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Tag: Social Media

When Social Media Goes Wrong

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Social media can be a helpful tool for many businesses when it comes to adding a little extra to their SEO and providing a great platform for business-client interaction. Sure, building a Facebook page won’t lead to direct ranking, but the potential for link building is big, as well as building an audience. /

However, if one or two things go wrong, social media can have big real-world consequences for your business—whether you’re on it or not!

Ease of Sharing

The same thing that you can benefit so much from can be your downfall as well. How many times have we seen people in the public eye sticking their foot in their mouth via Twitter? Or having an old post from years ago brought up and criticized?

It’s always important to think before speaking, but in the case of social media, the record of what you say will live on forever. Even if you delete it, realizing after the fact that something you just said didn’t go over so well, is often too late.

Staff Representation

Before the age of social media, business owners would wonder what their employees really thought about their jobs. Were they enjoying it? Saying negative things to friends and family? Well, now anyone can have their say—and make it public.

The way your staff represents you online is important. Especially if they have a big following.

While it’s usually advised that employees be careful what they say online, it goes both ways. Reputation is important. Don’t lose yours by being a bad boss and getting called out for it online.

Everyone has Their Say

Which brings us to reviews. Staff, customers and anyone you can think of can have their say online. Even if you’ve avoided putting your business on directories and social media pages, if you’ve got a bad reputation, it will get out.

All it takes is one angry client or staff member to start the ball rolling and list you online. Then, whether you like it or not, you’re there for good and the only way to fight back is by taking control of your social media presence and communicating with bad reviewers.

Case Studies

It can be entertaining to look at businesses failing on social media, until it’s your business in the hot seat. Paying attention to what others did wrong can help you avoid making the same mistakes.

Coca-Cola

Posting an outdated map of Russia omitting Kaliningrad which was annexed following World War II, Coca-Cola had a brand-new hashtag following them around: #BanCocaCola. Applied to images and videos of people pouring their Coke bottles down the toilet, it wasn’t the greatest marketing move.

MTV Australia

Tweeting a suggestion requesting English subtitles on actresses America Ferrera and Eva Longoria at the Golden Globes doesn’t seem like the greatest idea. But MTV Australia thought it was a good plan. Needless to say, they suffered a PR nightmare.

Tay Tweets

Probably the most famous social media mess-up of recent years, Microsoft launched their AI Twitter bot and encouraged the people of the internet to help it learn. Well, if you know the people of the internet, you can guess what happened. Tay turned into a sexist, racist jerk in less than 24 hours.

The Final Words

Like many marketing tools, the powers of social media can be used for good, or evil. Compose carefully, research well and don’t let the trolls teach your account to be just like them.

Blue bird on speech bubble

Twitter is Doubling Their Character Limit

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On September 27th it was announced that Twitter is testing the expansion of their famous 140-character post limit, not just adding in a couple words, but doubling it to 280 characters.

Known for its concise nature, many Twitter users are wondering if this expansion is a good idea.

Twitter company owners however have some pretty good reasoning behind their decision, which is currently being tested out on a randomly selected group.

The original 140-character limit was chosen arbitrarily, based on the current SMS text limit, which is 160 characters. Leaving 20 characters open for usernames, Twitter was born.

A limit of 280 characters was chosen to make tweeting easier for those posting in languages affected by “cramming”. This includes any language except Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Where nine percent of English speakers fill the 140 limit every time, only four percent of Japanese users do so.

With 328 million users, it’s surprising to say that Twitter has never turned a profit. With that in mind, of course there is some monetary thinking behind this new change. By encouraging English speakers to tweet more often, and say more, investors will see a rise in users and activity.

The company also hopes to put an end to multi-message tweet storms.

Twitter Facts

At 11 years old, Twitter has accomplished a lot in its lifetime. With 328 million active users and 1.3 billion accounts created, it’s clear why it’s one of the most prominent social media platforms out there.

  • 500 million users visit the site every month without logging in.
  • 29.2% of social media users in the United States are Twitter users.
  • 83% of the world’s leaders on Twitter.
  • 500 million tweets are sent every day.
  • It took three years, two months, and one day to go from the first tweet to the billionth.
  • 65.8% of US companies with 100+ employees use Twitter for marketing.
  • Twitter is an important platform and staying up to date with what’s going on with it will keep you at the top of your online marketing game.

    But Will it Happen?

    Twitter has played around with the character limit in the past. There was a brief moment in 2015 where a 10,000-character limit was considered—yes, for real.

    More recently the removal of @ replies, photos, videos and quotes from the character count didn’t throw users into a panic. However, the doubling of the character limit has.

    Negative reactions came quickly, with users expressing their love for the brevity of Twitter. The platform encourages the editing of thoughts to boil them down to their purest form, and that is attractive. Concerns include the potential of an even bigger platform for Internet “trolls” to bash fellow users.

    So, will the 280-character limit become a reality for all Twitter users soon? We’ll have to wait and see.

    Business Owners’ Bad Review Responses A Case Study

    Reviews are a fact of life when it comes to running a business.

    They can be your best friend, or your worst enemy—depending on how you deal with them.

    While it is tempting to write a scathing and entertaining response to people who leave negative reviews, as a professional, it is your duty to hold your tongue and not let your emotions do the thinking.

    Below, are some examples of negative review responses, and how they could have been handled better.

    1.

    Where to start?

    Firstly, admitting that you are inebriated when discussing a business issue is never OK. One shouldn’t be drunk in the first place when you’re on the clock (and yes, if you’re responding to reviews in your own time, that counts), but publicly admitting it is highly unprofessional. Next, making personal critiques (grammar) and suggesting a customer see a psychologist is not constructive. Especially when your own grammar and sanity could be up for review.

    A more appropriate response to this review would be to apologize for their bad experience, and address the price issues. If your restaurant does have fluctuating prices, that should be noted in store and online so customers are prepared. There can certainly be reasons for this practice but it should be transparent so customers aren’t surprised.

    2.

    This one isn’t quite as extreme as the last, and could very well be true. However, this response is tinged with sarcasm and, if true, reveals unnecessary personal information. An apology in this case would have been better—state that you were unavailable for serious personal reasons, list that it was no excuse to not communicate with customers and let them know it won’t happen again. Offer them a discount or other incentive on a future booking should they be in town again.

    If for some reason the situation is an emergency that keeps you away from your work, and you don’t have someone who can help you out with your business in this way, maybe think about hiring an assistant.

    3.

    As a business owner, your responses should not look like it was written by a ten year old

    …and this one is a great example of what that means. Sure, this review was not the classiest, but the appropriate response would be to take the higher ground. As always, apologize! If you were having a bad day, admit that you were and say it was wrong of you to take it out on customers. Depending on what the prices are, they could be explained/defended in some way. Maybe point out that your aim is not to be cheap but to provide quality food.

    What review responses come down to is the old adage “The customer is always right”. They may really not be, but your job as a business owner is to represent yourself and your company in the best way possible, no matter what others are provoking you to do. Responses can always be formulated to be reasonable even when defending oneself, but if you don’t have the time to compose something that is well thought out, apologies are the best policy.

    Happy review reading, everyone!

    How to Respond to Internet Trolls

    goatsIf you blog or are active on social media, you’ve likely come across a troll or two. They aren’t hard to miss. A comment from one sticks out like a sore thumb. This is because their comment usually has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. It exists solely with the purpose of ruffling a few feathers, whether that means pointing out a small grammar mistake, stirring up controversy, or using profanity. The first step to dealing with a troll, is recognizing that you have a troll on your hands. Not every negative comment has a troll on the other end, so it’s important that you can decipher between someone who is genuinely miffed and someone who is present with the intentions of upsetting people. Trolls have sadistic characteristics, deliberately offend, and crave attention. When you know for sure that you’re dealing with a troll, keep these following points in mind.

    Don’t Feed the Trolls

    Trolls want a reaction. They want to see you upset, flustered, and frustrated. Don’t give them the satisfaction. The secret to defeating a troll is to deprive them of what they want. Respond reservedly and concisely. State the facts, and move on. Or, better yet, do nothing. By responding to their comments, you are “feeding the troll”, or adding fuel to the fire. The best thing to do is ignore them. This is not advice we would usually give about responding to comments, but this is the way to go when it comes to trolls. They are not worth your time or energy.

    Defend Your Readers

    Sure, the internet is full of terrible people. But there are a lot of good people, too – people who will come to your defense in the comments section. While this level of loyalty is a rewarding aspect of blogging, it can quickly turn ugly. As mentioned, the best way to defeat a troll is not paying them any mind. Your readers may not know this, so they may unknowingly give the troll more ammo to cause harm. Your duty as a blogger, or social media administrator, is to have their back in the comments section.

    Use Trolls to Increase Engagement

    We’ve pointed at the importance of responding to negative comments in a calm and cool manner before, and while you should always be respectful, don’t be afraid to get a little cheeky here. Look for holes in their logic. Not only can outwitting a troll be enough to get them to back off, your sass may catch the attention of others.

    Delete Comments

    In a previous post, we recommended that you should avoid deleting a negative comment –  it’s always an opportunity to show how far you will go to find a solution to a specific problem. However, if a comment exists with the only intent to hurt people or if it contains extreme vulgarity, then you should remove it. Deleting a comment should always be your last resort. There is nothing stopping them from writing another post.

    Final Thoughts

    At LinkNow Media, we urge you to be active on social media and blogs. Don’t let a few rotten apples keep you from starting a blog or creating a social media profile for your small business. As long as the internet exists, there will be trolls. Understand their behavior and know the appropriate ways to respond, and you’ll always come out on top.

    How to Push Down a Negative Review

    pushIn previous posts, we’ve talked about ways you can turn a negative review into an opportunity to show your clients how far you will go to meet their satisfaction. This week we’re offering advice about what to do when individuals share unfavorable opinions about your business on their personal blog or website.

    Dealing with A Negative Blogger?

    Everyone has something on the internet they wish would disappear. You can get on your knees and plead to Google all you want to remove the article from search results, but unless legal action is warranted, it is very unlikely that Google will remove the post. Of course, you always have the option of calling whoever wrote the review and explain your side of the story, but the chances of them taking it down are slim to nothing. You also run the risk of opening an old wound and making matters worse. That’s the last thing you want to happen.

    If you can’t remove it, MOVE IT!

    Most people do not go past the first page of Google’s search results when searching for a product or service, so getting the negative mention to appear on the second or third page is the goal here. This process is called Online Reputation Management (ORM), and it can be done by blogging, link building, citations management, or building a profile on any social media page, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Tumblr. Here are some ORM tips:

    Blog Away!

    A blog is an effective way to push a negative review to the second page of Google, and you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. Most industries lend themselves to a few different categories. If you’re an interior designer, for example, you can dedicate one blog to home decorating and another to office furniture trends. You’re only limited by your imagination. Consider using visuals, such as videos, GIFs, and Memes. With content becoming more interactive, your blog needs to engage and entertain your audience. Visuals can make your blog more attractive by breaking up chunks of text and provide visitors with a great experience.

    Build Links!

    Negative reviews hurt any way you slice it. Unlike review sites, where it’s in your best interest to respond, you’ll need to use a different tactic when it comes to websites and blog posts that are devoted entirely to hurting your business’s reputation. Building links to positive reviews is an effective way to move down an outlandish claim, while at the time shedding light on the good stuff. The last thing you want to do is make any references to the site or blog that contains the negative review, so avoid pointing any links in their direction.

    Clean Up Citations!

    Citations are mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on the internet. It is important that this information is accurate and consistent across the board. Any discrepancy, such as your address appearing differently on Yelp than on Facebook, will cause Google to doubt the validity of your business, thus hurting your ranking. Cleaning up your citations is the process of making sure your NAP is the same across the board. This can be a tedious job, especially if your business is on the older side. If you don’t have time to hunt down this information, team up with a digital marketing company that offers citation management services.

    Use Social Media!

    Pushing a negative mention from the first page of Google to the second page isn’t going to happen overnight. Outperforming a scathing review takes time and effort. Creating a new social media account can help – but that’s only half of it – you’ll need to post regularly. If you don’t have time to manage your social media pages, you should consider enlisting the help of a social media specialist.

    Closing

    Harsh criticism is never fun, especially when the attacks are unwarranted. We recommend doing some serious ORM if you want to save face. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be.

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