Earlier this month, our digital wizards headed to Brighton SEO to learn the latest from industry experts on current trends, best practice and digital marketing expertise.
Cathy Eglington, digital marketing executive, departs her knowledge from the conference and shares top tips for managing your online reputation.
SEO Brighton started in the upstairs room in a pub with a great idea and a passion for all things digital. A little known fact that, for me, brought instant comparisons to mind of elliotts’ humble beginnings in Ann’s outhouse at the bottom of her garden with a passion for all things food and drink.
The event is now one of the most popular organic search conferences in the UK, with tickets like gold dust, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend.
Managing your online reputation has never been more important; 74% of customers will use online resources and social networks to make a purchasing decision. With this in mind, we were looking for top tips for our clients and other brands in the hospitality sector to cement their online reputation and build their online presence.
There was one talk that stood out to me – Andy Beal, CEO of Reputation Refinery and award-winning blogger (and ukulele player!) explained how to ensure your current ,and potential, customers are speaking about you for the right reasons, learning from the biggest reputation blunders of the past year.
- 83% of business’ go through a crisis management ‘attack’ at some point in their operation
- 92% of customers Google search your business first before choosing your business
- Never delete your social media posts if they go wrong – be open and honest with your customer and address issues in a professional manner
- Personality is key to engagement, but make sure it’s appropriate, relevant and accurate
- You can’t divide your personal reputation from your professional reputation – no matter how hard you try
Listen and interact with your customers
Automated responses might seem like a great way to save time and money, but this isn’t always the best solution. As advanced as robot responses are, they’re not always accurate and can end up annoying your customer more than helping them with their query – 28% of UK adults would unfollow a brand on social media if they’re ‘too sales’y’ or impersonal. Case in point – ASOS.
Be honest with your customers
Some companies have been guilty to removing posts that they alter decided weren’t relevant, were posted in error or even pretending they’ve been hacked if a mistake had been made. Trying to cover up a mistake isn’t always the best way forward, especially in the digital world – once it’s out, it’s out!
It’s vital to be honest to your audience online, if you made a mistake admit it, don’t try to cover it up. Address the point online then take it offline through a DM or email if a customer would like further information.
Take on board Warren Buffet’s words of wisom: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Double check before you post
When managing multiple social media accounts, there is always a risk of human error. The best way to prevent this is to never log in on multiple account on one phone, if you have a work mobile keep this logged in to your company profile only, this will help minimise the risk.
As a social account owner, limiting the access of your profile will help reduce the risk as less people have access and providing training will help make sure no personal tweets end up on your company page.
Using platforms’ scheduling systems and a thorough content plan will help to ensure no content is shared without sign off, while being on brand, on message and engaging.
Opinions can make or break you
Everyone at some point can be misunderstood, or disagreed with when your opinion is put out online. If you post about a contentious subject or try to engage with recent controversial news you may find yourself in stormy waters. Not all of your customers will agree with you and could get angry or feel negative about your brand. Just remember – double check before you press send and always ask yourself, “Is this relevant?”