If you know me – you probably know I spend a decent amount of time on Facebook. Personally I find it a great way to connect with people on a personal level and do hyper networking. Lots of people, however, just “do Facebook wrong”. After much observing I’ve put together a quick list of things you should avoid at all costs on Facebook. Read On…
On a visually diverse site like Pinterest, it can be difficult to make your pins stand out from the crowd. For a business owner, the challenge of attracting attention can seem especially daunting. One clever way to draw viewers to your business pins is to use infographics. Web surfers are often drawn to well-designed infographics; this is especially true on Pinterest. Rather than rely graphic designers to create expensive infographics for your business, there are now a number of handy tools individuals and businesses can use to create their own infographics for free.
When it comes to business, what your customers say about you can make or break your company. This is particularly true today, with the Internet working as a massive communication network for millions of people. Even if your business is not an Internet-based business, it is important to know what people are saying about you online. One negative blog post or forum comment could dramatically affect your business and sales. Online reputation management is a vital part of protecting your company image and sales margins.
Monitoring Your Online Reputation
The first step in online reputation management is to be aware of what information about your company is available online. This includes product and service reviews, customer comments on forums, blogs, and websites, and information on business directories. Remember that customers, investors, shareholders, and future employers will be looking at this information to determine the worth of your business.
The easiest way to find information is by doing a simple search of your company name, product, or the names of company executives on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or Youtube. Search engines will pull up the pages that are viewed most often by the online community, including webpages, reviews, blog posts, videos, and forums where people have discussed your business.
You can also sign up for Google Alerts, which is a free service that allows you to track changes in search queries on Google for specific keywords. You can type in your company or product name, and Google will send you emails as often as you like to let you know when there is a change in the searches for that phrase or title. You can monitor keywords by different categories, including Google News, Google Groups, Google Web, or Google Blogs.
Another excellent way to monitor the comments that people post about your business is by signing up for RSS feeds. You can track specific websites and blogs, which will give you alerts and updates every time new posts or comments are published. This lets you know the minute a post about your business appears online, so you can act quickly to respond if necessary.
How to Manage Feedback
An important part of good business practice is receiving feedback from customers, both positive and negative. The important thing to remember about feedback is that it is vital to helping you business progress. There is no need to panic if you receive negative comments or reviews. As long as you know how to handle the situation, even the nastiest of comments can be turned around to work in your favor. The following are some tips on how to manage online feedback about your business:
- Make an effort to respond to posts and comments. If the feedback is positive, thank the writer for taking the time to share their experience. If you encounter negative reviews or comments, take the time to address the issue and express your concern for the customer.
- Resist the urge to get angry, aggressive, or defensive. No matter how abusive a comment or post is, remember that other people will see how you respond to it and judge you accordingly.
- Try to find a solution to the problem. Negative feedback can actually be a powerful tool that can let you know what is not working well in your business. Use the comments as an opportunity to make positive changes to improve the customer experience.
- Be proactive with your promises. There is no point in telling the customer that you are doing your best to rectify a situation if you do not make the effort to do so. If you act on your promises, your clients will see that you are dedicated to making sure their needs are met.
- Encourage comments and make it easy for your clients to voice their opinions. People tend to develop a stronger affinity for a product or business if they have the opportunity to share how they feel about their experience, and see other people’s opinions.
Although you cannot control what people say about you online, you can control how you manage the feedback you receive. By monitoring the things that people post online about your business, you can ascertain what the strengths and weaknesses of your company are. You can then use this knowledge to make any adjustments necessary to bring greater success and profits to your business.
How to Increase Your Online Visibility
Sometimes the problem is not so much dealing with negative comments, but dealing with little or no exposure at all. This can also affect your business, as the less information people can find about you, the less they will be inclined to use your products or services over another company’s. In addition, the more positive exposure you have online, the better your chances are of acquiring new clients and making more sales.
There are many ways to increase your online presence. Social media is an effective vehicle for getting your message across to a wider audience. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and Pinterest have millions of visitors who share information on a second by second basis. Email marketing is an effective way to retain customers and promote your products. Customers often feel much more connected to a company if they receive useful, relevant information directly to their inbox. Pay Per Click advertising can also make your company visible to countless consumers who may not have found it otherwise. Finally, by registering with online local business directories, such as Yahoo! Local, Google Places, and Bing Local, you make it easier for your clients to find valuable information about who you are and what you do.
In today’s digital world, developing and maintaining a positive online presence is vital to the success of your business. More consumers are online now than ever before, and if they can find information about your company on the Internet that portrays your business in a positive light, they will be more likely to use your products or services. While it is possible to monitor your company’s Internet presence on your own, an online reputation management company can help you to track your online business, manage negative feedback, and increase your online exposure.
Ah social media: everyone uses it, but most have simply ignored how powerful of a tool it can be. People use it to tweet their lunch, to build farms and some use it simply to keep tabs on their ex. Yet, many don’t understand that social media is now the LARGEST and most effective job search tool in history. There are a few drawbacks though, lets take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Benefits to Using Social Media in A Job Search
1. Networking. In the business sector, what you know is as important as who you know. If you know the “right” people, doors are opened to you that may be closed to other folks. Social media lets you rub elbows with prospective employers, permitting your personality to radiate online. For many job seekers, social media offers the greatest opportunity to make a first-rate inaugural impression and eventually land the dream job you have been craving.
TIP: Don’t be an idiot online, keep your party photos on your phone and your ‘political insights’ to yourself. (You can however post cute pictures of your cats… but be reasonable)
2. Get the latest on new jobs. Networking with potential employers online puts you in a unique position. Since these prospective employers know you and may already be considering you for a job opportunity, you are the first in line when a new position is scheduled to come down the pipeline. This gives you a major competitive edge when it comes time to apply.
TIP: When you add, follow, or friend a prospective employer don’t be a ‘needy Neddy’, no one likes it when you beg for something – simply connect with them. Don’t over do it, let serendipity take place in the relationship
3. Exposure. Your connected profiles, résumés and data are instantly more accessible than ever before. Social media means having the chance to rub elbows with business big shots, but it also gives those big shots a chance to work on your behalf. People you network with might recommend you to other colleagues and employers, doubling your chances of landing a great job, without any extra effort on your part.
TIP: If you already have a job but are searching for a new one, for the love of Cheetos, be discrete. You’re probably friends with coworkers, or even your current boss. Don’t be the idiot who posts “omg I need a new job, anyone have any ideas?”, this will not excite potential employers, and will probably get you a meeting with HR.
Some results of using Linkedin to find a job:
1. Crossing lines. Social media can interlock your personal and professional lives, and often does. Employers can now see your profiles, status updates, links and ensuing commentary on friend’s posts. Because of this, checking in to your localized irrigating hole can endanger your chances with prospective employers, in the event that the employer perceives your conduct negatively.
TIP: Again, just don’t be an idiot online.
2. Preference puzzles. Your cyberspace profiles openly display your “likes”, preferred music, spiritual druthers and a wide variety of other personal insights. In spite of the fact that discriminating against someone because of these things is against the law, these publicized insights can operate against you during a job hunt, and an employer never has to admit to that.
TIP: Lets say you’re looking to get hired by Dell HQ, you’re a great engineer and you know your stuff, but on your Facebook you love everything Apple, heck your profile picture is you kissing your iPad, this might make for some awkward questions at the interview.
3. Overburden. Suddenly, social networking could begin to feel like it is chore. You might feel as if you have to second-guess everything you say or do online. You might even start to feel as though you cannot be “yourself” any longer when you are online.
TIP: Sorry to say it, but if you’re active in social media – you’re going to have to censor yourself a little bit. Campfire’s and bars are designed for hilarious stories of vandalism and public urination, not Facebook or Twitter. If you put it online, it stays online.
Some Ideas: Consider making assorted social media profiles, each with a specific purpose. For example, if you have a personal Facebook page, think about making a fan page to share with employers, relegating what they see and what they cannot. If that does not work, you might want to consider only sharing your LinkedIn profile with potential employers, and keeping your Facebook profile locked down and private.
Nevertheless, whenever you permit employers to be a part of your individual electronic network, all bets are off, even when you already have the job. At the end of the day, your online profiles act as an extension of you, make yours the most respectable it can be and you will never go wrong. And again, don’t be afraid to post pictures of your cats.