There are proper ways to handle bad social media feedback online reviews. Companies can learn a lot on how not to deal with critical feedback from the Dark Horse Cafe’, Nestle, and Amy’s Baking Company. When a customer sent a tweet to Dark Horse Cafe’ about how they do not have enough electrical outlets for laptops, they said “We are in the coffee business, not the office business. We have plenty of outlets to do what we need.” It does not need to be said that this kind of aggressive and defensive behavior is not a good response in the online world. A lot of blogs said that Dark Horse Cafe’ negatively handled public relations in this case.
Nestle got negative feedback about their environmental practices a few years ago and they did not make a statement about them. People started to get aggressive and posted doctored adaptations of their logo, making it to where they had to close their website. What a business can learn from Nestle is not to pretend people are not talking and address criticism as soon as possible. Amy’s Baking Company decided to fight fire with fire when a customer gave them a one-star review. When they insulted the reviewer, the local media shared that story. Amy’s Baking Company clearly made it obvious that negative publicity is not good for a business. Good online reputation consists of very specific things.
Good online reputation management is not only about positively reacting to what the public says about a company or person, their brand, or their products or services, but also whether to react at at all and, if so, when. There are times when a response is not needed and there are times when a reaction is not done in a timely manner, it can cost a company millions of dollars. A proactive response to the matter consists of closely watching a public reputation on a regular basis, and not just when there is a specific situation to deal with. The magic tools to deal with this are called “social media monitoring.”
Simply put, social media monitoring allows companies to gather public online content (from blog posts to tweets, from online reviews to Facebook updates), process it, and see where something positive or negative is said that affects their reputation. Social media monitoring can be done solo (Google Alert is an example of a free web monitoring tool that can anybody can use) and professional, depending on the size of the business involved.
In the online reputation management scenario, there are two types of negative content that companies need to know about. One is represented by complaints on social media. They have to be taken care of the right way, but, unless a company has major issues, they are not a big problem for a business. The other one is called “online reputation bombs” that affect a business’s reputation and long term sales and can really do harm to a business. They are very powerful because, unlike social network content, they are prominent in search engine results. There are three major types of this kind of defamatory content.