Empoyee Code of Conduct
Recently, I worked for a medium sized company that sold things online and discovered that there were no social media policies in place at all. An employee social media code of conduct was quickly written. It generally encouraged them not engage in business related topics online and spelled out that they were not official spokespersons and could lose their jobs if the wrong impression was given. They were instructed to forward anything they came across that had anything negative to say about the company and thus were an extra eyes and ears on the www. The code was short and to the point and was to be included in future additions of the employee handbooks. I'm sure I found one on line and used that as a base.
Social Media Policies
The Socila Media Governence site has links to 50+ big name company policies. Check out the difference between a PR or media company and a regular retail store there is a difference in policy. The Coke one is well written it is short and sweet and highlights the necessities. I did have several employees that did post on behalf of the company and would always proofread anything prior to posting. At the time we were relocating and we had to be careful what was said because of the potential impact on the community we were leaving and the potential one were were moving to.
How to Monitor your Online Reputation
The company had some serious service related issues that were all over the web and were hard to mitigate. Since you may not know when someone is talking about your comapny you need to set up the Google Alert feature. Google monitors the web for you and sends an email alert to you with a link to the post anytime the words entered into the alert are use on the www.
Dig up the dirt…
So we now have an alert in place , but that only works from here onward so grab a shovel. If you do a search for your company use the word "review" in the search and you'll get very specific results. You will need to review each one and go to each site and try to address each issue, you will always have disgruntled clients (and those that are crazy, don't worry the public can usually get that vibe too) and try to connect with them initially on that site and make a clear statement that you are sorry for any issues and if they will call this number (specific number to a designated customer rep or to you) someone (best to use a name) and that if they call we will try to resolve any issues. This way you take it off line and everyone can at least see that you are making an attempt to make resolution for any ill situation. Do not argue publicly!!! In this case it will be better to say nothing than creating a scene, anything you say at this point will be seen by other viewers as proof that you are not a bad company and can be trusted!
Where do I look for bad stuff?
Remember social media is not limited to Facebook and Twitter, any reviews on any site, like Google Maps, Yelp, etc are also considered Social media because of the user generated content, in this case reviews. So you will need to scan these occasionally as well. When you do identify the ones you want to monitor make an effort to "claim" them as a business owner and make it official that you are an authorized owner. We recently noticed that our Photography By Sabrina Google listing had a competitors phone number listed as ours! This did not happen by accident, I made an official claim for the site and got it straightened out. What was worse was that we had someone call the number and ask for Sabrina, and they were never told you had the wrong number and instead they tried to collect the lead! The bottom line you will not know anything negative or positive unless you go out and look.
Positive or Proactive Mitigation
Finally, create an environment that encourages your good customers to submit a review, offer a small incentive for their comments. The more comments you solicit the more mitigating your one negative one will have compared to all the other good ones…well technically that should work. There are online tools and companies that can do this for you and I would suggest signing up for a free trial to see which may be a good fit for your business. Finally Google does provide a way to remove a page from a search that may have confidential material and needs to be removed ASAP. Our online listings have a built in testimonial tool to help bolster your web reputation and help create stability and confidence in your potential customers.
Lenoir City Today wants to help you have the best online pressence possible and can help walk you though your options to resolve any online negative situations. Please call us today at 865.388.5382 or use the contact form to write me a short message. I promise to come up with solutions that can help create a fresh start.