Here are 7 skills that I feel every social media marketer needs to stand out:
1. Great writing skills
2. Customer Service Skills
3. Basic SEO Understanding
While Google is still the review site of choice for most consumers (63% of consumers say they check Google first), there are also over 178 million monthly users on Yelp, 260 million users posting reviews on TripAdvisor, and 2.23 BILLION active users on Facebook, (as of June 2018) all itching to have their voices heard.
Companies have to be monitoring their brands and make time to engage and reply to these active reviewers. Now before you start whining about the good old days before all of these social sites and consumer review sites, stop! Times and tools have changed. Consumers have a voice and now the tools to tell the world about you–good and bad. Let’s focus on what you can do to maximize this power. With a little attention to these reviewers, you can turn a bad experience around and build loyalty, and on good reviews you can boost the love and create a viral spread.
I still hear people saying they don’t want reviews because they fear the negative reviews will hurt their business. First of all, if you think there will be more negative than positive reviews, perhaps it’s time to do some training within your team. Second, people are going to talk about you whether you “allow” them to or not. The question is, will you be part of the conversation? According to Review Trackers, who looked at 9 million online reviews, they found more people are leaving positive reviews than negative and most consumers say they want to see what other people say about a brand before they decide to do business there.
On Google My Business, be sure to claim and get your website verified so you can reply to comments left by your customers. On Facebook, you want to be sure you own and manage your business page so you can do the same. If you search for your business on Yelp (or any of these sites) and you see “IS THIS YOUR BUSINESS?” or “CLAIM THIS BUSINESS” do the work and gt it validated so you control it.
When someone takes the time to write any comment about your business, they are giving you a gift. Don’t leave that gift unacknowledged. Make sure you have notifications turned on for comments on your website and that you either check once or twice a day all of your social channels or turn those notifications on as well so you don’t miss comments there.
There is nothing worse than leaving a question or comment and never hearing back. Whether you receive a great compliment or a horrible review, be sure to thank the person for taking the time to provide you with feedback. One thing I learned from raising my 4 children is, what you recognize or reward will be repeated. Thank people for bringing you the feedback.
Again, something I learned from my kids during those teenaged years; an apology that starts with SOR-RY and includes BUT… is not an apology. It is an excuse.
I had the opportunity to sit with a woman in a cable company call center, Mary Delgado, who was the escalation desk for the vilest of customers. She took call after call from people who were cussing at her, screaming into their phones (over cable TV, no less). Mary would listen without interrupting and then her first response would be, “Oh my goodness. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. This should NOT have happened. I am going to get this taken care of.” It was so classic. You could almost see the person on the end of the line squirming as they tried to come up with another comeback. Their anger couldn’t compete with her willingness to own the problem and seek a resolution. Sometimes all a wronged customer wants is to be heard and to hear a sincere apology.
Show, in public, how you are going to make things right or at least ensure it doesn’t happen again. Most review sites don’t allow you to delete a review, but Facebook does if the comment is left on the page and not in the review area. I have seen companies delete negative reviews, thinking the person will just quietly go away. If you delete an angry comment on your site, the customer will take it to a public space where you have no control and it WILL. GET. UGLY!
I am shocked to see review sites where a company either denies that the problem happened, basically calling the customer a lier (Most classic is the Blue Sky Hostel owner in Glasgow who calls the customer “a blind, fat, retard.” The firestorm of comments back and forth between the owner, the angry customer and everyone else who chimed in for entertainment was better than any reality show available on any television network.
You can find the Buzzfeed post here with screenshots. Which is another reason why you should never delete a negative comment–the person has most likely taken screenshots in case they need to go to the public.
So what can you do about it? If it is something you need to investigate to find out if it is true, you can HIDE a comment on Facebook, but on any site, you should contact the person who posted the review and ask them to contact you via private message to resolve the issue. When they don’t respond, you can assume the person isn’t looking for a resolution. Whether it’s a negative review, an old embarrassing photo of yourself, or anything that shows up on the web that you wish would just go away, the one thing you CAN do is put out lots of good content that is attached to your brand, to push those old reviews down. It will take time, but it works.
When a delighted customer tells you they had great service or loves your product, immediately ask if they would mind writing a review for you on one of your social sites like Google, Yelp or Facebook. Let them know how it helps your business and then thank them.
Talk to your team and remind them to think digital-first and get those recommendations in video, on social sites or anywhere else that the world can see.
Aim to get these recommendations on a regular basis. It doesn’t help to have 10 reviews all at once in 2014 and nothing since. This tells consumers (and Google) that you got friends and family members to review your business when you opened the door but no one has reviewed it since. Make a point to ask people on an ongoing basis 2-5 a month or 1-2 a week depending on how busy you are.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you left reviews on a social review site? Do you expect a response? How do you feel if you get one?
If you need help keeping up with all of the responses and connecting with your social audience, contact us today.…it’s what we do!
Do you remember who you were at your 20th birthday? I don’t. I was married and had a baby at age 20 but I’m SURE that I didn’t know much about ANYTHING!
How much have you learned since your 20th birthday? I was looking at how much I have learned since my 40th birthday (a little easier to remember). Before social media was … well… let’s just say 2003 was the year MySpace was founded. I was afraid of it. The iPhone was invented in 2007, when I was 43 so at 40 I’m sure I had a blackberry and I remember my sons wanted to carry around pagers.
I have another birthday coming and it’s always around this time that I look back and become more reflective. What have I learned this year? How have I grown? What have I done that is significant?
I can remember in my 20’s I was promoted to a branch manager position at a personnel company (a temp agency). I had major imposter syndrome. I always felt too young. Who would take me seriously? My teammates and peers were all older than me.
Then one day I looked around and realized everyone was suddenly younger than me, including my doctors, which is always really weird. I can remember thinking, “Am I now too old for people to take seriously in my line of work? Am I still relevant?” I think we have about 2 good years—between 39-41 when we feel we’re just right!
I’ve never been the smartest one in school or on my jobs. I’ve also never been the one with the most experience. I can say those things were somewhat out of my control. Genetically, I didn’t have any rocket surgeons or brain scientists for parents and experience … well when you’re 22, you don’t have much control over that one. But what I did have in my control, was the desire to OUTLEARN and OUTWORK everyone. Maybe I was trying to prove to myself and others that I was smart enough to deserve the success I was experiencing.
Fortunately, what I didn’t have in degrees, I had in moxie…or scrappiness. I signed up for conferences and paid with my own money, at every chance I got. I went to Brian Tracey, Toni Robbins. I walked on fire and came home with bags of cassette tapes (that’s right… cassettes!). I have always spent lots of time letting the wisdom and experience from others pour into me through books, blog posts, podcasts, conferences, and face-to-face meetings.
When I speak to people who tell me they are stuck financially or in a negative space in their lives because they are in a bad relationship, or they are a single parent, or they lost their job, or they feel too old… I stop them and ask—What are you going to do about it? What is in your control?
Can you outlearn your competitor? Can you outwork that person who is up for the promotion you want? Do you have the guts and the desire to take the leap and start your own business and learn everything you need to so you feel you can at least dog-paddle your way instead of sinking? I love that scared feeling of being in over your head…just enough to get you moving. There is nothing like looking down and not seeing the bottom of the ocean to make you drop your weight belt (a SCUBA story I will have to share one day) and start kicking harder to get back to the surface.
If you’ve never had that feeling… it’s time. Let me push you out of your cushy but crappy spot you are in and get you kicking! If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I am gathering a group of women to go skydiving in a week and a half. I love these experiences that put us in a position to really feel what getting out of our comfort zones feels like. We need these times to remind us we can do hard things! We can do scary things!
You have so much potential. You just need to pursue it with a passion. Be in a crisis to be next best version of yourself. Learn to truly enjoy that hunger and that pursuit to reach your full potential.
What I love about this is, regardless of where you are, we are all starting this pursuit from the same place…our current state. There is no “too old” “too broke” or “too broken.” Just start the pursuit and give thanks each day for your journey and all that you are learning.
Sign up for a conference that will stretch you. One that will put you in the room, not just with your buddies and besties, but one that will put you in the room with people you will learn and grow from.
Schedule one hour a week for online learning—YouTube University! Our kids used Khan Academy for science and math homework help, but did you know there are sites that offer courses on everything from web development to character drawing courses. From photoshop courses to courses on neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain! You can take classes that are very inexpensive or free! Check out these resources to start:
I loved what Darcy Luoma said a couple weeks ago on our podcast when she said a coach will help you identify and fix your blindspots. She says we all have blind spots and a coach can help you improve in areas you may not even know you have. Whether you hire a life coach, an executive coach, or a business coach, working with one can help get you aligned in the right direction and they will hold you accountable for making the improvements or changes necessary!
Make the commitment to get up earlier—even 30-minutes will give you that time to outwork and outlearn others. Make this a time to meditate, read, or plan your day. Incorporate listening to podcasts and audiobooks during your drive time or instead of watching lame television shows that do nothing to help you get ahead (unless you are writing scripts for lame television shows, then it makes sense). Incorporate one day or 30-minutes each day to learning. Whether that is attending a webinar, taking one of the classes you committed to or simply reading articles and filling your brain with the life lessons of others. Build these into daily and weekly habits to keep you out of the laziness trap.
Sometimes it’s in the serendipitous times that our path is forever changed. Saying “YES” to new experiences, new people, new opportunities will open us up to information or people that expand and enrich our networks and our lives. Start paying attention and listen for those invitations that you would typically say, “No” to. Those things you never make time for or that you have always been afraid to try (like skydiving or dance lessons).
That obscure concert that is free in the park. That invitation to a lecture series downtown. The invitation to join a new group of people for a luncheon. When you open yourself up to new experiences, you will be opening yourself up to new opportunities as well. By putting yourself in new situations—surrounding yourself with people who are where you want to be, you will learn and grow.
So when you feel discouraged and feel as if things are just too hard, stop and take a look back. Look at how far you’ve come and how much you have changed and grown. You’re not the same person you once were and thank goodness you’re not the same person you were when you were 20!