In this day and age, nearly everyone is online. This is great; everyone across the world can now communicate with a blink of an eye. However, everyone being incredibly connected also does have some downfalls, such as the spread of negative content. As the age of technology spreads and becomes a huge aspect of everyday business life, there a few things digital marketers need to know to manage their online brands better.
My personal experience with this is at my current job as a marketing intern for a nanny agency. As we received negative feedback online through Yelp, we aim to respond within two business days, directly on the comment reaching out, but also in a direct message to the person who placed the complaint to try and reconcile the issue directly. Usually, this process works in our favor, and they typically change their review to something more positive. However, if they are unable, there are a few different free things we offer to try and further reconcile the issues such as a free date night voucher.
As mentioned, information can spread across the globe in a matter of seconds; this goes for negative and positive content. Say a company does not do its diligence and publishes content that produces a negative response. Yes, they could quickly delete the content and hope that not a lot of clients or consumers say it. Nevertheless, the chance that someone was able to save, share, capture that negative content before it was deleted it increasingly high. This will then make it easy for that person to share that content with others and still have it circling the web and real life long past it being deleted.
Digital marketers need to have the tools to be able to not only bounce back from situations similar to what I stated above but also be able to prevent this from happening in the first place. There is a huge need for developing processes and procedures to address these issues before they arise. As time goes on and we advance further into the tech bubble, these issues are going to be more prominent. Therefore it is essential to provide digital marketers with the tools before they find themselves in these situations.
Developing a process for how you and your company will address negative feedback is crucial. Such as formulating a plan including how to respond, how soon to respond, what can you offer to fix the issue (gift, coupon, voucher); if you cannot resolve the situation, what do you do next, etc.
Utilize an effective emergency response by using the three T’s, timeliness, transparency, and training. By choosing to respond promptly, you can potentially change the way this negative content is talked about in the media. If you respond quickly, there is the potential that your media coverage will focus more on your response than the actual issue at hand. Transparency is essential because once you have admitted wrong, it is easy to move into the process of taking steps to resolve the issues; admitting wrongdoing jump-starts the process of fixing these issues. Finally, training, as I mentioned earlier, having a process in place that each employee is aware of to keep things routine when addressing negative content or feedback. This ties into the common business theory touched on by the Expedia Group. If you were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, who would do your job? Although this is a less extreme example, this still applies. You must have one reliable process in place to deal with these situations. If each of your employees is addressing negative content and feedback differently, it will likely increase the negatively surrounding the issues because people will see our organization as unable to handle and resolve particular situations.