Keep the Good. Keep the Bad. Hide the Ugly.

PRO TIP: Don’t skip reading the images. You’ll miss the point. IJS

I am grateful.

I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be the gatekeeper for several brands that I have developed a deep, unwavering love for. It’s akin to that mother lion kind of love. As a Social Media Manager aka Community Manager aka Brand Specialist aka Sprinkler of Social Magic, as I’ve been known to refer to it, I protect my brands’ reputations from social media harm and navigate through those, at times, treacherous waters. And, when I’m doing that, I’m entrenched in the good, bad and incredibly ugly. As you can imagine, that can lead me down a very dark path of reading the underbelly of social media.

I am grateful for the Content Moderators that the big social networks employ. Without you, I would be seeing so much worse, I’m sure. But still. Bad and ugly seeps through those protective barriers that the social networks have created and that’s where I come in. Every day – every moment is different with its unique, emotional ups and downs. Here’s a peek into my life and what I see on a typical day.

I am grateful that this mother’s experience with this cell phone retailer was a positive one when she was going in to do a very mundane task for the worst reason imaginable.

I am grateful that Twister’s last day on Earth was filled with truly heartfelt brushes and pets from this grooming team and that his human kept the sympathy card from one of the hardest moments a pet parent experiences.

I am grateful that I’m reading this sentiment less and less with each year that passes.

I am grateful……. You know what. This is simply ugliness at its core, and I can’t find any way to spin this in a positive way. So, I’m leaving it at that.

You may be asking, WHY. Why would I continue down this path and manage social when there is so much ugliness. It’s simple. I live for the beautiful moments. The opportunities to truly make a difference in a person’s life like when a guest commented that after 12 years of dating she was getting married to her boyfriend the next day and immediately afterwards celebrating at Dave & Buster’s. All she wanted was a drink recommendation from her local D&B.

Immediately, I sent this to Dave & Buster’s and the rest is a happy history. The local team went above and beyond and the Corporate team was so delighted that this couple chose to party at D&B on their big day that they shared the guest’s post on their Brand page.

I live for these moments. It gets me through the hard times of this career. It pushes me to critically assess every engagement and sift through the hundreds of thousands of engagements I read a year to find the human moments and truly celebrate them. I hold those moments close to my heart, use the bad as opportunities to grow and lock the awful away in a mental lockbox knowing that it’s there but not allowing myself to dwell on it too much.

Like I said, I’m grateful. One of the smartest men and a mentor of mine once said to me, “Susie, let’s just keep the good, keep the bad and hide the ugly.” He definitely meant that as a social strategy that I absolutely implement to this day but I also personally live by it so I can continue sprinkling the social magic with a positive attitude.

What can Reputation Management do for You?

Reputation management is becoming an increasingly popular topic, but what exactly does it mean, why is it important and why ignoring it is not an option?

Online reputation management is inclusive of tracking, monitoring and responding to online reviews and ratings on sites such as Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

Like it or not, customers are leaving reviews and ratings on your local listings and it’s impacting your search engine ranking, reputation, and bottom line. Tweet this

When done properly, reputation management has many internal and external benefits for your business.

EXTERNAL BENEFITS

Google 3 Pack

SEO

Star ratings displayed in Google search results are powered by Google reviews – many believe they are from Yelp since that’s the OG review platform we all tend to default to when we think about leaving a review.

Google encourages businesses to interact with customers by responding to reviews, and that quality, positive reviews from customers will improve your business’s visibility and likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.

ATTRACT CUSTOMERS

Reputation management is, at the very least, a part-time job, however, for many businesses, there is at least 1 person, if not a team dedicated solely to reputation management.

It can be easy to put ratings and reviews on the back burner and be willing to let SEO suffer a bit if you don’t have the time and resources to dedicate but keep in mind, a customer you don’t respond to is a customer you should be prepared to lose. Tweet this

I promise, these aren’t scare tactics, reputation management is a crucial part of your business. Similar to just a few years ago when brands were avoiding social media, if they could, and now it’s widely accepted and known that you need to have a social presence.

You need to manage your reputation, whether you like it or not. Tweet this

4 INTERNAL BENEFITS

If SEO and word of mouth aren’t attractive enough selling points, consider the valuable insights you can only gain from monitoring reviews.

OPERATIONAL INSIGHTS

  • Did you know Jessica in San Diego is mentioned an average of 6 times per month in negative reviews?
  • The lock on the 4th stall has been broken for 2 months
  • The sound from the theater next door can be heard during neighboring movies
  • The bartender with the black hair racially profiles and ignores guests that are not white

These may seem like things local teams may know about, but when customers take to social to give their feedback and expect to be heard, it is quite possible this is the only place feedback is being given and red flags are being raised. Tweet this

LOCATION PERFORMANCE

Sales numbers are not a direct reflection of a location’s performance and standards. Even when customers have a bad time, they still pay for their bills. By tracking star ratings, keyword mentions, and trending topics, you can learn a lot about a specific location by consistently reading and responding to reviews.

For example, a movie theater location had 5 stars and most recently the rating has been declining but is still in the 4-star range. An easy explanation would be more reviews = a decrease in star rating (not always the case). However, if you read specific reviews about this location, almost every review mentions the same thing — it was great until XYZ. The corporate team or even a general manager cannot correct issues if they do not know they exist.

CUSTOMER RETENTION

I honestly cannot count how many times I’ve responded to a negative review with an apology and possible resolution, and the responder almost immediately increased their star rating just because the brand responded. I have seen consumers go from detractors to advocates in a matter of minutes.

85% of people in the United States read review responses by management while researching a potential business to patronize.

By publicly responding to reviews, guests may give you a second chance, and potential guests are much more likely to give you a chance if they see you are involved and care.

EMPLOYEES

Especially in the restaurant and entertainment industries, names or descriptions of employees are often included in both positive and negative reviews and typically appear in more than one review.

Your brand is what your customers say it is.

By knowing who is mentioned and the positive or negative situation associated you can use this data to reward, enhance training or in some cases terminate employees that are dragging your business down.

By having a SAAS and/or trained team and processes in place, making reputation management a part of your brand’s daily routine can’t be an option anymore – it’s essential to survive as a business and in SEO rankings.

I could talk about reputation management all day long and why it can be exciting, insightful and most importantly, how it impacts the bottom line – what do you want me to write about next?

I would love to talk to you about what you are doing, or if you aren’t quite there yet – why not? Tweet or DM me on Twitter & Instagram: @ChelseaRhane or send me a message on LinkedIn.