Bad publicity can be damaging to your business as it can negatively impact the image of your company and consequently result in a dip in sales. In today’s fast-moving world where everything is going online, it could just take a comment from a dissatisfied client to tarnish your business reputation. As such, here are several tips your company could implement to fight against negative online publicity.
Have an Online Facts Page for Your Company
This could be in the form of a slide or a typical web page. Ensure the page handles all crucial facts concerning the dealings of your business. Vital information to provide includes the location of your company, what it deals with, its legitimacy, number of employees, partners, and the business core values.
Also, indicate what corporate social responsibilities the business is engaged in, which charities it donates to as well as where clients can find additional information about the company. This will help dispel any doubts or concerns your customers might have by getting the facts right from you as opposed to other sources. To see a great example of how to do this, check out how ACN has addressing the unfair narrative of an ACN scam.
Have a Social Media Plan in Place
A social media plan will help you get prepared in case of bad press. There are key points you should ensure you have in your plan. First, set a guideline indicating your Terms of Service with your audience while engaging on your social media platforms.
Examples include what kind of comments and content you allow on your pages. Second, ensure you have an escalation plan, which flags negative comments that should be given immediate attention and resolved if possible. You should also delineate who on your social team flags negative remarks and offer guidelines for doing so.
Hire a Social Media Manager
While most companies have excellent in-house PR teams, most of them have their plate full and are stretched on several fronts. It is always wise to have someone out there who tracks and monitors your online presence for you.
Social media managers overlook your social media accounts and company blogs, thereby keeping an extra eye out for what your PR team might miss. They are quick to flag any negative comments and alert your PR team to take immediate action before negative press escalates into a disaster.
Don’t Lag in Resolving Issues
Ensure your company has a system in place that allows it to address any bad press quickly and directly. Most negative publicity can be quelled if only enterprises reacted in time to prevent the negative comments from snowballing into a disaster too big to handle.
First off, acknowledge the problem and let your audience know you are checking it out and working on a solution. Next, give an official statement once you have gotten all the facts and you are in a better position to resolve the problem.
Finally, make an effort to contact disgruntled clients personally. This could even help in turning the unhappy customer around and saving you from a potential disaster.
Don’t Try to Shift the Blame or Retaliate
Dissatisfied customers usually want reassurance that your company is responsible and cares about them. In case of the bad press, playing the blame game will only result in more clients distrusting your company.
In such a scenario, do accept responsibility for the issue, promise the unhappy parties that you are doing everything in your power to rectify the issue. Follow up on the problem, and assure them it will not be an issue in the future. This will calm the potential storm and win back your clients’ trust in your business.
The same goes for retaliation; it is often said that the customer is always right. When dealing with an unhappy customer, make them feel their concern is valid. Trying to put down a client will only result in more unhappy clients rallying behind them leading to a disaster.
By following the above suggestions, companies can avoid the negative online press, and they can save themselves from potential disasters.