The digital world has made it easy to share information with everyone, everywhere, all the time—but it’s also made it easy to spread misinformation and negative comments about your business and your brand. That’s why online reputation management is more important than ever, especially when you’re dealing with something potentially harmful such as a negative comment. With careful planning and execution, you can use online reputation management to neutralize bad publicity and create good public relations from bad public relations stories. Here’s how it works!
Don’t Ignore it
Ignoring negative comments is one of the worst things you can do if you want to manage your online reputation. Ignoring them will send a message that you don’t care what people have to say about your business or product, which is not a good way to conduct yourself online. A lot of potential customers will see these comments and assume they are true or that you’ve already seen them and ignored them, which could make some potential customers second-guess spending money with your brand.
Before you do anything else, take responsibility for your own actions. It’s important that you admit—to yourself and to others—that there is nothing inherently wrong with you or with how you acted. The world isn’t against you; other people aren’t out to get you. There may be many things in life that are unfair, but not everything is a personal attack on who you are as a person.
Whether you’ve made an honest mistake or done something wrong, one of your most powerful tools in your arsenal for dealing with a negative comment is simply explaining yourself—and doing so publicly. Not only does an honest apology make it seem like you’re more trustworthy, but apologizing also shows that you’re paying attention and cares about your customers. According to Psychology Today, By showing that their concerns matter to you, consumers feel validated and respected.
Don’t leave negative reviews and complaints hanging. If you do, there’s a good chance they’ll grow bigger and more irksome. Respond quickly with an apologetic message that explains what happened, how you plan on fixing it and what you will do in future to prevent such situations from occurring again.
Have an Action Plan
If you want to deal with negative comments, be proactive about it. First, make sure you’re able to manage your online reputation. Using third-party platforms like Klout and Kred is a good way of keeping track of what people are saying about you online, but they don’t take into account everything that’s out there—especially in long-tail search results that don’t show up on standard searches.
Continue to Communicate
The best way to deal with a negative comment is by continuing to listen and respond. You want to control your online presence and make sure you’re responding appropriately and not just ignoring what people have said about you. If you ignore it, then it will only get worse—and other people might think that you have something to hide.
Write an Article
Well, first and foremost, negative comments aren’t always that bad. In fact, some of them can be useful—even those written by anonymous commenters. Once you recognize that a comment is likely well-intentioned (even if it isn’t particularly constructive), you can use it as an opportunity to make improvements on your work or address any issues head-on.