The Art of Dealing with Negative Comments on Social Media

While social media can be a boon for most brands, it can also bring the ugly out of the woodworks. Unfortunately, negative comments are part of the deal when you advertise your brand on social media.

When you receive a nasty, negative, or otherwise yucky comment on social media, follow these 7 steps to ensure that you’re handling it with velvet gloves.

1. Read it once, twice and three times.

When you receive a negative comment, always make sure to remain level headed and read the comment through several times before responding.

This ensures that you do not respond out of anger or hot blood. Stay calm, cool, and collected while reading the comment. Take a break and come back to it with a fresh mind if you have to.

2. Ask someone else to read it.

If available, always ask someone else to read the comment. An outside perspective is always a great option and can keep you grounded.

3. Be professional.

When you do respond, remain professional and courteous no matter what. Adhere to your brand voice and ideals before everything else, and treat the commenter as if (s)he was standing right in front of you.

4. Provide your name and contact details.

Always provide your name and contact information, whether that be an email or a direct phone number. A disgruntled customer will always appreciate when a brand puts real faces forward when dealing with a crisis. Be real, be human and show them that you are.

5. Don’t offer freebies.

Don’t just fall back on offering freebies in response to a negative comment. Sometimes people just want to vent, and it doesn’t have anything to do with your brand or products.

So, don’t automatically offer free stuff…think of it as rewarding bad behavior.

6. Thank them for their feedback.

Whatever else, thank your commenter for their feedback. Be genuine.

If the comment stemmed from a legitimate issue, be sure to let them know that you will get to the root of the problem and contact them to let them know when it has been solved.

7. Proofread your response.

Before you hit send, always proofread your reply. There’s nothing worse than realizing that there’s a grammatical error in your response, or that you sound far too harsh. If available, ask someone to proofread your response also. It never hurts to have a second pair of eyes on it.

Receiving negative comments can suck, but if handled correctly they can turn a detractor into an advocate. Honestly, it works. Being truthful and genuine with your audience is the surest way to their hearts. Using these 7 simple steps to approaching and dealing with negative comments can help you get more insight into your customers and be seen as transparent.

I’m A Millennial & Here’s What I Learned At A Marketing to Millennials Workshop

Millennials have gotten a bit of a bad rap lately. Maybe it’s because we’re impulsive or ask too many questions. Or, maybe it’s because we’re just too uncomplicated to be human. Whatever the case may be, the simple fact of the matter is that millennials make up the vast majority of the active population of this era.

I am a millennial and here is what I learned from attending a workshop on marketing to millennials in the digital age.Hello, I'm A Millennial Badge

1. Transparency & Honesty Are Key
The thing about millennials is that we don’t mess around. Millennials value honesty and transparency above all else.

Don’t bother beating around the bush or trying to pull the wool over our eyes about your product or service. Regardless of the industry that you’re in, we can smell a liar from a mile away.

Be honest about who you are and how your product or services can help us grow and live easier. If you can stick to that, you’ll be fending millennials off with a stick.

2. Don’t Dress It Up
Millennials understand that nothing is all sunshine and rainbows. Some things are scary or nitty-gritty. But, that’s the way it needs to be and we understand that what we see is what we get.

Don’t put lipstick on a pig. It’s still bacon.

Don't put lipstick on a pig. It's still bacon.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Some basic life necessities happen to be a little scary but are still necessary to a healthy life. Say it like it is. If you’re selling financing services…say so. Managing your finances is kinda scary, but we get that and we won’t shy away from straight talk and transparency.

3. Keep It Simple, Stupid
Seriously, the K.I.S.S. principle is still a thing. Whether you’re looking at a website or a TV advertisement, marketing to millennials should contain simple and easy to understand content.

Don’t overcomplicate things with extra hoops to jump through, industry jargon or overly stylized design. You have all of 3 seconds to grab out attention and roughly 3-5 additional seconds to keep millennials interested. Extra steps, flashy buttons or flowery content do nothing but distract us from the end goal…to buy your product or service. You don’t want that, do you?

So, what did we learn?
Millennials can’t stand fluff. Once you grasp that fact, you’re on your way to a successful and well-respected business.

Are you a millennial? Do you agree or do you have something to add?

A Brief Overview On How to Choose the Best Social Media Channel for Your Business

A Brief Overview On How to Choose the Best Social Media Channel for Your Business

As a business owner or manager, you’re probably being constantly inundated with social media on every level. But you aren’t quite sure if social media is right for you and your brand, right? Well, social media is a godsend for most businesses, regardless of the industry. So, in an effort to help you understand your options we put together this comprehensive guide on how to choose the best social media channel for your business.Social Media

The big players in the game are always a good choice, but not all social channels are created equal.

Facebook
Most internet activities begin and end with Facebook. It’s a simple fact. If a website offers a login feature, chances are very good that you’ll be given the option to log in with your Facebook credentials. Considering this, most businesses are well served by choosing to participate in Facebook.

However, Facebook is most known for conversations and if you’re not using it for such, then you’re wasting your time. Whether you’re a service-based business or retail, you can easily utilize Facebook to build a strong community of brand advocates.

Facebook is for you if: you have the manpower and resources to produce regular, engaging content and are able to monitor your network often. Facebook is not a set it and forget it option and requires a posting frequency of at least once a day.

Twitter
Everyone is on Twitter. Seriously, people take to Twitter to talk about their lives in short bursts more than anywhere else. Everyone from brands to celebrities maintain busy accounts and garner tons of attention. But, Twitter is not right for everyone.

With a strict 140-character limit Twitter is often disregarded by brands because they don’t feel like they can get their point across. A lot can be said in 140-characters, but that isn’t the true drawback of Twitter.

The one real problem with Twitter is the visible lifetime of a post. In order to stay in front of your audience, a brand must post several times a day or risk falling off the face of the internet. However, Twitter has long been known to produce real leads and true purchasing drive in an audience.

Twitter is right for you if: you have a dedicated social media person/team that is capable of posting several times a day and interacting with the audience.

Google+
Ok, so….Google owns the world. So, if you don’t have a Google+ account bad things might happen. Kidding, not kidding.

The real deal is that Google takes businesses with an optimized Google+ account into consideration when determining local search rankings. So, every business really MUST have a Google+ account setup and optimized.

The search engine also pays attention to and factors in your Google+ post content. So, if you can manage a Facebook or Twitter account, then all you need is a dash of imagination to maintain a solid Google+ account. Just remember that post content should not be directly copied from another social account, it should be varied enough not to trigger duplicate content warnings.

Google+ is always right for you.

Pinterest
Just keep pinning! Pinterest is an internet worm-hole, literally. But, it is an amazing option for retail businesses. Pinterest currently has nearly 73 million users as of April of 2015, which makes it one of the most viable social media channels out there.

Plus, Pinterest is talking about adding a Buy It button to pins to allow users to purchase items that they love right on Pinterest. This is HUGE for retail businesses on Pinterest.

Pinterest is right for you if: you’re a retail business and are capable of creating unique, eye-catching imagery for your product.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a tricky social platform, always has been. But it doesn’t have to be.

Think of LinkedIn as an alternative blog platform that is aimed at tech-savvy professionals. It gives you the unique opportunity to appeal to people that are just like you and are looking for what you have. Get into the conversation with other like-minded professionals while positioning yourself as a thought leader in your niche.

LinkedIn is great for B2B service-based businesses or for talent searching. Plain and simple.

LinkedIn is right for you if: you’re a service-based B2B business with lots to say. You should have the capacity to create semi-regular long form content and be engaged in other conversations.

YouTube
Video is the name of the game these days and considering the fact that Google now owns YouTube, it’s always a solid choice. But, not everyone does well on film….10 extra pounds and all.

But seriously, producing branded videos for a social platform such as YouTube (or Vimeo) isn’t for the faint of heart. Being a video personality requires a certain type of person, tons of dedication and something really great to say.

YouTube is right for you if: you have a dedicated video production person or team that will be able to produce, edit and optimize regular posts for your brand. Plus, you’ll need an interesting person to be the face of your social videos.

In Conclusion…
There are lots of great social options and none of them are created equal. But when it comes to choosing the right social media channels for your business, always take your resources into account.
Think about:

• The size of your social media marketing team.
• The regularity of posting that you can manage.
• The type of content that your customers want to see.
• Where your customers spend their time.

5 Great 4th of July Marketing Ideas

Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is kind of a funky holiday for anyone not selling patriotic themed goods. Considering that, it’s a bit hard for some businesses to capitalize on the hype of the season. But, fear not…capitalize you can!

Here are 5 simple 4th of July marketing ideas that are sure to get the patriotic blood pumping.

1. Run A Patriotic Photo Contest

Run a patriotic photo contest.Photo contests are a great way to not only engage your audience on individual channels, but it’s a great way to mine for content ideas.

Depending on what your product or service is, always make sure that the contest prize is something worth fighting for. Much of your audience follows you for free information, so the chance to win something is a great opportunity to turn a prospect into a full-blown client. Once they try the product/service, they’ll come back for more and will be happy to pay top dollar.

You can easily run a photo contest on Facebook or Instagram. Or you can run a Pin It to Win It contest on Pinterest, but that’s a different story. Check out Shortstack and 22 Social for contest capabilities. They’re both great resources and offer free trials.

2. Host A Themed Event

Depending on where your business is located, the act of hosting a themed event could go a couple of different ways.

If you’re located in town (in the thick of the action) try hosting an open house type of event in which families can bring their kids in to do a patriotic craft, watch a movie or get free patriotic-themed treats.

 

If you’re a little farther out, try planning an event a week before the big day. This event could be similar to the above, but be more geared towards the attendees having something to take with them to the festivities. For example, collect lots of old jeans and t-shirts and teach your attendees to make tie blankets to sit on during the fireworks.

Events that cater to keeping the kids busy and happy are a lifeline for parents during the holidays. Chances are good that while the kids are crafting, the parents will be finding out more about your business. You may not necessarily get sales out of the event immediately, but those parents will go home and do their research.

3. Participate in a Local Independence Day Event

No matter where you’re from, the local events are always a community highlight and are nothing to sniff at. Any business that Participate or volunteer for a local event.takes time out of their day to participate is regarded very highly. So, take stock of what events are coming up and how your team can help.
Whether you’re riding on a float in the parade, manning one of the game booths or serving ice cream…always make sure that your team exudes patriotic and brand spirit. Everyone should be wearing logo wear if possible, or at least name tags and brand colors.

This is a great (and sometimes free) opportunity for stellar advertising. It places you directly in the public eye and shows that you care about your community. Plus, if you designate a few people to take team pictures and post them on social media throughout the day, you’ll receive increased engagement there as well.

Note: DON’T just donate to a cause…PARTICIPATE! Seeing your faces will go a lot farther than seeing your logo on a donation banner.

4. Write a Post Detailing the Top Things to do in Your Area for the Holiday

If you happen to be a little farther from the action or are unable to physically participate in any way, try writing a post detailing the top things to do in your area for the holiday. Or the top places to view fireworks from. If your team puts their heads together, you will most likely come up with some unlikely events or places that some people may not have heard of. People will EAT these up!

5. Partner Up with a Local Charity

This one could also go along the lines of hosting an event or participating in a local event. When you team up with a local charity, there are several things that you could end up doing. Often you’ll end up volunteering for one of the pre-set events that the charity is running for the holiday.

This will also put your face and brand in front of the consumer and is an inexpensive feel-good option for you.