The new year has arrived, and with it comes the inevitable challenge of handling negative content and social media comments. It’s impossible to predict all that the year may bring, yet one thing is certain: negative comments do arise, and it’s best to be prepared before they hit.
Whether overseeing a company or as an individual whose presence online is more significant than ever, encountering negative feedback is an unavoidable aspect of digital life. Even though 2024 may have introduced new platforms for communication, the fundamental principles of maintaining a positive reputation online remain unchanged.
Continue reading to discover strategies for managing negative content effectively and learn how a company like BRANDefenders can support you in this endeavor!
Handling Your Response
You’ve encountered a negative review of your business, a misleading video mentioning your brand on social media, or persistent hurtful comments about you on social media. This can be unsettling, as your professional or personal reputation is at stake.
It’s natural for emotions to run high in these moments, but it’s crucial to pause and think before responding. Taking a moment to strategize can make all the difference. Your approach to addressing these issues can either serve to rebuild trust among your audience or, if handled poorly, further damage your reputation. It’s important to remember that a thoughtful, measured response often reflects positively on you or your brand, demonstrating professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.
Be The Bigger Person
Pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and perhaps prepare a cup of tea. Feeling angry is understandable, especially in the face of falsehoods or intentional malice. However, it’s crucial to adopt a mature approach and opt for the high road.
For encounters with trolls, the most effective strategy is often to block and move on. If the individuals targeting you have newly created social media profiles or appear to lack a genuine concern, hiding or blocking them is a wise choice.
On the other hand, if there’s a legitimate grievance, crafting a thoughtful response becomes even more essential. Despite any aggression in their tone, they’re presenting a real issue that warrants your attention.
Express regret for any distress or inconvenience they’ve experienced, and try to make an effort to fully understand their problem and explore ways to assist or rectify the situation.
Take A Break, But Not Too Long
Take a moment to center yourself, but be mindful not to delay addressing genuine complaints. Society’s expectations dictate that major brands reply on social media within an hour. Although smaller businesses or individuals might have a bit more leeway, promptness remains key.
Quickly addressing a complaint on social media signals to onlookers that you take concerns seriously, which is a crucial aspect of managing your reputation and assuring customers their issues will be addressed.
Importantly, a swift response can make the customer feel valued and heard, even if the issue remains unresolved. The sense of being acknowledged and treated with respect can significantly mitigate their dissatisfaction.
When dealing with a current customer complaint, acting promptly can increase your chances of resolving the issue effectively or preventing it from escalating.
Maintaining templates for responding to complaints can be beneficial. They help expedite your response time and ensure communication remains professional and devoid of unnecessary emotion.
Take It Offline, If Possible
Whenever possible, move the conversation to a private setting. Public disputes, especially through social media exchanges like tweets or Facebook comments, are rarely productive or pleasant. Encourage the customer to contact you via email or phone instead. This approach allows for a more focused discussion on their concerns, away from external commentary.
Communication can often become muddled in the brevity of character-limited posts, leading to misunderstandings. A conversation through email or over the phone enables a clearer exchange of thoughts and concerns.
Even for personal matters, opting for a more private channel is advisable. Although resolving issues over the phone may not be ideal, it’s significantly more constructive than engaging in public online disputes.
Build a Robust Strategy
Responding in the moment is all about tactics, but you need a real strategy for reputation management and dealing with negative content online. Ultimately, when someone is researching you or your company, you want the bulk of what they find to be positive.
Developing a proactive strategy is where a lot of people struggle. It requires a holistic view of all your social media, active management, and even enlisting the law when appropriate.
Keep A Stream Of Positive Content
Keeping a steady flow of positive content across online channels is crucial for managing your online reputation. This approach not only helps build trust and credibility with your audience but also shields against the impact of negative feedback. Regularly sharing achievements, testimonials, and informative content across your website and social media shapes public perception positively, making your brand more resilient.
This strategy boosts visibility and engagement, leveraging search engines and social media algorithms to enhance your online presence. In times of criticism, a well-established archive of positive content can quickly mitigate negative narratives, maintaining your reputation’s integrity.
In essence, consistently positive content is key to reputation management, ensuring your brand remains viewed in the best light and stays ahead in the digital arena.
Make The Law Work For You
While you won’t be able to remove everything, there are a few things you can get removed from the internet, depending on where you live.
If you live in the US, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) means internet sources are required to respond to “takedown requests” submitted by copyright holders regarding their copyrighted content.
If you see someone misusing your copyrighted information, file a takedown notice with the website. Be warned that someone is allowed to use your copyrighted material for satirical or educational purposes, legally known as “fair use.”
You have even more options if you live in the EU or have content stored there. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides for a “right to be forgotten.” This means if an organization no longer has a legitimate need for personally identifiable information, individuals can request that that information be deleted.
GDPR requires search engines and other organizations to have a form to request the removal of information. The information provided it is covered under GDPR, needs to be removed without any “undue delay,” which European courts have held to be about a month.
With either DMCA or GDPR, hiring a lawyer or reputation management firm will help make sure your requests result in removal.
Keep An Eye On Your Comments
It’s easy for your online comments to become a mess of negative content overnight, but you might not be aware if your social media accounts don’t have good visibility. You should always keep an eye on what people are posting about you.
Google and Yelp allow you to remove fake business reviews. And all social media companies allow you to flag abusive comments. Even if the law can’t help you, terms of service can.
You do want to be careful, though. Each social media service has different rules about what’s allowed. And if you keep making reports that don’t result in removal, future reports may be ignored.
But it can be hard to check in on your social media accounts, run your business, and do everything else; that’s why you may need to consider enlisting some support.
Reach Out to A Marketing Agency for Help
The reasons above are why you need to consider enlisting a firm like BRANDefenders. With plenty of professionals and our decades of experience, we can help manage your online reputation when it seems overwhelming.
BRANDefenders has worked with brands and companies across the US and around the world. Our online reviews tell the story: customers are thrilled with our results.
Reputation Management Is A Lot Of Work
There are a lot of different fronts to effective brand management. What will a reputation firm do to improve your brand’s image that you can’t do yourself?
First, we’ll work to get any negative content removed if possible. We have the tools and the resources to track and flag abusive or false comments.
Secondly, we’ll work to push negative content down search results so they are less visible. Alongside this, we’ll employ tactics to improve your website, set up social media posts, or start a blog that keeps your name in the news in a good way.
A reputation management firm will also proactively manage your SEO. We’ll make sure your posts use the correct keywords and work to get you the backlinks that get you noticed in a positive light.
With BRANDefenders helping to care for your online image, you can get down to work and focus on what you do best.
BRANDefenders: A Company You Can Trust
With BRANDefenders, you have a partner you can depend on for effective brand management. We have a dedicated team of professionals that can help clean up your online image.
We also have the skills to boost your presence in multiple ways. You’re covered, whether it’s producing videos for social media or articles to shape up your SEO. Get a free, no-obligation quote and brand audit to see what BRANDefenders can do for you.