social media

Represent your business properly on social media

Social media accounts for businesses are invaluable tools enterprises use to reach out to their client bases to fully understand their needs and wants. Make sure your social media manager understands the proper way to interact with people online, especially those with bad things to say about the company.

Online reputation management mistakes

As long as you have a successful business or brand, people will always have something to say about it. And when it comes to online reputation management, the goal is to create positive engagement with your customers. So if the discussion about your brand swings negative, here are a few online reputation blunders to avoid.

  • Reacting to negative commentary – Negative commentary is generally any commentary that constitutes a verbal attack. As a rule, if it isn’t constructive criticism, it’s probably negative commentary. Feel free to ignore these comments because engaging with them will escalate the conversation further, and fueling those flames are never good for business. It is one thing to stand up for values and principles in a diplomatic manner, and it is a completely different thing to engage in a word war with online commenters who will likely not endure any adverse effects to their negative commentary.
  • Reacting emotionally – If your reaction to negative comments is to fire back with negative comments, you’ll appear unprofessional. Customers want to do business with a brand that is professional. If you react emotionally or negatively to a customer online, who’s to say you wouldn’t do the same in real life to the person reading it? As a social media manager, you are the voice of the business. If your voice is abrasive, immature, and easy to bait into a pissing contest, best believe that your customers will see your business in the same light.

How to resolve negative commentary

While a negative comment about your brand may upset you, don’t let your emotions get the better of you and post something you’ll later regret. Instead, calm down, compose yourself, and follow these guidelines.

  • Figure out what the customer really wants – Every customer wants their problem to be resolved, but how they want their issue fixed will vary. Some customers want an apology, others want a refund, and some may simply want the product they ordered but did not receive. Just because the customer’s comments are poorly phrased doesn’t mean that they don’t have a legitimate grievance. Learn to ignore the personal attack and carefully draw out the true cause for concern.
  • Stick to the facts – When engaging with a customer online, the initial comment can quickly turn into a back-and-forth discussion. If this happens, don’t get off topic when addressing the problem. The customer may try to engage you in a he-said-she-said battle, but avoid taking the bait. Respond with facts, stick to the matter at hand, and don’t get caught up in personal accusations.
  • Turn the negative into a positive – Negative feedback is an opportunity to improve your business. So be honest with yourself and, if there’s truth in the comment, take a good hard look at your company. Did the commenter point out a glaring problem you can improve upon? Remember, a business is nothing without its customers, so it makes sense to do your best to please them.

To learn more about how to best manage your online reputation, or for assistance with any of your IT needs, get in touch with our experts today.

Are you maximizing your social media potential?

Social media as a component of marketing is continuously growing its own significant heartbeat in the industry — so much so that many businesses nowadays make exclusive use of it for their advertising and promotional needs.

Having great content on your site is the magnet that attracts visitors. However, when there is too much competition on the most popular platforms, it can be difficult to drive results based on social media reputation alone. To reap rewards from social media marketing, you need to devise new methods and augment your strategy with social media tools to stand out from the crowd.

Meetup

Meetup is a great site to plan face-to-face meetings with people with similar interests. Does your company sell hiking, camping, and backpacking products? Organize a meetup for the people in your community to go on a hike. You really can’t get a better customer interaction than engaging with them through the activities they love.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is a formal events planning platform that helps you organize, plan, and market your event, along with an added bonus: recruitment potential. You can easily market yourself as an expert in an industry to either attract freelancers or educate potential customers about the problems you aim to solve for them.

Answer Forums

Popular answer forums such as Yahoo! Answers, Quora, and even certain Reddit sub-channels such as /r/askmeanything or /r/whatisthisthing let netizens crowdsource information about certain industries or products. Many companies use these to promote their brand by answering questions, most especially those that are within their expertise. This helps establish credibility and organic connection with prospective clients.

Disqus

Disqus is a great way to facilitate dialogue while protecting privacy and upholding etiquette and other standards. You can embed Disqus onto your online content such as videos or blog articles so that people can voice out their concerns or opinions but in a way that helps prevent flaming (the act of deliberately insulting or provoking other people online). Disqus lets moderators monitor and regulate responses closely so that the conversation remains civil and productive.

Slack

Most people who use the messaging app Slack see it as a way to communicate with friends and coworkers. However, with a little creativity, you can join conversations from all over the world to boost your online presence. There are countless channels devoted to industries, categories, hobbies and more. All you have to do is insert yourself and your company into the conversation to get people talking about your business!

It’s hard to deny that technology has made our lives more complicated. It can feel a little overwhelming at times. Thankfully, the answer is simple: partner with a managed technology provider. For a never-ending source of information on reputation and social media management, get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Turn Instagram followers into customers

Instagram has become one of the most popular social networks to date. One billion active users consume its image-heavy content every day. Aside from it being a photo-sharing app with fun filters, Instagram has demonstrated its capability to turn your followers into customers. Make the most out of your Instagram account with these practical tips.

Ensure your posts are shoppable

This simply means providing a convenient path where your followers can buy the products posted on your page. With the right Instagram tool, you can direct users to your online shop where they can make an actual purchase. Instagram is, arguably, not the best eCommerce platform to use if you depend on clickable media, but if you know how to tweak the app to your advantage — and provide an attractive presentation of your products — you can turn likes into sales.

Give away discount codes or coupons

Encourage followers to engage with you and share content with incentives such as discount codes or coupons. You can do this by running contests with an interesting concept, cool prizes, and a sharing or voting element that encourages participants to share your content with their friends. Better yet, engage followers with user-generated content via photo contests, resulting in free promotion for your brand.

Come up with a strong call to action (CTA)

Instagram doesn’t exactly have the most mobile-friendly CTAs, but don’t let this prevent you from sending followers to your sales page. Whether it’s telling them to go to the link on your bio or simply incorporating a shoppable Instagram feature on your page, specific instructions on how to buy or learn more about your product can spell the difference between making a sale and being ignored.

Post frequently and make the most of all available tools

Post photos using stylish filters, create snappy and quirky videos, or let your followers take a friendly behind-the-scenes peek at your organization using the Stories feature. Come up with a catchy and relatable caption that encourages participation and engages your core audience. Also important: always use hashtags on your posts. Any business Instagrammer worth his or her salt knows that a simple hashtag can pave the way for other users to reach your content and, ultimately, buy your product.

Repost content from brands in your niche

There may be instances when you won’t need to create your own Instagram content (especially if you lack the time to produce your own). Other accounts may already be successful in their efforts to engage your target audience, and there’s nothing wrong with reposting content from similar brands as part of your strategy to earn exposure for your account, as long as you ask permission and give credit where it’s due.

Search for brands in Instagram that inspire you and your target audience but are not direct competitors. You can use hashtags to help narrow the search and display the most relevant accounts. Follow these brands, and save any share-worthy posts in a collection with the bookmark icon.

When you find an Instagram post that is worth sharing, either comment on the post or send a private message to the account, and mention that you like the content and you think your followers will enjoy it too. Ask for permission to share the post on your feed, and assure the owner you’ll give them proper credit.

With some creativity, visual flair, and a well-defined strategy, these tips can help transform your Instagram feed into an attractive online sales generator. If you need further advice on how you can make the most of your social media presence, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

BCP tactics to keep your business running

Whether your business is hit with a brief power outage or by a natural disaster, any kind of interruption to your organization’s productivity cuts into your profits. A business continuity plan (BCP) is critical to ensuring your organization stays open. Here are some of the key strategies many companies rely on.

Backup your data, applications, and servers

Today, companies are more dependent than ever on IT and data. If these critical components suddenly become inaccessible, there’s little chance your business will survive. Regularly backing up these elements ensures they can be restored quickly in the event of a disaster, security breach, or damage to IT equipment.

In the past, most businesses would create backups on-site and with tape backups, but today more and more businesses are using the cloud, and here are several reasons why:

  • Cloud backups are affordable and cost much less than onsite backups
    Backups can be automated, therefore saving you time
  • Cloud providers usually back up your data to multiple locations (so if one of their facilities goes down, your backups are still safe at another site).
  • Backups can be accessed from anywhere, whether it’s at an employee’s home or at an alternate office.
  • If you need to access them, backups can be restored quickly

Virtualize servers and desktops

When you virtualize your servers or desktops, they can be used at any location – be it at your workplace, home, or a coffee shop in the Bahamas. In terms of business continuity, this is useful in case your main office suddenly becomes unusable due to hostile weather conditions.

Have a backup power supply

No electricity means zero productivity and money down the drain. Having a backup power supply will ensure that when the electricity goes down, your employees can continue working.

A good solution is an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), which gives employees a fair amount of time to finish their work as if nothing ever happened. Also, if you have a server room, a UPS will ensure your vital servers stay cool.

Utilize social media

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, most people are on at least one social network these days. And if there is any kind of outage or disaster, social media is usually one of the first places customers, colleagues, staff, and vendors will check the status of your business. So when it comes to business continuity, keep at least one social media account active to keep your customers and followers informed.

Implement unified communications

Unified communication (UC) creates a virtualized communication infrastructure. That means instead of your communication tools – like phones, instant messaging, and video calls – all being stored locally at your workplace, you can access them anywhere. So if your office is inaccessible, employees can still use your phones and other communication tools from their homes. What’s more, UC tools can route business calls to your employees’ smartphones. That means they’ll never miss an important call, even if they’re not in the office.

Keep in mind that these are only the first few items you have to address in your business continuity plan. You’ll also need to consider things like training employees and having a communications plan for informing stakeholders. If you want more advice on these areas or need top-class business continuity tools, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
how-facebook-news-feed

How Facebook’s News Feed tweaks affect you

Facebook’s newest action can mean bad news to businesses. The company had announced its decision to screen its News Feed to include less content from publishers and businesses and more from your loved ones. This comes after the allegations of how social media has unconsciously shaped people’s opinion and mental well-being.

Potential outcome for Facebook

One of the main sources of revenue for the social media giant is from its advertising program. But with the changes set to take place, there’s a high possibility that users will spend less time on its platform. This would mean comparatively less effective advertising than before, thus fewer advertisement signups from businesses.

While they do admit this move may potentially hurt profitability, Facebook hopes this change will improve user experience, which in the long-run may translate into higher profits.

Reason for News Feed change

Users enjoy learning about what’s happening in their social circles. Whether what’s shared is as mundane as what someone recently baked, or as momentous as a wedding, every day millions of users like and comment about each other’s lives. For this reason, Facebook has decided to spotlight images and videos that are more meaningful to people on a personal level. Such posts have greater power to deepen human bonds.

Weighing the pros and cons of the News Feed change

However, research has found that constant use of Facebook can cause people to feel alienated and inadequate, reducing people’s overall well-being in the long run. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teenagers are especially liable to “Facebook depression,” as they constantly compare themselves with their peers.

On the other hand, several researchers believe that an individual’s personality has a greater impact on the type of response he or she will have. If you feel your life is very fulfilling, seeing your friend or family member having fun would make you happy. By contrast, if you’re unhappy or feeling insecure with life, seeing other people’s happier moments will depress you even more.

Effectiveness of change

It’s still too early to tell whether this move will change society for the better and, at the same time, salvage Facebook’s reputation of being a platform that helps people connect with each other. Only time will tell.

Besides Facebook, there are other online channels that can improve your business reputation. If you’re interested in building a stronger web presence, contact us today and we’ll help you get started.