How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

Negative online business reviews are inevitable – even companies with consistent 5-star reviews get a handful of 1-star reviews from time to time. The most common negative reviews concern the topic of poor service, which could translate into complaints like long wait times, dealing with rude employees, or overdue payments (to name a few). With the rise in review websites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, it’s more important than ever for companies to learn how to respond to negative reviews in a proper and timely matter.

You Received a Negative Review, Now What?

First off, accept that negative reviews are normal and common. If you don’t deal with your customers on a daily basis, this can be hard to see for the first time, so it’s important to be aware and accept it. Next, you’ll want to put together a plan to respond to negative reviews. Every business should have one of these plans put in place early on in their tenure, and the relevant team members should know how to respond to negative reviews.

Responding to Negative Reviews- Dos and Don’ts

Businesses must acknowledge their customers in order to inspire loyalty. Think of it this way – when a customer invests their time and effort to evaluate a business and they don’t receive a response, you could lose that customer. Be sure to respond in a timely matter – if you don’t, they will take their business elsewhere. Research shows that customer emotions become permanent with time, so it’s best for an effective intervention to take place as close to the experience as possible. Issue a formal statement addressing the complaint(s) and naming the steps you’ll be taking to resolve the issues.

You should never be waiting around for negative reviews to happen. Ideally, you’ll want to address any of these issues and intervene before those online business reviews are published. This allows them to mitigate the negative experiences and amplify the positive ones in the minds of customers. You can do this through your social media channels and your customer service email account, for example. Additionally, be sure to address and remediate poor reviews before launching an aggressive, proactive marketing campaign.

To combat any negative reviews, reach out to your happy customers and ask them to post their own reviews. You could also reach out to bloggers and influencers in your business’ niche and have them write about their experience using your product or working with your business. Lastly, invite those customers with poor experiences to come back when the issue is resolved (this could mean comping their next meal, for example).

It’s important to remember that online reputation management (like responding to negative reviews online) is a Band-Aid approach and not a permanent cure. If your business is proactive in seeking out and acting on your customers’ instant feedback promptly, you’ll not only retain existing customers but also add new ones through positive word-of-mouth.

Removing a Defamatory Review

Most established review websites and social media platforms allow you to request the removal of any defamatory reviews. It’s best to go to the website the review is posted at and look for their policy on the issue (often this can be found in their FAQ or Legal section, but a quick Google search can save the day if this doesn’t yield results). If your negative reviews are indexed in a search engine like Google, you can visit their Legal Removal Request page, which allows you to seek to obtain a judgment from a court declaring the statements in a review to be false, and then present the court order to Google with the goal of having the relevant URL(s) de-indexed from Google.

How to respond to negative reviews

 


30 Tips to Boost Your Instagram Marketing

30 tips to boost instagram marketing

There are 300 million active users on Instagram every month, and every day 1 billion photos are liked. Quality posts are better than quantity, especially on Instagram. According to Forrester research, Instagram user interactions with brands is 400% higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

The facts speak for themselves – Instagram is a must for building and branding your business. However, if you are an Instagram newbie, here are 30 tips to help you maximize your Instagram exposure.

For starters, make sure your handle is recognizable and easy to search.

1. Use popular hashtags every day of the week to increase searchability. These include #motivationmonday, #transformationtuesday, #wisdomwednesday, #tbt, etc.

2. Search for people who are mentioning your brand and use the Repost app to re-gram any brand mentions. Be sure to @mention customers and tag them in posts.

3. Connect with businesses using hashtags & geo-tags and be sure to utilize the location feature on each post.

4. Create a unique hashtag that is relevant to your business that followers can use and TELL people to use it. A custom hashtag is worthless if you don’t tell anyone to use it.

5. Tag brand names, users, and locations in posts to increase searchability.

6. Show followers what is taking place in your business behind-the-scenes” and hashtag it with #BTS.

7. Increase visibility by liking and commenting on prospect’s photos. If you like and comment on photos, people will come back to check out your account and are more likely to follow you back.

Golden Rule: like and leave a heartfelt comment on ONE photo per day.

8. Offer exclusive content – if you are launching a new product or service line on Instagram, try creating an exclusive offer and offer followers a unique code to track how effective the promotion was.

9. Leverage user-generated content by running a photo contest. Use all images, even those that do not win, to help promote the brand as fresh content.

10. Run Instagram celeb “takeovers” with local celebs or influencers to drive more traffic and engagement back to your page.

11. Focus on the entire post, not just the image. The image may be the star, and the hashtags may offer context, but the caption tells a specific story and gives insight into you as an expert and the context of the photo.

12. Use apps, such as Afterlight, VSCO, Whitagram, Pic Stitch, Aviary, Lumify, Hyperlapse, Quick, Bokehful, Snapseed to edit photos. Studies have shown photos using the follower filters get more likes: Mayfair, Inkwell, Amaro, Walden and Lo-Fi.

13. Post and re-post images that show your product or service in use, while also using hashtags in conversation where your optimal follower will be.

14. Follow/monitor top trends to grow your brand’s awareness and stay on top of specific industry trends.

15. Get to know your followers to make posts more relevant to them. When someone follows you, follow them back and then analyze what your followers are interested in, what hashtags they use, etc.

16. Run engaging contests. Have an incentive for your community to share content and promote your brand with the use of prizes and giveaways. For example, National Geographic hosted a #MyAWAY Contest where users could upload photos of places that, to them, are an escape. On Instagram, they would tag the photos with #MyAWAY and at the end of the contest period, one lucky fan wins a digital camera plus goodies from NatGeo and Go RVing.

17. Reward your followers: Create lasting relationships with followers by using discount codes. Reach out and connect with influencers one-on-one. Brands that go the extra mile reward their Instagram followers see better success rates.

18. Connect your Instagram account to your website, and link all social channels to expand your reach to new or existing communities. This creates an avenue of traffic for each social media site. For example, make your Instagram account visible on Facebook. Post photos that show the lifestyle of your customers, while staying relevant to your brand. Your account should be a balance of fun pictures (pictures of cute animals or funny pop-culture references), mingled with promotional business photos).

19. “Feed speed” is a critical factor in your brand’s Instagram success. There is a fine line between agitating your followers with a daily clogging of their newsfeed and posting so infrequently that your followers forget you exist. Create a posting schedule that allows you to track what works and decide which direction to take next.

20. Post at peak times. According to a study by TrackMaven, the most effective days to post are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Another study found that posting at 5 PM EST yields a higher engagement rate.

21. Leverage video. Use diverse visual formatting, such as 15 seconds of video or a cinemagraph (still photographs in which a repeated movement occurs.)

22. Add locations to all your post to increase searchability and geo-targeting.

23. Plan posts in advance. Use services such as Latergram, HootSuite or TweetDeck to help with this process.

24. Show appreciation for your followers by featuring them using your products or service. For example, Sharpie powers their Instagram account with fan-submitted doodles created with their line of markers & pens.

25. Like your followers photos and comment on their posts.

26. Make sure all of your graphics are consistent using a graphic design software such as canva.com Be sure to use canvas “magic resize” tool to resize images to spec to fit the Instagram specs.

27. Respond in real time to the latest trending content. Keep your followers entertained and engaged.

Think of Instagram as a vision board for your business. Post photos that will inspire your prospects to be part of the lifestyle that is associated with your company.

28. Include a call to action- tell people what you want them to do. This may seem simple- but it is often overlooked!

29. Reverse Engineer. If you are trying to get prospects who may be interested in your services, think about their hobbies and demographic profile. Search for hashtags that align with their hobbies, such as #yachting #countryclub or #hamptons. From there, like and comment on their photos and follow them directly. They may even follow you back! You’re welcome 🙂

30.  Measure, Measure, Measure! Observe when your followers are online. What images/posts do your followers respond best to? Where are your new followers coming from? Is your brand growing or shrinking on Instagram?  To refine your Instagram strategy, it’s important to know what resonates best with your audience.

By following these tips, you will maximize your Instagram exposure and, as a result, increase your brand awareness.


Kris Ruby on Fox & Friends

Social Media Expert Kris Ruby was thrilled to be back on Fox & Friends discussing top ways to spot fake Internet reviews before before booking your next vacation.

kris ruby fox news social media expert

Watch the full segment here




How to Maximize National Media Exposure

social media agency expert kris ruby fox news

 

Score! You just landed a hit on a national TV show. But now you may be wondering, how do I maximize the appearance? The truth is, the most important part of the hit isn’t the actual hit. It is what you DO with the hit before, during, and after. To make the most of it, you have to ramp up your social media efforts and make sure you are creating engaging content.

Don’t wait until after the interview is over to start promoting it and getting your followers involved.

Live tweet: Start by encouraging fans to live tweet with you before, during and after the show. For example, one tweet might be, “Have any questions for @yourname on @Nameofshow? Tweet them to us before #nameofshow at 8 pm.” According to ExpandedRamblings.com, 47% of people who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit that company’s website, so it’s important to be active.

Use your audience to promote: Simply ask your Twitter followers or newsletter subscribers to help promote the appearance. Fans love to help their favorite thought leader gain more notoriety.

Integrate social media: Be sure to tag and hashtag the media outlet and handles of any interviewers in all tweets mentioning the show. This will show the outlet that you are socially engaged and are interested in moving eyeballs to their network.

Search hashtags: If you really want to see what everyone is saying about you on Twitter, search “all tweets” and search for the hashtag of the show, mentions to the show, mentions with your handle, and any relevant content. Sometimes people will post their thoughts on the segment with the handle of the show directly without mentioning your handle. Remember, that sometimes people will post their thoughts on the segment with the handle of the show directly without mentioning your handle.  If you are a frequent On-Air Commentator, you may want to purchase a monitoring app, such as Mention, which will aggregate all of the social mentions for you.

Share behind-the-scenes moments: Fans want to see more than what they just see on television, so while you are in the green room, tweet a photo or post one on Instagram. If there are other guests in the room, take photos and share them on your social media or create a Vine. Be sure to tag the people in the photo!

Increase viewer engagement: Until it’s time for your appearance, host a live Twitter chat, answering behind the-scenes questions. This builds an ongoing relationship with your audience.

Ask questions: Questions require answers and that leads to interaction. For example, after the show you can tweet, “What did you think of the segment?” “Did I wear the right dress?”

Stay positive: Social media builds relationships with your audience, but one negative post can ruin it all. Stay positive and be aware of what you are posting. If something does go wrong, learn how to take a digital detox. For example, if you post something questionable – a photo or a tweet – that offends a core part of your audience, remove it. Stay away from social media for a while.

Close the door on drama: Tweeting includes responding, but getting involved with someone else’s drama can be a big mistake. Know when to stop.

Pull in a team: If you will be wearing a special brand, tweet to the brand before the appearance and let them know. Most likely, they will retweet you. This increases the likelihood of them putting out their own tweet or post promoting it that you could then retweet. Ex. “Love the outfit @InfluencerX is wearing on the segment? Get it here.”

Once the appearance is over, continue tweeting links and clips, posting photos on Instagram and Facebook or promoting a Vine from the green room. Post the appearance on your blog.  Do as much as you can to maximize the appearance and engage with your audience to publicize it even more.


Top 5 Reasons to Hire a PR Agency in 2016

westchester pr agency

 

No matter how small or large your company is, public relations is an important tool for your business. An effective public relations campaign can help to get your name, and your company, in the media. A well-focused campaign can establish you as an expert, or thought leader, in your field by making you a go-to resource for journalists and broadcasters. It can also put your products right in front of the consumers who you are trying to reach.

There are many aspects to running a business, so it’s important to leave the public relations responsibilities to the experts. If you are a doctor, you should focus on being the best doctor in your field. If you are a toymaker, you should be the best toymaker in your industry. Let a public relations expert handle your publicity.

There are several other important reasons why you should hire a public relations expert:

  • You’re too busy: Of course that’s the way it should be. Your time should be focused on being a doctor, CEO or entrepreneur and let the public relations expert focus on getting publicity for your business.
  • PR firms have media contacts: Do you know who the local newspaper editor is? Or how to reach local bloggers who will write about your business? Probably not, but public relations experts know and will be able to contact them, pitch them stories and develop ongoing relationships with them.
  • PR firms know how to package stories: According to this article, the average American attention span in 2013 was 8 seconds. Public relations experts know how to develop content that will reach your audience quickly and keep them engaged, whether it’s for six seconds (the length of a Vine video), 8 seconds or 30 minutes.
  • Public relations experts know crisis control: All it takes is one disgruntled employee who tweets something negative about your business or uploads a detrimental video to YouTube and it goes viral before your business is on the receiving end of a major public relations crisis. Before you even have time to react, your public relations firm will decide on a course of action and respond appropriately, making sure that you come out looking much better in the end.
  • Public relations campaigns are cost effective: Bill Gates once said, “If I only had a dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” There are public relations campaigns for every budget, whether you are a startup business or you have been around for decades. The first step is to identify your goals and then develop a plan for reaching those goals. A public relations specialist can do this for you, no matter what your budget.

Like this post and follow me to read more posts like this one.

For more information, visit www.krisruby.com and follow me on Twitter: @sparklingruby

©2016 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


How to Maximize Press Hits on Social Media

westchester pr social media agency rmg

 

Congratulations, you were interviewed in Oprah’s Magazine “O” or your business was featured on the Yahoo homepage and the article has now gone viral. You’ve secured a huge press hit, but instead of just popping the bubbly and celebrating with your closest friends, get on your social media networks and maximize the buzz! In addition to tweeting out the news, you should follow RMG’s top tips to make sure that you lengthen your moment in the media sun.

Share, share that’s fair: It’s okay to let your customers and your followers know about the hit. Share the press link on your company’s social media networks and with clients that may benefit from the content shared in the article. If you have a email newsletter, be sure to include. However, put more than just the link. Instead, you should also give your followers something they can use from the article. For example, you should tweet “Here is the best tip that John Smith gave to Oprah to make your holidays happy,” not “I was quoted in Oprah!” unless, of course, you’re sending a direct tweet to your mother.

Say thank you: Include both the writer and the outlet’s handles in a tweet and thank them for the coverage. For example, tweet “Thanks @writer and @magazine for the great coverage on my business today @linktoarticle” and post something similar on your Facebook page.

Clip it and add it: Whether it’s one quote or an entire article, you should keep a running tally of what press coverage you have gotten. Clip the article, add it to the list and move it to the top. You should also post the clip on your company’s website. If you do not already have a press section on your website, add one. This builds a platform for you in the media that can lead to additional opportunities. Journalists and producers like to use experts who are trustworthy and have experience in the media. This proves that you are reliable and can provide great quotes.

Quote it: Speaking of quotes, be sure to pull out the best quotes written about your company and include them in your media kit. “O” magazine calls ABC company the ‘best new thing since sliced bread.’ That should be prominently displayed on your website and in your media kit.

Leverage it: Now when you send out press releases on your business, be sure to include “Ann Smith has been interviewed in “O” magazine at the top of the release. Sure, being interviewed in your hometown newspaper or your college alumni magazine means something to you, but when it comes to impressions, a national press hit will make a huge one.

Display it: Imagine walking into your office every day and seeing the “O” article up on the wall. Call it an inspiration, but you will be sure to break into a smile and keep working harder every time you see it. There are companies that turn articles into plaques that you can prominently display on your wall. Also be sure to send the article to other outlets that may want to do a follow-up story.

Move on: Most importantly, as time goes on, you will be judged by the last press hit you scored, so if the press hit in Oprah magazine was five years ago, what have you done since then? If that’s the only press hit you’re using to promote yourself, it will eventually look outdated.

Always be looking for new ways of attracting media attention. Your job here is never done.

Like this post and follow me to read more posts like this one.

For more information, follow me on Twitter: @sparklingruby 

©2016 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Six Steps To Get Booked On National Television

kris ruby fox news

Everyone wants to be on TV, but not everyone knows how to position themselves as an expert in order to get booked on TV. Whether you are working with an agency, a publicist, a TV booker or directly with a producer, here are the top things you need to do to maximize your chances of frequent on-air success:

  1. Brand yourself in a specific category. Producers are looking for subject matter experts to comment on breaking news stories, recent studies or trends. They want to work with specific experts as sources who can speak to highly technical content in a specific vertical. Brand yourself as the go-to expert in a niche category.
  2. Stay on top of industry news. Set up Google Alerts on the top keywords associated with your industry. Read the news daily to stay on top of industry trends.
  3. Personalize the news with your unique view. After you have identified a breaking news story you could comment on, write out your hit points on the topic. What is your unique opinion or slant as a subject matter expert on the story? What are the top three points you would want to get across on air if you had the chance to share your view on the story?
  4. Create a custom media list. Identify the producers who are covering your beat. Once you have identified them through Cision, Vocus or even Twitter, create a customized media list in Excel with their contact information. Only target producers who actually cover the type of news you want to speak about.
  5. Watch the shows you pitch. Do your research before pitching. You can be more effective getting booked on TV by watching the shows you pitch by looking for trends and the types of guests that are booked.
  6. Repeat the cycle. Continue to repeat the process as new stories come out in your field. Be persistent. Sometimes, your hit points could be great for a segment but the producer wants to go in a different direction. Other times the producer may love your points but already has someone else booked. If you want to make a name for yourself in the news, you have to be part of the news cycle.

As long as you continue to craft targeted, timely pitches to the right people — and stay on top of the news cycle — you too can start building your brand with TV appearances.

* This article originally appeared in FORBES

©2016 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.