Social Media isn’t a passing fad and though we debate the usefulness and relevancy of Social in self storage, social media has become a part of how many people communicate and live. Google Places, Google Reviews, Twitter, Facebook, Bing/Yahoo Places, Bing/Yahoo Reviews, Yelp, Citysearch and Local.com are just some of the places people can review your self storage facility and business. Social Media has made controlling your online reputation critical and complex. People express their opinions, (dis)likes and blog about products and services on a daily basis. Not only can these reviews be great or doom your business but take into account that Search Engines love them as well. So what can you do to make sure you are proactively managing your online reputation?
- Be Aware – It is nearly impossible to monitor each Social Media, blog or website which enables posting of reviews but you should be aware about what’s being said about your business on a day to day basis. Set up Google Alerts on your business name and be sure to check them daily. Google Alerts are free and easy to set up. There are also fee based tracking systems available but they are probably not necessary. Google Alerts should get the job done for now.
- Let Your Bosses Know – You should let the higher ups in your company know what is being said online and determine a course of action in regards to each situation.
- Set A Plan – You should at least have a basic plan in place so when something goes wrong there are steps to intervene and minimize the situation before it gets worse. Planning for everything is impossible but a well thought out plan will have you feeling less intimidated.
- Communicate with Your Bosses – Continuous communication is key in any situation. Your bosses will have a better understanding on how they want to handle the situation and will support your insights. Be transparent, timely and ready for questions. Be sure to have everyone who needs to be involved prepared early.
- Respond – Respond quickly and professionally to the comments by reaching out to the posters who are negatively commenting on your business. This is usually the most effective response as you can talk 1 on 1 with the person and fully understand the issue. Do not be defensive or too offensive either…be professional. One way to fix a reputation management problem is to get back to business. People can forgive and forget once things get back to normal. Fix the problem and get back to work as normal. A main reason people are disappointed and post negative comments is because they were supporters or customers in the first place.
Social Media is here to stay whether storage operators like it or not and social interactions are more and more prevalent, thus managing your online reputation is becoming more critical. Do you have an online reputation management strategy in place?
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