As more businesses begin to realize the power of social media to grow their brand, abstaining from digital marketing ultimately means being left in the dust. The results are simply undeniable: a well-managed web presence can greatly enhance your brand recognition, customer service, and overall sales. Yet without any sort of established protocol on how to make the transition to a social business, it can be difficult to present yourself in the best (internet) light. So, for all you early-adopters out there, we salute your courage in embracing social media… but what if it’s not working in your favor?
Poor Yelp reviews from customers you’ve never worked with, thousands of purchased fans that never interact with your profiles, or a flagged Facebook page full of spam or inappropriate comments are all good reasons to consider a social media overhaul. Starting over with your social media may seem like a death wish, but if your profiles have gone from neutral to truly negative, it may be time to consider an online re-branding strategy. This does not mean reinventing the wheel, or even completely deleting your existing profiles. However, a few simple tweaks could mean the difference between being buried in Google search or gaining exposure to hundreds or thousands of potential new customers. We’ve compiled the three most common scenarios that warrant a reboot, and instructions on how to go about making those changes.
Multiple accounts: dilution of your brand on social media is a recurring problem for many small businesses. In cases like this, there are several approaches you can take to rectify the problem. If these multiple accounts are through Facebook, there is a way to merge them into one, ensuring that you don’t lose information or fans from any of the pages.
For all other channels, there is no easy solution. Your only option is to pick your most popular page and stick with it. However, to avoid losing fans that follow you on duplicate pages, post a statement informing your audience that they can now find you at your new, official page.
Negative comments/spam: unflattering or even completely fabricated reviews can paint a very poor picture of your business, and unfortunately, are inevitable to a certain degree. However, this does not necessarily mean that you as a business owner should shy away from these comments, real or otherwise. Addressing the legitimate, negative reviews in a calm and clear manner is the first step towards steering your page toward a positive impression.
Furthermore, you have more control than you think: if a review is truly obscene or unwarranted, you can request (on Yelp) for it to be deleted. However, the best way to overcome negativity or spam is to simply gain more positive, honest reviews. Request that customers you know and trust review your business, and slowly your rating will improve.
The spam question is a little more straightforward: if someone is plastering your pages with junk, block them. It’s not worth the one extra fan or follower for your page to be cluttered with unrelated content. All it does is lower the credibility and overall aesthetic of your online presence.
Purchased fans: this is a very common mistake small business owners make on social media. While tempting and effective in the short-term, it can be disastrous for your engagement levels and overall reach. This is due to the fact that while your page may seem well-established with plenty of fans, these profiles are usually fakes, meaning they will never interact with anything you post. Therefore, your exposure will be dismal, completely defeating the purpose of having fans in the first place.
While social media can seem overwhelming when it starts to go south, take a deep breath: nothing is permanent, and your accounts are dynamic. They can make the transition from dysfunctional to beneficial – all that’s necessary is patience, strategy, and persistence.
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