How to Manage your Online Reputation

If you sell a product or service,

it’s more likely than not that you’re going to get an unfair or false negative review at some point. It’s also likely that you’re going to attract ‘haters’ as your community grows that leave negative comments or report your account for no reason.

If and when this happens, don’t panic. Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Take a step back. No, seriously, we mean put the phone down and take some time to calm down before you reply. Call a trusted friend or family member who will listen to you vent. NEVER respond in a defensive or divisive way.
  2. Read the review and find something in it you can address directly in response. Let’s say your business is a restaurant, and someone leaves a one-star review saying the food sucks and the customer service is horrible. In your response, you’re going to acknowledge what they thought of the food and customer service.
  3. Craft the response to show that you’re a levelheaded business owner that cares about the experience their clients have. Remember, potential customers will read the response from the owner to determine the validity of the bad review. Essentially, if the reviewer is just an internet troll, they will notice. Here’s an example:”Hello, and thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the food you ordered. We take customer service complaints seriously, as our team is passionate about providing exceptional customer service.”
  4. Offer to take the conversation offline. It’s doubtful that this person will take you up on this offer, but this last line shuts down the potential back and forth on the review platform. “We’d appreciate the opportunity to look into your complaint further. Please give us a call or email us at [insert email here] so we can learn more about the experience you had.”
  5. If you have haters in the comment section of your social media posts, consider this a compliment and kick them right out of your community. When you start to succeed online, you’re going to attract negativity. The dark side of social media is that it can bring out the worst in people and create this need to attack and feel outraged over ridiculous things. Negative comments and attacks don’t reflect your business; this is a societal symptom of poor mental health exacerbated through social media platforms’ echo chambers. Just remove them from your followers list or block their account.

The most important thing to remember is to shake it off. It’s not an easy task to run a business, and when you have to deal with negativity online, it can be entirely disheartening. Let the trolls and haters find their validation from escalating online conflict somewhere else.

You’ve got work to do.

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