Is Your Worst Critic Disguised Behind Their Social Media Gripe and Groan Machine?

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Essentially, the answer is yes. No matter what your business is – restaurant, retail, salon services, handyman services, tech support, etc. – you are susceptible to a bad online review. Consumer reliance on social networks and online resources for information has created a dangerous environment for businesses. On the contrary, as long as your business is doing things right – providing quality goods and services, and top-notch customer service – then you have nothing to worry about.

One defaming online review can have catastrophic effects. This sounds over the top and dramatic but it’s the truth. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a solid positive review can be just as powerful but in a much more desirable way. The bottom line is that social media is not a force to be reckoned with.

Social is a Super Strength
The way in which consumers obtain news and information has completely changed ever since social media landed on the scene. It is the superpower of online marketing and advertising. Consumers take advantage of its capabilities and strength be connecting with family and friends, sharing photos, and following celebrity activities. In addition, social media allows users to obtain information about a brand or company, that otherwise would be “hidden”. In other words, social media allows consumers to see everything – what products and services you offer, how they are made, what others have to say about your brand, and how you respond.

Don’t be a Victim of Venting
If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a particular company, you most likely felt angry, frustrated, ripped off, or taken advantage of. Social media outlets allow disgruntled consumers to act on those feelings immediately. Not to mention, most consumers can do this on their mobile devices, which means with just a few finger movements, the bad review is online for all to see. Just like that.

In order to avoid becoming a victim of a bad online review, a nasty tweet, or a negatively passionate Facebook status update, you must provide 100% customer satisfaction 100% of the time. It is possible, but not likely. The best thing you can do for your business is be proactive and do an impeccable job at damage control. A bad review pushed through the social media platforms is certainly not desirable, but it will not destroy your name, especially if you handle the matter properly. Consider these tips:

Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: Marketing Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards

Respond in a timely manner – Consumers appreciate when their gripes are at least recognized
Address the issue at hand – Do not simply apologize. Fix the problem.
Learn a lesson – Avoid similar situations in the future by identifying the root cause.
Play offense – Do your best to promote positive reviews online, especially via social media venues.

It is possible to bounce back from a bad review, so you can’t live in fear that any and all negative comments online are going to destroy your brand. As long as you address the situation with care, professionalism, and a personable approach, you will not suffer. In some cases, the formerly irate customer may end up rewarding you with their loyalty, which in the business world is priceless.

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Social Media Newsfeed: Police Respond to Facebook Critic | Free Data Charges for Some in Phillipines

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NewFacebookLogoPolice Chief to Facebook Critic: If You Want to Legalize Pot, You’re Probably a Criminal (The Daily Dot)
Police in Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina, recently seized “$ 40K of marijuana.” When the cops happily announced their success on Facebook, Columbia resident Brandon Whitmer let them know what he thought of the bust. “Maybe u should arrest the people shooting people in 5 points instead of worrying about a stoner that’s not bothering anyone,” Whitmer wrote. “It’ll be legal here one day anyway.” CNET A Facebook post from the police department said: “Brandon whitmer, we have arrested all the violent offenders in Five points. Thank you for sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal, we will work on finding you.” Gawker Not surprisingly, the response was deleted almost as swiftly as it had appeared. Surprisingly, it was replaced by a comment claiming to be from interim chief Ruben Santiago taking credit for the original comment, and blaming its disappearance on “one of my staff members.” Examiner.com On Friday afternoon, Santiago claimed he learned a lesson about posting on social media. “This is a reminder to us – especially to myself – to double check and triple check what I write,” Santiago told The State. “It’s not our intent to criminalize an individual or create havoc on social media.” Santiago stated he sent an apology to the original commenter who had criticized the department for arresting people for victim-less crimes. The Raw Story Department spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons noted that Santiago started the Facebook page and interacts with commenters to engage the public and to help educate them on police matters. Santiago filed a defamation suit in July against a police captain who accused him of plotting to plant illegal drugs and a stolen weapon inside a top city official’s vehicle.

What are Globe Telecom Mobile Customers in the Philippines Paying to Access Facebook? Zero (AllFacebook)
Facebook teamed up with Globe Telecom, a mobile provider serving the Philippines, to launch a three-month test of giving its customers full access to the social network without having to pay data charges, Mashable reported. In 2010, Facebook launched a scaled-down free mobile site, Facebook Zero, but Globe Telecom senior adviser for Consumer Business Peter Bithos told Mashable the need to log in via 0.Facebook.com caused some confusion.

The Happening Book Explores the Origins of Geek Culture (SocialTimes)
When the author of The Happening Book found a notebook he had pinned as a 7-year-old, at first he thought it might be an interesting preservation project. “They’re [the entries] sort of like tweets,” says the author, who requested to remain anonymous. “One of the cliches about social media is that it’s what everybody had for lunch and so much of what I was writing about was that sort of thing but directed at a page no one was reading.”

Boobs and Banner Ads: Twitter’s Facebook Dilemma (CNET)
“The reality here is that Twitter is taking a page from Facebook’s repertoire,” S&P Capital IQ Equity Analyst Scott Kessler told CNET. “They’re saying … the timeline should be more media-friendly, more interactive, and more appealing to the senses.”

20 Marketing Statistics That Will Drive 2014 [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
Web-based digital asset management company WebDAM created an infographic to look ahead to 2014 marketing trends. According to the company’s research, social media budgets are expected to double over the next five years – that’s a whole lot of Twitter Promoted Trends – and 65 percent of people are visual learners, hence the industry-wide shift towards visual content.

Here’s the First Instagram Ad — Thanks, Michael Kors (VentureBeat)
Instagram released its first advertisement Friday, and it’s a fairly pretty picture of a Michael Kors watch. And that’s it.

The Tweeting Dead Gamifies Tweets About The Walking Dead (LostRemote)
There’s The Walking Dead and Talking Dead, but now PR agency MWW and technology partner Ideation teamed up to create Tweeting Dead. In an attempt to capitalize on the number of hardcore fans and the corresponding Twitter chatter, a MWW Innovation team was formed to consider how they could properly showcase their love for the show by gamifying the surrounding Twitter conversation.

Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing (The New York Times)
About once a week, Gary Vaynerchuk posts a Twitter message that reads, “Is there anything I can do for you?” He means it literally.

Virgin Allows Users to Make Wifi Calls on Landline Minutes (AppNewser)
Virgin’s new Smartcall App service is a nod to landline customers who still have the company’s home phone talk plan. With the Smartcall app and WiFi coverage, phone calls are always deducted from landline minutes, not cellular minutes.

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