4 Steps to Monitor Criticism and Seal Your Reputation
Criticism is a natural part of any company – but how you respond to criticism is what will mark your company as either a friendly, customer orientated organisation…or as a profit hungry, callous corporation. Having a reputation as a company that truly cares for its customers will draw in further customers as they know that, should something go wrong, they’ll be looked after; however, having a reputation as a faceless conglomerate that cares more for its shareholders than its clientele will put off potential customers that know, should something go wrong, they’d be out of pocket and on their own.
Complaints and social media go hand in hand, so use it to your advantage. Find where people are talking about your company, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, or even personal blogs…and read! The first step to solving a complaint is finding out what it is. Once you know what people are unhappy about, it is much easier to try and find a solution to appease them.
Control the situation
A simple but effective step is to bring the complaints to you. Monitoring feedback works well, but it works even better if you cut out the middleman. Create a prominent feedback/forum section on your website and encourage people to leave their comments – that way you may deter people from venting their frustration on high profile complaint websites and blogs, and you can use the opportunity to show that you take feedback seriously and are willing to try and solve their problems.
But remember: you’re not a dictatorship!
However tempting it may be, resist the temptation to censor people’s comments. It didn’t work out too well for the Soviet Union and the chances are it won’t work out too well for you either. Once people realise – and they will – that you’re removing unfavourable comments, people will distrust anything you say from then on. It’s best to embrace such comments and turn a complaint into a compliment about your customer service skills.
Act – and act fast
It is much easier to be proactive and solve criticism if and when it occurs than to allow events to snowball and have to face an avalanche of angry customers. Delaying a response will only make the situation worse. The customer will still be angry that the product wasn’t what they expected or wasn’t delivered on time – plus they’ll now just be angry that it took your company so long to offer a response. To prevent this from happening, consider having you customer service team work alongside your reputation management team (if you have one) because nobody likes to be told two different things from two different people.
Follow these simple tips and you are on your way to sealing your company’s reputation as a friendly, customer orientated enterprise and, with it, the hearts and minds of both existing and potential clients.
Southwest Airlines and The Power of Teamwork
Every company strives for a cohesive work environment, where every team member is working towards a shared goal…but not every company manages to achieve this. One company that did was Southwest Airlines.
Few CEOs can claim to be as charismatic as Herb Kelleher, the founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines which was named the best company to work for in America in 1998 by Fortune magazine. Fewer still would arm-wrestle a rival for the use of a slogan, even one as brilliantly simple as ‘Just Plane Smart’.
With such a captivating man at the head of the company, it is not at all surprising that Southwest Airlines changed under his leadership. But, to change the whole culture of the company and – it could be argued – an entire industry, as Kelleher did, was a bold move.
Based on a simple philosophy, Kelleher implemented an ‘employee first’ approach to his company, arguing that:
‘Years ago, business gurus used to apply the business school conundrum to me: “Who comes first? Your shareholders, your employees, or your customers?” I said, “Well, that’s easy,” but my response was heresy at that time. I said employees come first and if employees are treated right, they treat the outside world right, the outside world uses the company’s product again, and that makes the shareholders happy. That really is the way that it works and it’s not a conundrum at all.’
And it is a philosophy that has certainly delivered results with Southwest, achieving their 40th consecutive year of profitability in 2012.
So how do they do it? It is actually a whole lot simpler than it seems; indeed, it comes down to three basic principles: a warrior’s spirit – the desire to work hard and be the best; a servant’s heart – the willingness to put others first and treat people with respect; and a fun-loving attitude – the ability to not take yourself too seriously (after all you may end up singing to a plane full of people http://www.businessinsider.com/this-airlines-flight-attendants-vow-planes-full-of-people-by-singing-2012-3?op=1).
It is, therefore, hardly a surprise that Southwest has gained a reputation for not only low prices but also high quality customer care that offers something that most major companies do not – a sense of entertainment and fun. But Kelleher, and Southwest, have not gloated in their successful approach; indeed, in Kelleher’s own words: ‘We [the executives] are not the heroes. We supply the heroes, period. The heroes are out there.’
Digital Marketing and Your Online Reputation
Yes, ladies and gentlemen – the shift from analogue to digital is here to stay. Aside from having rapidly crept in and unquestionably overtaken our day-to-day life, digital has likewise managed to find and seal its place amongst modern marketing’s biggest weapons and effectuate the shift to none other than – yes, you’ve guessed it – digital marketing. Seeing a lot of this lately? Well, get ready to see more, as digital marketing takes the world by storm.
So how exactly has digital marketing become the buzzword it is today? Well – aside from the fact it’s pretty much set out to become the future of marketing – digital marketing allegedly holds several benefits that are valuable to both companies and marketers alike.
Apart from being in times more affordable than traditional forms of marketing, digital marketing also allows for a much wider audience to be reached, thus improving company efficiency and concurrently increasing consumer span. Perhaps the biggest advantage of digital marketing, however, has got to be its revolutionizing ease of tracking and monitoring results, allowing not only for much more effective data attainment and analysis, but also for better planning in terms of future projects and endeavors. How? Let’s take a quick look at digital marketing’s eight partners-in-crime:
- Online Reputation Management – considered digital marketing’s right-hand (with perfectly good reason), online reputation management allows for such wondrous options as market searches, competitor analysis, social media content measurement, trend spotting and many, many others.
- Metrics Analysis – far from just analyzing volume, metrics analysis identifies trends and makes estimates.
- Relationship Analysis – love woes aside, relationship analysis processes data about customers and their relationship with a given establishment with the purpose of increasing sales, improving service, and lowering cost of that establishment.
- Strategy Development – vital for running every successfully functioning business, strategy development sets specific goals and objectives based on the varying market dynamics through the aid of compliance measurement, maintenance and audit, and team training.
- Technology Testing – provides quality assurance in the area of research and development through the aid of website analytics, influencer identification, and engagement solutions.
- Crisis Management – helping overcome the drama of handling tweets and blogs, contemporary crisis management helps keep things under control through such options as crisis organization charts and comment response charts.
- Team Collaboration – often the unsung hero of many a successful project, team collaboration – even in the high-tech world of digital marketing – holds the foundations to any successful undertaking through the use of integrated collaborative solutions, document sharing, project management, and others.
- Communication –a two-way street concept, communication is vital for procedure definition and process analysis that will secure synergy all throughout projects and undertakings.
Aspiring marketer? Newly formed company? Better get acquainted with the above essentials A.S.A.P., as they are the fundamental basics of digital marketing and – mildly speaking – your guide to keeping in line with the way of the future.
Social Media Listening: Learn how to build effective saved searches
It’s a well known fact that social media monitoring is not an easy task. There are millions of blogs, news sites and Social Media channels (like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, …) that have billions of posts daily. Most brands are mentioned every day. The problem is that interesting mentions are not visible. Irrelevant mentions do not bring any benefit to businesses.
Building an excellent saved search (or a query) could help you get rid of this problem and reduce stress. Using Boolean expressions will make interesting mentions more visible.
Reasons why you need to build a good saved search
Simple queries offer thousands of results. The problem is that they do not offer relevant results. Google’s ranking algorithm draws attention to the top ten results.
Now let’s suppose that you want to find reviews of the best headphones. Run a short search on Google for the best headphones and you will notice that this search engine finds over 100m web pages and shows you the links to the most relevant ones. Only a few of the ten most relevant websites are interesting.
The question is: what happens with the other 100m web pages? Is their content related to the best headphones? For starters, “100m web pages” sounds a little bit weird. If we were to look more closely at some of the results (those that are not included among the top ten), we’d find that Google included pages of whose content is only related to “headphones” and other results that are not relevant. It’s obvious that these results do not appear on the first page. Google is intelligent enough to rank those pages that include the terms “best headphones” before any pages that include only one term.
Social media monitoring is all about looking and analyzing all the relevant and important pages about a brand or а topic. This is the reason why if you want to succeed you need to be more precise and write a good but more complex search. It usually contains Boolean operators like “AND”, “OR”, “NOT” and more.
Do you know what Boolean operators are?
For starters, understanding the role of these operators can be a little bit tricky. We’ll try to explain what Boolean operators are and how they can help.
First, it’s important for you to know that Boolean operators provide your computer with certain criteria to use when searching web pages. “Not”, “and”, “or” and others are all Boolean operators.
Why is it so important to use Boolean operators in Social Media Marketing and Social Media Monitoring?
Rankur social media monitoring tools allow users to use the following operators:
1) “” double quotes – exact phrase search
It’s important for you to know that this operator finds texts where the words in the quotation marks appear in the right order. Let’s suppose that you use Google to search for “apple pie”. The result consists in web pages that say “I love apple pie”. Automatically this means that all those websites that mention just “apple” or “pie” are eliminated.
2) AND or +
Using AND when running a search like apple AND pie will find texts that mention both words. For example the following text will well pass the requirement: „I love apple and plum pie”. Keep in mind that if you want to use this Boolean operator you need to use capital letters. Otherwise Rankur considers it to be the just the word “and”.
OR is another operator that can help you improve your search. It requires web pages to contain either of two terms. For example, if you use Rankur to search for “apple OR pie” the result will consist in web pages that mention either Apple or Pie. Keep in mind that if you want to use this Boolean operator you need to use CAPITAL letters.
4) NOT or –
Using NOT requires web pages to not include a certain keyword. For example, “apple pie” NOT candy will provide you access to those pages that mention the phrase “apple pie” and do not mention “candy”. As with the other operators, NOT has to be capitalised.
Brackets can be used by those who want to group terms together, so that Boolean operators like AND/+ and NOT/- can be applied to all the terms. For example, “apple pie” NOT (candy OR cake) will help you find those sites that mention Apple pie but exclude those that contain candy or cake.
The „~” symbol is also known as the proximity operator in the Boolean language. This symbol can be used by those who want to find web sites where two (or even more) words appear within a few words of each other. It’s important for you to keep in mind that this operator can only be used in conjunction with „” (quotation marks) and with a number (this number indicates the maximum number of words apart they must be). Here’s a short example to help you understand the role of this symptom: “Apple pie”~3. This search will find all those web sites that mention both, Apple and Pie within 3 words of each other.
Using this Boolean operator will allow you to restrict a search to one (or more) web sites or to exclude them from a query. For example, “Apple Pie” AND site:allrecipes.com will provide all the mentions of Apple Pie on this website. This gives you the possibility to monitor particular websites for a given set of keywords and phrases and react accordingly.
Most of the times, when we search web sites we ignore the punctuation. „raw:” is an operator that reinserts the needs for special characters. For example, if you use Google to search for „apple pie!” the engine will only look for „apple pie”. If you want to include the exclamation mark then you need to use raw:”apple pie!”. You may equally search for mentions of stock signs like raw:”$GOOG”
Advice on building effective saved searches
Remember, simple is always better. As long as your brand has a unique and powerful name there’s no need to use these operators. If you need a complex search you may always create few simple ones and group them in a folder. The folder will provide you with consolidated view to all results.
And finally – do not hesitate to contact our support service at firstname.lastname@example.org – we are always glad to help.
Upcoming conferences for social media marketers (Part 2)
The new portion of this year’s social media conferences is here. Don’t miss the chance to attend one of these events.
• Inbound 2015 – 8th-11th September, Boston, Massachusetts
Last year’s edition of the Inbound conference was visited by more than 10 000 participants. The expectations for Inbound 2015 are even greater. The conference covers various topics – retention marketing, culture of innovation, PR analytics, company culture, to name but a few. The participants will have the opportunity to build their own program. The official agenda includes keynote presentations, training and breakout sessions, workshops, product demos and network activities. Some of the key speakers will be Seth Godin, Brené Brown, Aziz Ansari, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, and Daniel Pink.
• Content Marketing World – 8th-11th September, Cleveland, Ohio
The CMWorld 2015 offers more than 150 sessions on developing a strategy, storytelling, measuring SEO, analytics, promotion techniques and many other topics in the field of content marketing. The 4-day agenda is full of presentations, workshops, panels and labs. Among the speakers at The CMWorld 2015 will be Nick Offerman, John Cleese, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Kathy Button Bell, Andrew Davis, Rand Fishkin, Scott Abel, Ardath Albee and Judd Bagley.
• Pubcon – 5th-8th October, Las Vegas
Social media, search engines, digital marketing are the core themes at Pubcon. The agenda includes sessions on SEO, LinkedIn marketing, social media data, branding and social strategies, content marketing, reputation management, video and podcast marketing. In addition, there is an option for visiting the Pubcon Masters Group workshop and training program which will take place the day before the beginning of the conference. This program covers six tracks: SEO: Organic Traffic Optimization, Social Media Campaigns, Paid Search, SEO: Fundamentals, Social Media Advertising, Landing Page Coversion. Speakers at Pubcon will be Abby Johnson, Ann Smarty, Alex Volk, Adam Proehl, Britney Muller, Ashley Ward, Mark Traphagen and many others.
• Social Media Success Summit 2015 – 6th-29th October
The Social Media Success Summit is an online conference which gives the participants the opportunity to learn a lot about visual marketing and analytics, content marketing, social media networks. The conference will last four weeks as the sessions will be held three days per week. The SSMS provides recordings of all sessions as well as transcripts in English. Key speakers will be Mari Smith, Mark Schaefer, Amy Porterfield, Christopher Penn, Michael Stelzner, Neal Schaffer, Viveka von Rosen, Andrea Vahl and Melonie Dodaro.
• BOLO – 18th-20th October, Tempe
The conference is all about digital marketing. There will be 250 attendees. This will allow the participants to get to know each other better and to build strong future partnerships. The agenda covers topics such as dealing with wicked problems, content marketing, performance optimisation, business development, media strategy, storytelling, niche markets. BOLO also offers a 3P track. This is a pre-conference track which includes presentations on recruitment and retention of talents, optimisations of the workplace for creativity and protection from industry disintermediation. Something new at this year’s edition of BOLO will be another track called Applied Strategy. It will be concentrated on the elements of customer engagement through various platforms and digital marketing. Key speakers at BOLO will be Christine Outram, Rohit Bhargava, John Winsor, Drew McLellan, Susan Baier, Adam Rymer, Michael Kaushansky and others.
• B2B Marketing Forum – 20th-23rd October, Boston
The forum will provide the participants with a lot of useful knowledge and information about B2B marketing. It includes a one-day pre-conference workshop about content and marketing strategies, writing for marketers, marketing planning and lead nurturing. The B2B Marketing Forum includes 54 sessions on Google analytics, marketing leadership, account-based marketing, community marketing, creating a podcast, high-performing emails, managing a marketing team and many more. As it is strongly emphasized there are no panels included on the agenda. The B2B Marketing Forum gives an option for the participants for online access to particular sessions for three months. The list of speakers includes Hana Abaza, Ardath Albee, Jim Beretta, Michael Brenner, Dan Briscoe, Rebecca Cisek, Brian Clark, Heidi Cohen and others.
• PRSA 2015 International Conference – 8th-10th November, Atlanta
PRSA is about providing networking opportunities and best international practices in the field in one place. The agenda includes five tracks: Integration, Tools and Techniques, Specialization, Strategic Planning and Implementation, Leadership and Management. Each track contains of a couple of sessions as participants can create their own programs choosing which sessions to attend. Some of the topics on the agenda are PR strategies and tactics, content integration, PR analytics, SEO, culture of innovation, influencer landscape. Speakers will be James Kane, Daniel Lubetzky, Sheryl Connelly, Jim Cantore, Joan Gladstone, Brad MacAfee, Priya Ramesh, MaryBeth Vrees, Rita Tateel, Deirdre Breakenridge and others.