Online Reputation Management : How to deal with online criticism

Many people turn to online reviews, before they buy products, services or even movies tickets. Reviews are a source of original (and unbiased) information. It is usually genuine information and something which they can rely on.

Many customers write negative reviews about a product or service, they have purchased recently. Sometimes, these comments can be very mean, or downright abusive.

The question is, “Can businesses resort to a tit-for-tat?”

criticism

To Apologise

As per the famous adage, “Customer is king”, one may assume that they are always right. However, in reality it is not always the case. Do not argue about the authenticity of your customer’s claims. It is not wise to do so. Do not block and counter each of the points raised by the client. It won’t help you to diffuse the situation.

There is nothing bad in saying “Sorry” to the client for the unsatisfactory experience. If the mistake is from your side, admit it, rather than pretend all is well.

Prospective customers will also read your online apology. They will definitely get the feel that your company takes its customer issues very seriously.

Explain Yourself

Sometimes, the complaint can be as a result of miscommunication or misunderstanding. These can be clarified, so that other customers having similar views about your product and services can also be ‘enlightened’ about the reality.

Don’t be Generic, Answer to the Point

You don’t have to issue a general apology, under a “one size fits all” policy. You need to address the point raised by the client and respond to that specific issue at hand. A short-cut-reply along the lines of, “We are sorry for the experience you’ve had, and apologise for the inconvenience. We hope to serve you better in future”, is just not enough! People will read in-between the lines! They will realise that it’s a standard-copy-and-paste reply used for all negative comments; they will know for sure that you don’t care!

So, make sure that you read what every customer has written, and address their specific issue.

Be Professional

Let your answer have a professional flavour to it. Do not let emotion get the better of you and react negatively.

For e.g., “Dear customer, we were definitely willing to look into your query and get your problem sorted out. However, on second thoughts, we have decided against it. Why?! Do you notice that the language you have used looks filthy? It serves to neutralise the errors done by us (if any). Your online comments have in fact caused a loss of reputation. We are thinking of pressing defamation charges against you; yes you have messed up, and are going to pay for it!!!”.

Reacting in the above way may blow the issue out of proportion, so DON’T do it.

Offer to make it up

Customers with genuine complaints definitely need to be compensated for any mistake on your part.

For e.g., A faulty product can readily be exchanged. If your customer service representatives were not up to the mark and have turned off the client, the least you can do is to say, “We hope you will give us a second chance”. This will do a world of good and re-establish trust between you and your customers.

Meetup with Client

Some problems are best sorted out by having a private discussion. In those cases, you may invite the client to a detailed e-discussion, especially if it is regarding the behaviour of your employee or customer service representative.

For e.g., “As a retail company, we make sure that all our products are up to the mark. We do our best to make customers satisfied with our products. However, there are instances where in spite of our good intentions, mistakes do happen. We would definitely like to invite you for a discussion. Our email is yourname@yourcompany.com

When prospective customers see how professionally you react to criticism and take immediate corrective steps, they will definitely be impressed and won’t hesitate to do business with you.

Understanding Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm: The Art of Increasing Organic likes

 

Having a brand page on Facebook with thousands of fans doesn’t guarantee that all your posts will go viral. In fact, less than 10% of your total fans will ever see your post on their timeline. The Facebook Edgerank, determines which of your posts get seen by others. This Facebook Algorithm judges your postings by three factors i.e., “Affinity, Weight and Decay”.

Facebook Edgerank, Facebook Algorithm

Affinity: This is a one-way relationship between the fans and your Brand page which they have liked. It is the rate at which a user engages with your brand page content.

Weight: This is the engagement or interaction, your post is receiving. The likes, shares and comments you attract, adds to the ‘weight’. It is also the ratio between the people who have seen your post and those who have actually engaged with it.

Decay: The longer your post has been up, the faster will it decay or disappear. The decay will be speedier because of postings which are done by your competitors; this will obviously push post down the timeline until it disappears.

As you increase the size of your network, the affinity and weight improve along with your Facebook EdgeRank.

1) Ways to Improve Affinity of your Brand

Create Great Content: Once you create awesome content, your post will naturally be popular. It will generate likes, shares and comments. Make it visual; remember that the most viral posts on Facebook are a combination of text and graphics.

Have More People Like your Page: The type of content you post will have a direct impact on the number of likes your Facebook page gets. However, you need to have more people like your page to generate engagement in the first place. Here is an earlier article I have written about how to get more Facebook likes and expand your online reach.

Respond to your Fans: One of the keys to engagement is to seize the initiative. Comment on your own post, to start with. Thereby, you will be initiating a discussion. If your fans respond with a comment, then reply to them either immediately or at least within the next 24 hours. That means you will need to have to keep a watch on your Facebook company page so that nothing goes unnoticed. Sometimes, things may go wrong with your services or products; people will voice their opinion on your timeline. If you don’t respond then your reputation will be at stake. So make sure you respond to both positive and negative comments, immediately!

2) Gain ‘Weight’ or Engagement, by following the below tips:

Inspiring Quotes: People need inspiration in their lives. Give it to them, and they will love you. Make sure that your quote is visual. Have a befitting background to go with the inspiring text.

Avoid too many Words: Make your point, and do it with a bang! Your post doesn’t have to be too wordy. Let it be brief and deliver a ‘knockout punch’!

Tag People: When you make a post, make sure you tag relevant people. That makes your post appear on their wall too! They will most probably respond by liking your post or commenting on it. All this adds to its ‘weight’. These tips will help you gain weight in accordance with the Facebook Algorithm.

3) Lessening the Decay of your Facebook Post

Scheduling your Posts: Schedule your posts in advance. This will help you get over the fear of ‘decay’. You can always be one-up on your competition by having pre-scheduled posts, ready to pop up and drown the old posts. Scheduling on Facebook’s in-built scheduler will generate a slightly better engagement. However, if you use third party applications like Hootsuite, then you can simultaneously schedule your postings on other social media networks as well.

Posting on Sundays: Do the postings on Sundays too! While you refrain from emailing clients on weekends, the logic doesn’t hold good with Social media. Unlike official emails, people definitely check their social media accounts on Sundays. So make sure you have a fresh posting to capture the Sunday visitors’ attention.

Post at Specific Times: When you do the posting, make sure it is the right time to do so. Do it in the morning (5:30 to 8:30AM), afternoon (11:00 AM to 1:00PM) and night (5:30 to 8:30 PM). It is necessary to post in these times, in order to ensure that your postings stay afloat and are visible to your audience most of the time.

The above three factors and their listed remedies can help you optimise your brand page to be in line with Facebook EdgeRank and thus get great engagement. Thus, the more your frequency of posting awesome content, more will be the engagement. Hence more and more people will get to know about your brand. Following the above points and aligning your postings to Facebook EdgeRank guidelines will obviously improve your rankings.

Tips for a Higher Google Ranking and SEO Optimisation of your Blog Content

 

The whole purpose behind getting a new website is to make you visible to the online community. You have to keep in mind that there are search engines out there, and that SEO Optimisation is essential for the online visibility your content. Having said that, how do you make sure that your blog ranks high on search engines?

seo, Google ranking, seo optimisation, google seo, website ranking

Here are the basic steps to follow, so that your site remains a ‘search engine favourite’ and has a top Google ranking.

 Size does Matter: Ideal Length for Blog Titles 

Make sure that the titles are 55-60 characters long. If they are longer, they will appear ‘cut’ in Google search results. Your title is sometimes the only thing your prospective customer user sees. So make sure it is enticing enough for them to stop, and click on it.

While you are at it, make sure that you don’t add ‘click bait’ titles. Click bait titles are usually misleading. So respect your audience, and give them more of what they want. Providing relevant content is also important for seo optimisation. Let your title deliver what it promised, and not just serve as click bait while your content has nothing to do with it.

Break it Up

Break up your post into sub headings. This will enable the viewers to scan your post and read the section which interests them more. It is also good for seo optimisation. Having sub headings dispersed throughout the post gives the reader a gist of what it’s about, just by skimming through it. Therefore, they can just scan the headings, get an idea as to what the posting is about and take the desired call-to-action (CTA).

Value Added Content

Let your content provide value to your online readers. That way, they will be enthusiastic about your next blog post and bookmark or subscribe to it. They will not only subscribe, but also share your blog post if it is good. Your audience basically wants solutions to its problems. So, you need to position yourself as an expert in your field and genuinely provide solutions to their most common problems. When your blog gets a lot of engagement, it also helps seo optimisation.

seo, Google ranking, seo optimisation, google seo, website ranking

Stay Relevant with Keywords

Keywords are seriously not what they once used to be, thanks to the regular changes in Google’s rules that govern SEO Optimisation. Stuffing keywords doesn’t do you any good. You content is what actually matters. Great content gives you results in the long run. You will definitely see ‘Terminator-like’ Google SEO algorithms come in future and destroy websites not adhering to Google Best Practices. Having said that, you still need to use keywords in the title and text; that’s the only way you can stay relevant to your niche and people will be able to search for you in the first place. Just make sure that these keywords are not over used or alter the meaning.

Add Visuals

Everyone is aware of the fact, that a picture is worth more than a 1000 words. Some people do not read the whole blog, they just skim through it. By having a picture with a description or perhaps an info-graphic, you can attract a lot more attention to your blog. Rather than having continuous and non ending paragraphs with no visual whatsoever, it is good to add relevant pictures in between to sustain visitors’ interest. No matter how interesting your blog may be, people will still not look at it, unless it contains at least one relevant image.

Following the above factors can ensure that you get a lot of traffic and achieve a good Google ranking via SEO Optimisation. Do you have any SEO tips which we may have missed out? Do let us know in the comments below.

 

social media marketing, seo ranking, social media seo

How to Improve your Website Rank with Social Media Marketing

Does your website ranking improve because of your social media marketing? In an indirect way, yes! Social media marketing and SEO are definitely connected and will surely draw closer to each other in the near future.  Here are some tips to use social media SEO to improve your SEO ranking.

How does Social Media affect Rankings

Google maintains that social signals do not affect seo ranking. Nevertheless, you can reach out to your intended audience via social media and get their attention. Even if it directly doesn’t affect Google ranking, it will definitely get you traffic and generate tons of engagement. It will also help you channel relevant traffic to your website.

Search engines take into consideration many factors, including the number of followers on your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They will also take into consideration, the engagement generated by these followers. Fake followers will not engage themselves with your content. Once you succeed in generating a buzz on social media, it goes without saying that your web-traffic will increase. Search engines therefore consider these “indirect” factors too,  when they rank your site for certain keywords.

Posting on Social Media

Social-Media-with-SEO

Unlike blog posts, where ‘size’ (or increased word count) matters, social media requires you cut down on the number of words. Your posts must be short and to the point. For e.g., your Facebook posting should be no more than 40 – 50 characters long. Social media users normally look for catchy postings and do not really have time to read volumes of text. Therefore, it is better to write a catchy description or title which will force the audience to stop by and click on it.

Also Read: Facebook Edge Rank Algorithm: The Art of Increasing Organic likes

Call to Act

Your social media postings must serve a purpose. It must contain a ‘call to action’. Thereby your audience will know what to do with it in the first place. Mention the specific action which you would like them to perform i.e., like, share, re-tweet, comment or click.

Provide Value

Give your audience a reason to click through your postings. Don’t sell anything at the outset. Give them a solution to their problems they are facing. Even social media ranks your articles based on engagement and the value you give to your fans. Become a source of information. People will flock to your site to gain more knowledge and solutions to their problems.

Search engines do not consider your back links. As soon as you publish your social media posts, they will be marked‘nofollow tag’ by your social media platform. This serves as a ‘warning to search engines’, who will therefore not consider these backlinks.

However, your ranking via social media SEO increases when your postings follow specific keywords and are good enough to attract a lot of traffic. Thus social media SEO works in coordination like traditional SEO and gives you a high social media ranking. This traffic can in turn be channeled to your website to generate leads.

Also Read: 9 Ways to Get Facebook Likes and Expand Online Reach

What Happens Next

When your post is good enough to attract a lot of traffic on social media there are many ways in which customers can respond:

  • They will like it. Share it. Re-tweet it.
  • Comment on it.
  • Click on the link and go directly to your website.
  • Check out your company’s social media profile. Visit your website. Check your LinkedIn profile.
  • Sign up for your newsletter or blog.

This is how our website rankings can be improved using social media marketing. Although  social media back links are ignored by search engines, nevertheless, they can be used to increase traffic, leads and SEO rankings.

9 Ways to Get Facebook Likes and Expand Online Reach

As an owner of a small business, apart from traditional advertising, you may also need to harness the power of social media to bring in leads and sales. Facebook is one of the most popular social media today, with a user base of 1.6 billion. However, it is frustrating to see regular postings and promotions on your Facebook business page, yield no significant results. So how do you drive fans to your page, get Facebook likes, and thereby generate more engagement and leads?

get Facebook likes

 

So here are some ways in which a small business can get Facebook likes:

Personalise it, Be Human

Don’t make the mistake of putting only promotional posts as your postings. It would also be a good idea to put up personal photos and those of your team. Let the audience know that they are dealing with humans after all, and not some ‘Martian’, who wants to sell them products from outer space. Make yourself visible; show them that you are indeed from planet Earth. Let me assure you, that they will be pleasantly surprised!

Say a Story

People have always loved to hear stories, right from their childhood days. However, make sure that they are relevant to your subject and interesting as well. By listening to stories, people visualise everything that is being narrated; thus they easily remember things that are narrated to them as stories!

Share Photos, Don’t Promote

People love pictures, so share them with your fans. Share photos of the latest products available on your e-commerce store. However, do not promote it in any way. Let them just enjoy the photos, for now. Sharing photos are one of the best ways to get Facebook likes.

Post Viral content

If you don’t have any particular content idea in mind, it doesn’t matter! Checkout the trends or viral postings on the web; you may share them on your site too! After all, you are sending curated content to your fans and they will love it! Sharing others’ postings will get them interested in you; they will also check out your Facebook page and probably share your posts too!

Have a Time Schedule

Some people post quality content and disappear for weeks together. They will not respond to fan comments for days together. Thereby, all the quality content is of no use, when you cannot acknowledge comments or sustain the interest of fans. If your fresh posting comes days or even weeks later, know that your fans are no longer looking.

Have ‘Insights’

Facebook Insights gives you an idea about which post is doing well and which isn’t. You get to know, what time is best for doing your postings. Also find out which type of post is doing better than the others. It will thus help you to plan your posts accordingly.

Advertise on Facebook

Facebook Ads are good for just about any business. Make sure you spend wisely and target the right people. However, the ad prices keep going up, due to the increasing demand. Nevertheless, it has the power to reach people from any part of the world, given its huge database.

Invite Friends

You may invite your Facebook friends to like your product page. Make sure you invite only those who may be interested in your product or services.

For e.g: If you are selling women’s accessories, then it’s better to send your invitations to females only.

Also encourage your close friends to invite their friends to like your page. When they do so, you will have more people getting to see the invite, and depending on the aesthetics and content of your page it is likely to get Facebook likes and engagement.

There are in fact much more ways to reach fans via your Facebook business page. Do let us know your favourite way to get Facebook likes, in the comments below.