Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
CAll Us: 1-800-699-0820 Submit Ticket   Client Area

Responding to Negative Criticism on Social Media Pages


When you start any social media page, you are opening yourself up to two-way communication between yourself and your audience. The public has the ability to share comments about your business with friends and others in that network. Eventually, no matter how hard you try to please everyone, there will be that one person who is incessant on posting negative things on your page. Don’t worry, this is not the end of the world. In fact, depending on how you handle this situation, you can turn a cranky customer into a lifelong shopper.

One thing that we see on corporate sites all the time is the bland, generic answer that is almost like the computer is talking, not a customer service or PR rep. Do not respond with a cookie cutter answer that is impersonal and – to be honest – mildly offensive to the consumer. The last thing you want to do when a customer gets upset is coddle them with a generic response. Imagine if you went into a brick and mortar store, upset about service, and the salesperson or store manager simple pulled out a cue card from behind the register and began reading a scripted prompt, asking you to call an 800 number or email the corporate offices. It would be a slap in the face.

If you are a professional in the public relations or internet marketing field and you are managing social media pages, you should be embarrassed if your company is responding this way. How hard is it to respond to the customer complaints on an individual level?

Doing this on Facebook or Twitter is especially damaging because now potential customers can track your conversations and decide if they like the way you handled the situation. In addition to that, the person who has complained can also share these comments with friends and respond to them in an unsavory manner. Don’t treat your customers this way. Send them personal messages and always assume that the customer is in the right – even if they aren’t. Responding with scripted answers makes your customers feel unimportant and will lose your company business.

Father’s Day: Opportunity for Online Growth

Get your business ready for  Father’s Day spending.

With over 70 million dads in America, there are plenty of reasons to boost your site this Father’s Day and offer promotions that your customers won’t be able to resist. It is projected this year that more families will be spending money on Father’s Day as it has taken a hit these past few years during the economic recession. For those of you who are not the best at creating specials or haven’t given thought to a sales campaign for this Father’s Day, here are five fun ways to get your customer’s involved this Father’s Day:

  1. Have people upload pictures of themselves with their dads to your Facebook or Twitter page to get a discount at your online store. Customers will be interacting with your social media pages and shopping your retail site.
  2. Bundle a few different packages on your eCommerce site to make shopping easy. Give a discount when customers buy the bundle and give them great, fun names. You could have one with a firearm, ammo and a holster and call it the “For When your Daughter Starts Dating” package.
  3. Do a free giveaway with a gift card purchase. Find an item that is overstocked and use it as a purchase with purchase when anyone gets a gift card for dad. More importantly, most of the time people will find something more expensive than their gift card and your sales will be even higher.
  4. Create a new look for the special, giving customers a fresh outlook on your site. This can be done by uploading new pictures to your homepage or creating a new banner. Through image association, you can train your customers to know when there is a sale and build a sense of urgency – they need to buy now because there is a sale.
  5. Pair up with another local business, maybe a restaurant or a movie theater, and build a package that could be “Dad’s Night Out.” This is something that sites like Groupon and Living Social will be doing, so you can get ahead of the curve by doing a local event or even partnering with a similar website.

Building a Social Media Following

One of the biggest problems that many small businesses have with social media is gaining the loyalty of fans. “How do I get more likes on Facebook?” That’s a question we hear on a daily basis. There are plenty of intense conversations on the relationships built on social media networks and how people interact with businesses through them, but creating a fan base is easily done. We are going to break it up into two strategies: the conventional method and the unconventional method.

There are obviously tried and tested tricks that companies use every day to get themselves more friends.  Here are three basics that most people use when first trying to gain a bigger following:

  1. Put buttons on your website that link directly to your Facebook, Twitter, etc. pages. These will help guide customers who are already visiting your webpage to your social media pages. This is also an industry standard that most successful businesses are already utilizing, so you want to do this to keep yourself current.
  2. Another great tool is putting these buttons right into the signature on your e-mail, especially if your job title includes anything like the phrases “marketing” or “public relations.” This will give a direct link to people who you are in touch with on a regular basis, including current and prospective clients.
  3.  There is one tactic that is so simple, if you aren’t already using it you probably don’t even have a Facebook page. Get everyone in your office and five of their friends to like your page. It’s called a social network for a reason! This is a digital word-of-mouth that can result in business and financial growth. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who could benefit from using your products and/or services.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some outside-the-box tips for the creative company that isn’t afraid to use new tactics to score new followers. We want to profile three tips that you can accomplish easily, not ways to go on extensive social media campaigns. These ideas are simple to implement but you’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t use them:

  1. Make an aesthetic presence with your social media pages. Use graphic design to create beautiful pages on Tiwtter, Facebook, YouTube etc. that match your brand and give fans something cool to look at. Update your cover photo on your Facebook timeline so that it is creative, interesting and will inspire people who visit your page to like it. This is a great way to be visually stimulating for your audience, and when your page looks unique, you have a better chance of capturing the attention of your clientele. Check out these creative timeline covers and these Twitter pages.
  2. Interact with people by having a contest or poll. Ask your followers questions and give them a forum to share a little bit of themselves. There is nothing more exciting for fans than the ability to have their 15 minutes of fame with one of their favorite brands.Look at the way Realtree Outdoors® uses their Facebook page and brand identity to excite fans and build a stronger following.
  3. Add a touch of personality to your pages by posting photos and videos of the staff or company events. It’s always a great way to increase your following and followers love when there is a way for them to directly relate to your brand. It also shows that you are interacting on a personal level, building the trust that a consumer will feel with your brand. We recently had a day when we brought our dogs to the office and we posted pictures that got a good response from our fans.

Social Media Schedule

By now, most of you have (hopefully) developed social media pages for your site — whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Keep yourself from falling into the dark abyss of businesses that develop social media pages and then forget to post, leaving a bleak and dismal page that makes it look like you have no friends, no followers and no hope.

Post on those pages!

There is nothing worse than a growing company, trying to form a following that completely gives up on itself before it’s had a chance to develop lasting relationships with those people who are genuinely interested in their company. The fans that you make on Facebook, those eager for content that follow you on Twitter and scroll through your updates on their smartphones every morning – those are the people that are going to use your products and give you return visits on your webpage.  It’s not only sloppy, but unprofessional to create pages and not post content. These are free tools for you to use when reaching out to your audience. If you don’t have time to post or are having trouble thinking of what to say, hire someone to do it for you!

If you are plan to do your own posts and videos, the best way to ensure that you don’t fall asleep behind the social media wheel is to develop a schedule and stick to it. Maybe you post every morning at 10am after you get into the office and get settled in for the day or perhaps you want to post something newsworthy on Mondays and something entertaining on Fridays. Whatever your posting schedule is, make sure that you have mapped out a plan that will give you a support system for managing these pages.

Something else to consider is creating a vault for your posts, writing them in advance and having them at your fingertips when you want to post them. This is helpful for a lot of busy small business owners who can use their free time to plan ahead so that they aren’t tied down during the work week with content development.

Finally, make your smartphone your personal portal to posting. There are plenty of apps out there designed to make updating content a mobile venture. If you have to travel, post from your phone so that you can be on the move and not miss your posting schedule. Keep at it, stick to your schedule and there will be content there for fans when they find you.

Mobile Sites: Breaking out of the Computer Box

Getting your business onto the internet is old news. We all know that it is important to have  brand representation online with social media, full functioning websites and plenty of user-friendly content. However, internet forecasting shows that in addition to your website, you need to be putting time and energy into a mobile site as well. Statistics show that smartphones are the number one source for all Facebook users, instead of computers. If Facebook, the largest social network on the face of the earth, is experiencing a trend in mobile usage, the rest of the internet is soon to follow.

The main problem with Facebook mobile is that the app does not include any of the ads that the full site does. So your business had better have a page if they want to be seen by smartphone Facebook users. And wouldn’t it be great if someone on their smartphone was looking at your Facebook page and there was a link to your site and it was mobile? You could streamline the experience for the user in a way that would encourage them to visit your site more frequently and spend more time there when they do visit.

Before you start a mobile site, there are some things you should consider:

1. What’s the point?

Your mobile site should have a focus and an objective. Are you trying to make the customer experience better when people try to purchase from your site? Do you want to streamline the ordering process so it is accessible from a smartphone? Think of some of the things you want to achieve by having a set plan. Here is an example of how ticketsnow.com used a mobile site to their advantage.

2. Who is your audience?

Is the mobile site for your customer? Is it for someone who is already loyal to the company, or are you creating something that will help attract new business? Developing a target audience for your site is crucial. Does your target demographic use smartphones? Keep all of these things in mind when designing and implementing the site. Remember, you want it to be easy to use.

3. How can you make it fresh?

An important thing to remember when creating your mobile site is that it should reflect the branding properties of your existing site. The mobile site is an extension of the internet image that you have already created for yourself. However, mobile sites should give a fresh, simple adaptation, showing your versatility to customers who already are familiar with your brand. Make it something that is easily identifiable as being related to your site, but also take that branding to the next level by creating a cohesive subsidiary to your pre-existing image. Google offers some insights and best practices here.

The Art of Facebook Domination

People from over 200 countries across the globe flock to Facebook to connect people. But what connection are they truly making — what connection to their favorite brands are they making, more importantly? What does the average user really want out of their Facebook experience? The realm of Facebook encompasses more than profile pictures and relationship statuses. It surrounds the basic human instinct to feel important; to feel as though your voice is being heard. That being said, what can be done on your page to encourage people not only to like your page but to enjoy going there on a daily basis. Breaking down the fundamental communication value of Facebook is key to incorporating a successful social media strategy into your brand. I will be using Coca-Cola to demonstrate three tips that can be developed over time to build something more than a brand — a true following. With over 41,000,000 likes, Coca-Cola has built a following with a social media empire to match:

1. Be True to Your Fans

There is a reason that people buy your product or partake in your services. Keep yourself rooted in that essential part of your business that got you fans in the first place. If you are going through a re-branding phase or are considering making a jump to a social media campaign, remember that within your innovation, there needs to be a core value that your business has carried and that has been related to your customers.

Coca-Cola is a great example of a company who keeps up with their evolving image while staying true to the basic values that most people associate with it. This is America’s brand and has always upheld this image with their advertising campaigns. Their cover photo on Facebook emulates the same emotions that some of their earliest advertisements did: wholesome, youthful, fun, tradition — a refreshing beverage to be enjoyed by all.

The mind-boggling thing about Coca-Cola is that it is virtually one product (beverage) that has made such a powerful throne as a brand. According to their website, “From humble beginnings 125 years ago, our Company has evolved from one product — Coca-Cola — to more than 500 brands in 2011. We’ve grown from selling a modest 9 drinks a day in 1886 to 1.8 billion a day. And we’ve expanded from one city in one country to availability in more than 200 countries around the world.”

1.8 billion a day. That could translate to roughly 26% of the global population buying a Coke on a daily basis.

2. Give Your Fans a Voice
Something that every good salesperson knows is that people love to talk about themselves. If you get them to tell you what they are truly in the market for, it is simple to sell it to them. Coca-Cola gives their fans a forum and an opportunity to be heard. The company encourages fan involvement and they put that right in their Facebook introduction, “The Coca-Cola Facebook Page is a collection of your stories showing how people from around the world have helped make Coke into what it is today.”

What fan wouldn’t want to be part of one of the biggest brands in the world?

So what you need to do is give your fans and opportunity to do your marketing for you. It’s as basic as the word-of-mouth method, but translate that into social media. Let them tell the story of your product and partner with local businesses and archives to do the same. This is the simplest way to let your loyal customers, the ones who actually spend a lot of time using your product, tell you what they want. It’s the survey, the research, the data collection, the analysis all rolled into one. And it’s free!

3. Incorporate All of your Branding Materials

Not only has Coke taken over the web, they’ve taken over color association. When you see red and white or even a red bottle icon, you know that it’s Coke without even having to think about it. Their social media is no different. It reeks of red and white and the Coke brand in a way that associates all of your fondest childhood memories with their Facebook. Remember being barefoot in the summertime grass, drinking a Coke and eating chips. Maybe waiting for 4th of July fireworks to start. Maybe playing with your best friend that moved away when their dad got a job two states over.

This branding pulls everything together with two colors, focusing on their heritage and yet calling people to action by telling them to “express themselves.” What Coke has done, is it’s become a cultural icon to the extent of which almost every significant image used in their advertising gets sucked into their image vortex. Polar bear. Santa Claus. These are things that have become part of their strategy and part of the reason why people drink 1.8 billion a day.

So how can you take this theory and apply it to your business? Incorporate a strong color association with your brand name. People associate by color more than almost any other medium because it’s usually the first thing you notice when looking at an ad. Develop a strong design and utilize colors in your branding efforts. Then, once you have developed the strong brand, make sure that your different networks, websites and other branded items are plastered with the same palette. Keep it consistent. This is crucial to getting your branding materials involved on Facebook.

Be sure to incorporate other things. The logo, pictures of the storefront, pictures of the employees. Show them who you are as well as what you do. This will encourage trust, which is essential in building any relationship. Keep your brand strong and consistent and be sure to incorporate these things in your Facebook page.

 

Hungry for more? Check out our website to see what services we offer in web-marketing, social media and brand development.

 

 

Mother’s Day Sales: Marketing to Online Shoppers

Many of us will go out this next week and find gifts for mom, grandma and other family members that we recognize on Mother’s Day. However, few people realize that Mother’s Day and the days leading up to it, if marketed correctly, can be some of the biggest revenue days of the year. The beauty of this holiday, however, is that it is one that flourishes within the world of e-Commerce.

This survey done by shop.org, which is owned by the National Retail Federation, says that 31.7% of consumers who celebrate Mother’s Day and shop online will be spending more this year than they have in the past, while only 17.1% of consumers who do not shop online for Mother’s Day are planning to spend more. The survey shows data that in every shopping category offered, online shoppers will spend more this Mother’s Day than regular shoppers.

So what is your business doing to tailor to this trend? Here are three tips to help get you started:

1. Use social couponing to spread the word. Shoppers have been clipping coupons since their inception, and the creation of social coupons such as Groupon and Living Social have taken this practice to the next level. Local businesses across the country partner with these coupon giants to create Mother’s Day packages to make it easy on the consumer and special for mom. Check out some of their gift ideas here.

2. Develop new keywords. Customers are going to be searching for local and national deals on the web, so make sure your site is prepared for the searches to come. You can make a page especially for your Mother’s Day specials, or include content on your homepage — just be sure that whatever you are doing has location-focused key words or Mother’s Day keywords to drive traffic to your page. When searching Mother’s Day gifts, you can be sure that shops like ediblearrangements.com will be optimizing their sites for those searches. Getting high rankings on a page like that takes serious time and resources, but getting on a local page is feasible to do in time to catch the holiday shoppers.

3. Market through your social media. Aside from using social coupons, use your Facebook and Twitter to advertise for Mother’s Day. The people who are following you or liking your page are already fans of your product or services, so marketing strongly to that niche is a no-brainer. Again, Edible Arrangements is on top of things. Something as simple as changing your cover photo to remind fans of the upcoming holiday will help spark interest in your product and help drive traffic to your e-Commerce site.