Online Reputation Management: Managing Negative Feedback Before They Go Viral

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In 2013, a businessman named Hasan Syed complained to British Airways about how it handled his father’s lost luggage.

When he still wasn’t satisfied with the quality of service, Syed decided to complain through Twitter, tagging the airline’s account. He went as far as spending $1,000 to promote the tweet and make sure British Airways, and everyone else noticed him.

The response was immediate. The airline issued a public apology, and action was taken on the lost luggage.

Why People Complain on Social Media

Fortunately, not everyone has the same funds as Syed to pay for their tweet to be noticed by almost everyone. However, complaints are all over social media.

According to a report by Ragan Insider, 55% of people complain on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to see results. When a disgruntled customer rants on social media, it’s likely that another dissatisfied customer will see the post and interact with it.

When several users interact with a social media post, it is easier to be seen and become viral. Once a post becomes viral, even people who are not customers will form an impression about a business and might discourage them from interacting.

Viral social media complaints have also proven to ruin an organization’s reputation, resulting in lower income due to loss of sales.

Customer testimonial

Managing on Social Media Reputation

Although social media can magnify customer complaints and make them viral, the same goes for positive feedback. A heartwarming post from a satisfied customer can resonate with others and encourage your target audience to interact with you.

Negative posts aren’t always damaging to your organization, either. It may be constructive criticism or a genuine complaint that could make your business better.

Either way, you want to manage your social media reputation to get on your target audience’s good side. Here’s what you can do, whether with an in-house team or through a media public relations service:

Use tools to monitor your online reputation

A variety of online tools help you find and gather any mentions or reviews of your brand. This will help you determine how your target audience speaks and the best way to reach out to them.

Turn negative reviews into your advantage

By replying to a complaint, it shows transparency and the genuine desire to help a customer. You can discuss the issue in the public replies or take it to private messaging.

Make sure to respond to the feedback as soon as possible. The longer the post remains unanswered, the most disgruntled the customer will be. Make sure to take action on the complaint so that the customer does not rely on an empty promise.

Develop a trustworthy image

Take steps to make your brand reliable in the eyes of your target audience. You can:

  • Produce guest blog posts, case studies, and whitepapers that show your expertise in the industry
  • Publish video testimonials of satisfied customers
  • Answer questions in online forums

These proactive steps can prepare you for an online attack and protect your online reputation.

It’s normal to receive a message, post, or comment from a disgruntled customer. However, the last thing you want is for the post to go viral and ruin your organization’s reputation. Proactively manage your social media reputation so you can become trustworthy among your target audience.

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