confused with another one.
Let me give you a little background: The commenter in question was telling people to never use this company as they were horrible and they just fired a guy who was involved in the California wildfires. She said this company fired him, as the fire destroyed his company van while he was trying to save his family. She said this company deserves to go bankrupt and they’re horrible, et cetera et cetera.
Now if this were true I would agree, and in truth I would’ve quit this company, No matter how much they paid me!
BUT, they had this company confused with an East Coast Company with franchises in California. My client is an independent company, with no franchises and only operates in Massachusetts. So this was just a case of confusion, perhaps the company had a name similar or something like that, I never did find out.
So I responded to her that we are not in California and don’t have franchises anywhere. She went in and deleted her comment, and there was no damage done to the company’s reputation.
Now what if I had ignored this comment, as many companies seem to do on social media?
The company would’ve faced the possibility of this goes viral and then losing tons of business. At that point he probably would’ve reacted, but they may have done irreversible damage the reputation, and even faced going out of business for something he did not do.
Can you imagine working so hard to build your business and having it torn down by a viral comment about something you did not do?
The problem with the age in which we live in, is people immediately respond to things on social media. Once something is out there, it’s out there for good. So if you don’t respond to them quickly, you really face an uncertain future. Because your reputation is something you can’t get back once tarnished. This is your most valuable asset and you must do everything you can to protect it.
So as I said, respond to comments as soon as possible. Now, this was over the weekend and it’s not always possible to be at your computer or even your smartphone 24/7. This is why it helps to have another set of eyes and ears paying attention to your social media and web properties.
This is why I always stress to use a quality website management company. So, in the event you miss one of these horrible, mistaken comments, there is somebody else that may pick up the ball and run with it and save your business.
Sometimes I think people are too worried about metrics. They want to make sure everything they post to social media gets shared, re-tweeted, liked, etc, etc. Don’t get me wrong, metrics are important, but far from the only value add from social media.
For most small businesses, you aren’t going to get millions of re-tweets. It’s not going to happen. If you are a local business, like an attorney, or a plumber people aren’t going to share every morsel you put out there. People see celebrities getting 100s of thousands of shares and think this is possible. But, do you share your dishwasher repairman’s facebook posts? No, either do I.
What I try to tell my clients is that social media is great for doing one thing really well: Showing everyone your subject matter expertise (definition). So that when people go to your pages they learn something, and most of all they realize that you have some mad skills.
I get a lot of business from social media, but again it’s mainly because people like what I post. It is meant to inform, sometimes entertain, and yes sometimes sell. But that last one is important, if you are selling all the time, nobody will enjoy what you’re posting. But if they (meaning your readers) get something out of it when you come to your social media pages, then you on the right track. But, you have to stay on the right track, you have to constantly work on your posts, it is a work in motion. My posts have changed over the years, as my company has. I try to constantly improve what I do and am always looking for ways I can do better.
One area where most companies can improve, is the frequency in which they post. If you don’t post for months at a time, delete your pages. That’s right, I said delete your pages. You’re basically telling people that you are not in business, or that you do not care. When in fact, it just maybe you’re too busy to post or don’t have somebody in your company to handle that for you. To that I say, If you don’t have the time, don’t waste other people’s time.
Bottom Line: The purpose of this post is not to imply that metrics aren’t important at all. For certain types of businesses, you can get a lot more likes, shares etc. Entertainers and sports stars will always have people sharing. But if you are a typical small business, you should still utilize social media. If you need assistance contact us, anytime.