Reputation Management Dos and Don’ts During the Holiday Season
November 26, 2018 | Contributed by: Kelly Shelton
For businesses that are just starting out and have only a small number of customers, a single negative review or criticism on social media can be devastating. This is especially true for businesses who have too few positive reviews to balance out the damage.
For this reason, one of the small business marketing services that agencies need to be offering is reputation management. Reputation management is all about developing a positive image online for your clients.
Over the holidays, reputation management is extra important. During this time of year, consumers are researching brands and seeking out gifts. Small businesses can use this opportunity to gain attention. Reputation management ensures that brands receive attention for the right reasons. Strategies are simple to put in place if you know how and are aware of the most common mistakes.
Do: Start a Review Campaign for the Holidays
An excellent way to improve visibility for the holidays is to highlight new products and services your client has for the season. By using a review campaign, you add social proof.
Tactics to garner more reviews include incentives, social media campaigns that ask customers to share stories (holiday themed are best), and simply asking satisfied customers through an email campaign. If you want to direct customers to a particular review website, make sure that you’re complying with any rules the platform has about compensation.
Do: Share Your Top Reviews
Sharing reviews improves SEO and encourages more users to leave feedback. Post on social media and your client’s website, favoring reviews that explain why offerings are perfect for the holidays.
Do: Improve Customer Service
If it’s likely that sales will increase over the holidays, you need to prepare for the influx by focusing on customer service. Failing to keep up with demand will lead to poor impressions of the company. If your client is unable to increase resources to handle customer queries, now would be the ideal time to add a chatbot to your client’s website and social media accounts.
Do: Respond to Reviews
There is no need to respond to every single review you receive — actually, this can come across as obsessive. However, you should respond whenever you receive a question, complaint, or exceptionally nice feedback. Use the opportunity to send customers a holiday greeting.
Don’t: Ignore Negative Feedback
Monitoring social mentions and reviews is important not just for checking that your client is receiving plenty of positive feedback; it also provides you with an early warning if customers are unhappy about something. If you are able to fix the issue early, it will have less impact on holiday sales.
Don’t: Lash Out
It’s impossible to satisfy everyone. Sometimes, trolls pick on businesses for no apparent reason. If a comment is spam, report it. If there are no legitimate concerns to address, let it go. Remember: this is the season of goodwill — and that even applies when your clients don’t receive the respect they deserve.
A better approach than starting an argument is to bury the negative comment with positive ones. Besides, the occasional negative review is actually a good thing for your client — it looks more credible when not all reviews are positive.
Don’t: Write Fake Reviews
Some marketing agencies offering reputation management services simply create dozens of fake reviews and social media profiles. Don’t be one of them. Review sites, social platforms, and search engines alike are all experienced in detecting fake reviews and will remove them. Furthermore, when you fabricate reviews, there is always the risk that it will lead to negative SEO and your client’s reputation will suffer.
Similarly, don’t write reviews that talk trash about the competition. This is in poor taste and is unlikely to be appreciated by customers. It could even backfire and end up costing your client holiday sales.
Many of these tips should be common sense, but it’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment and make a mistake. With the holiday season fast approaching, it is more important than at any other time of year to have a reputation management strategy in place with all your clients to ensure that you optimize their holiday sales.