Thursday, May 30, 2013

Centel Media Reviews First Impressions

Imagine working hard to build your brand from the ground up. Imagine the blood, sweat and tears, the sacrifices you've made to ensure that your work reaches the masses. But, in one instant your dream becomes a nightmare. Slander, false information and other negative reviews are what people come across when they Google you or your brand. This is sad, but it’s often a reality for any business big or small. No matter the size, the effect can do damage that can take years to correct.

When looking up a company, as a consumer, I want the most honest reviews and results that can be given so I can decide if its worth doing business with this company. Negative results won't deter me, as they are a part of business. You take the good with the bad, no one is perfect. However lots of times there can be an overwhelming amount of negative reviews that may seem too good to be true. Most of the time, a company has fallen victim to someone giving false reviews about their company. An action like this can't be ignored no matter how much money your company makes. We live in a global society and word can spread very fast. Before you know it, revenues from all over the world are dropping as result.

In a perfect world, you want to entirely avoid having this happen. But as it turns out, it’s very hard to control billions of people with access to the internet and time on their hands. What we can do in the meantime is use reputation management. Reputation management helps a company give a wonderful first impression when searched on Google, Yahoo or any other search engine. What you see is what you get, and as a business, you most certainly want your customers to see you in the most positive view possible. Along with favorable Google searches you will also have great exposure to the social network, which is just as important as anything else. In fact, one can argue that in today's society, a proper social network reputation can assure your brand’s success as it connects you all over the world. While false reviews and slander can never define your company, they can impact your market share and revenue. Most importantly, they can impact your relationships with customers, both current and new. It's imperative to make sure you are doing everything in your power to make sure we see the best that you have to offer as a business and you won't have a problem building a strong loyal customer fan-base.

All That Posts Is Not Gold

When we hit that post or send button, there is no taking it back; no do-overs or mulligans. It’s on its way to the legions of followers you have on your social network pages. Whether it was meant to be seen or not, it’s there for all the screenshots to be taken. Depending on the severity of it, it may even be on the front page of the next day's newspaper. The power of posts, tweets and the presence of social media never ceases to amaze. They have become the go to place for any news on a personal level and surprisingly, on a professional level as well.

As a business, your main goal, besides making profit, is to make your customers experience shopping with you a memorable one, so they keep coming back. Social media has done a great job of getting the customer as close to their favorite company without actually going inside the factory. Situations arise sometimes and it becomes hard to decide how much information to disclose to the public. It often gets the company in hot water, not just with its customers, but governing bodies who regulate and set rules for what information can be released. Businesses also have to deal with their employees using social media to post things about the company that was not meant to be disclosed just yet. It now puts the company in a position to have to enforce policies about the proper use of social media in regards to their company. Businesses also have to deal with their employees venting about their displeasure with work, or in some instances, about a customer who they feel stiffed them on a tip.

Proper use of social media is now more important than ever. You're no longer dealing with your own personal account when you are in charge of your company's account. Today, businesses must hold training classes on the dos and don'ts of dealing with social media on a corporate level. What social media can offer you in growth and exposure, it can also offer an unimaginable amount of negative press. Educating everyone from the CEO to the stock clerk on how to conduct themselves on social media can be the difference between a successful company and one that isn't. Someone is always watching looking to catch the slightest infraction, which could have been avoided if your company was properly trained on using social media.

Centel Media Faces Cyber Bullies

At one point in our academic lives, we have all come across a bully, whether it was grammar school, middle school or high school. You've tried your hardest to duck and dodge them but to no avail and you come to the conclusion that they will be a thorn in your side for the next few years. Over the years, bullying has become a huge topic for debate as the results of bullying have often been fatal in the last few years. Just when you thought the bullies from school have gone away, they have come back taking their place behind a computer screen with all intentions to bring you back to 8th grade chemistry class.

Cyber bullying, as we know, has become the new form of harassment. However, now it can be done from the comfort of ones home, where facing your victim is not needed, just a few typed words and the enter button on your keyboard. Social media has most certainly played a part in cyber bullying. There was a time when you would have to face a bully in school. Now, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, it's a non-stop, 24/7 ordeal. Cyber bullying has recently made its way onto the comment sections on any type of forum that allows for people to express their opinions.

People in positions of power often don't give those who make thoughtless comments the time of day for two reasons. Either they are too busy, or just don't care what anyone has to say, especially if it's non-constructive criticism. But everybody has their breaking point. They've had enough and will eventually respond back. Though it can get rough at times, you have to remember you're representing a brand. The moment you choose to respond back, especially in a negative light, you are diminishing your brand.

When you choose to respond back, you're no better than that person sitting behind a keyboard. You have brought yourself down to their level. So begins the senseless back and forth insults that doesn't result in any profit for your business, but in fact will have a negative impact--we see how easy it is to upset you and it becomes a game to see how far you can go. Words hold a lot of power and in some instances they can have such an impact it can destroy all of what you worked hard to build. When we keep that in mind, we make cyber bullies, trolls or whatever name we choose to call them victims of their own foolishness. You become a stronger person for not responding. Furthermore, your business prospers as well.

Remember to Keep Calm when Dealing with Negative Reviews

The most frustrating and irritating part of being a business owner is having to deal with negative reviews. It is understandable that you are going to be extremely upset at the negative reviews that you receive regarding your business, but keeping calm and taking a certain approach on how to deal with this issue will benefit you in the long run. The worst thing you could possibly do as a business owner is to respond to the negative reviews in anger without reflection. Responding in such a manner usually puts the business owner in a bigger hole that could have been avoided all together using the right approach. Recently, a Business 2 Community article addressed this issue and offered a five step approach on how to deal with this problem effectively.

1. Breathe.

No business owner takes a negative comment with appreciation and of course you should not either, but remember to take a step back and breathe before responding to the comment out of anger. Acting out of emotion will only make your situation worse because you are damaging your reputation. You want to approach this with taking some time to reflect on the comment made about your business, and construct a much more professional and effective response. Here at Centel Media™, we work towards pushing those negative reviews from the first few pages, and thus having more positive reviews regarding your business.

2. Take it Personally.

One might think that approaching a negative comment with a positive attitude is the best way to approach this issue, however Business 2 community says otherwise. The article states that a business owner should thoroughly evaluate those negative comments made about their business so that they could correct and improve their product and/or service that they are offering. If you intend to take this opportunity to improve your product/services you will make your company better and avoid having the same negative comments made about your business. Here at Centel Media™, we are about Management and Control. These negative comments that are not taken care of correctly could lead to customers going somewhere else because of the comments others have made about your business. Centel Media™ wants to give you the control over your own reputation and make the internet a much better and satisfying experience. 

3. Respond Politely. 

Being polite in all aspects and situations in life is extremely crucial, however it is even more so pertaining your business. The last thing you want to do it is provoke the person who made the negative comment about your business. Remember that this person has already shown that he/she is not afraid of expressing his/her opinion and responding to this comment in a negative and emotional way will only provoke him/her making the situation a lot worse.

4. Do Not Ignore.

Business 2 Community's article states that ignoring a negative comment is not a good idea by any means. Not responding to a nasty or borderline defamatory statement made about your business will only raise questions and attract unwanted attention. 

5. Do Not Use CAPS LOCK 

The last but not least approach that Business 2 Community emphasizes on is to not use caps lock when you are responding to a comment. Using caps lock is the equivalent of screaming in the internet world. As explained earlier, you want to appear calm and professional when you respond to a comment. Using caps lock is not way to impose these characteristics. Keeping your cool and not responding out of anger and emotion can not be emphasized enough. Responding politely is not at all easy when a negative comment is made about your business. The last thing you want to do is hurt your business by losing customers, remember to use this approach and avoid digging yourself in a bigger hole.