Whether we know it or not, many of us have an online reputation. If we’ve ever posted a photo, a review, or even just an opinion on social media, your online reputation or your ‘digital footprint’ has already taken shape. A digital footprint is pretty much as it sounds, a place where you’ve left your mark online! This not only goes for individuals, but for businesses as well. The only difference is, it’s the external opinions that may shape our reputation more than we do.
Have you ever checked reviews on a restaurant before you decide to book, or looked up a company on social media? Of course you have, who hasn’t! It gives us a sense of security and allows us to develop a form of trust towards them. Reputation in this sense is important as it can essentially drive business and exposure!
But while we would all love to be at the centre of praise, we all know that this may not be the case, all of the time. Negative feedback is unfortunately a big part of life and can be very difficult to avoid – we are all only human after all! Whilst we may embrace compliments and praise, negativity can be bit trickier to navigate.
Businesses in particular face a lot of exposure online with a busy community of customers and staff, all having access to online channels. Face to face interactions are not as popular as they once were, and with the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption to the way we interact, keyboards seem to be the place to go if anyone has a concern.
Considerations if your business receives negative comments
Regardless of whether someone is right or wrong, a negative comment towards your business can always conjure some worried feelings. Despite the situation, it’s important to try and stay resilient and think positively about how to resolve the issue at hand. Are you able to address the concern in a professional manner that doesn’t expose the problem even further? Consider the impact of the negative comment and consider whether a public response is actually necessary. A public rebuttal may seem wise at the time but often it can add fuel to the fire if not handled correctly.
Complaints can be handled privately via appropriate communication channels or even one to one meetings. Responding in a timely manner and showing willingness to try and sort out a problem can go a long way in the eyes of others! Try to fix what you can and understand where the person is coming from. Remember, the customer is always right!
Listen to the feedback and determine what is noticeably not well received. If the same complaint continues to surface across a broad spectrum, then acknowledging it, addressing it and making the necessary changes will show respect whilst showing your willingness to adapt.
Ensure your positive reception is highly promoted. If you’ve got the testimonials and support from others, then make sure other people know too! You have the control to guide your brand however you want, so ensure the message you’re putting out is positive, welcoming and understanding.
To learn more about using tools such as social media channels to communicate, the Social Media Checklists from SWGfL are there to guide you on important online safety topics.
Monitoring online mentions
More often than not, monitoring plays a vital part in responding to online comments. Without the insight and timely awareness of issues arising, negativity can often ignite without us even knowing about it. Ensure that your business incorporates a monitoring tool to catch mentions from the start. This way you have the knowledge and time to manage before it goes any further.
Tagflag is the online monitoring tool from Edtesa that not only gathers your online mentions but analyses and illustrates your reputation in a way that determines whether you’re having a positive impact or not. We’re currently offering a two-week trial on all Tagflag plans; discover your online reputation and adapt accordingly!