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Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Tag: community

Erasing an online consumer complaint from your search results – Part 2 of Power to the Consumer

So here’s the secret.  You can’t.

You knew that was coming, didn’t you?  But there are ways to push the complaint farther away from your site and out of your search results.

The first thing I would do.  Go after that customer, face to face, and see if you can correct what happened.  Now some people would say that there are people who are never going to be happy, no matter what you do.

I would disagree and say, “You really don’t know that until you are face-to-face with that person.”

Too many times I’ve seen emails and comments start flaming because when it comes to digital communication it is easy to forget there is another human being on the other end of that discussion.  It’s almost like we are flipping mad at our computer and just letting them have it.  But once they are in person or on the phone, the anger settles and people can talk in the right TONE to one another.

The other thing to do is to go to those sites that have your complaint and explain your side of things.  Tell them how you’ve tried to work this situation out.

But if you can’t fix it, you can out-content them on search results.

If you have only one website on the internet (your singular web presense) on the internet, this is going to be very hard.  Because you essentially have only one link or two links that will come up when there is a search for your company.

But if you have multiple web presences…say a YouTube Channel, a Flickr account, a Twitter account, an outside blog or multiple blogs, a facebook page, a myspace page, then you have a chance.

Now what I would do is start pushing lots and lots of content out on the web through these different channels – and there are a heck of a lot of more of them than I mentioned.

Also, don’t do it all at once.  Space it out.  Get stuff up there at least once a week.

Other things you can do is change your static site frequently.  I don’t care if it costs you money because you built a site without a CMS.  By not changing your content, it just sits there and Google has no reason to re-index your site.

Get involved in other people’s conversations on their sites.  If you are scared of the internet, then talk to someone who understands it and can help you.

The bottom line is get more active on the internet and you can drive them down on the search results.

This is also not a great idea in theory – I’ve done this before with companies.  It does work.  But make sure you understand this.  The same rules that apply to you, also apply to the consumer and that’s why when you step it up – they can as well.  So it’s better to just work it out together and not go through this mess.

Good luck.  And if anyone else has some ideas on how to do it, let me know.  I would love to hear them.

You upgraded your website – do you need to upgrade your marketer?

No!!!!! The last thing you need to do is replace the person who knows your company inside and out and is dedicated to spreading the word about your success.

But you do need to understand that they probably need some love and attention.

For a small business, having a marketer is a true benefit. Most of the time it’s the CEO or President or the new intern who just came on board (BTW, that is a seriously bad move – the last person I would want to be giving first impressions about my company is the new intern – no matter how cute they are).

But that marketer may need some help. This is no longer a world of brochures, radio spots, TV ads and tradeshows. Or even static brochure-like websites.

Your “new” marketer needs to understand the basics of new media – especially if you, like many others, believe that the web is the most efficient way to reach new customers and reconnect with old ones.

Your marketer is used to start and stop flight dates. They are used to working hard on brochures and flowery language or a biannual magazine and huge annual report. They may not even be used rules of social networking, blogs and forums.  They may not understand what a widget can do.

So instead of shouting at them to get these new Web 2.0 components online, maybe you should be asking the marketer what kind of education do you need before we jump in and start conversing on the net.

Let me tell you – they aren’t going to get that from a one-time seminar from MediaSauce or by reading a book. They need to be immersed in it. They need to spend some time learning and USING Web 2.0 things before they start a social community or a blog or a forum.

I’ve set up hundreds of social tools. Some have done great and some have failed miserably. There have been almost none in between. What was the difference? The marketer behind the wheel. If he/she understood how to use the tools, how to listen to the audience and participate, the social tool flourished.

If you are thinking that you don’t need these kinds of things for your business, then I wonder why you are even reading this blog. There’s some irony for you.

Here’s a list of things that I believe your marketer needs to know before you go Web 2.0:

  1. Enthusiasm for the possibilities of the web – if they are not on board, don’t force it. They will sabotage the online effort and then tell you “I told you so.”
  2. Learn the nuances of social networking as a person not a marketer. Social media marketing must be authentic and subtle. If you are shouting about how great you and your product are, they will black hat you in a heartbeat.  If you want to know where to start socializing, then email me and I’ll tell you.
  3. Learn some HTML – seriously. It’s not that difficult. And it’s part of the job. If they have to hunt down the web guy every time they need something done on your website then you are wasting both the web guy’s and the marketer’s time.
  4. Experiment with different tools. There are tons and tons of great FREE resources out there. Don’t buy the first one you see or use. Never get locked into technology unless you know they are stable in the marketplace (like Google). In other words, there are ways to get things done by mashing new technologies together instead of buying a custom solution. Like for instance, this wordpress site can actually be made into a normal looking website with a great CMS tool behind it.

There are many other things that marketers need now.  Don’t expect your in-house guy or gal to be able to pull off every little marketing thing that comes along.

Prioritize the marketing list.  If you are updating brochures every couple of months and they are sweating over every last detail of the brochure, you might want to go digital so they can change things on the fly.

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, right?  Well, for marketers, it makes it harder because now you guys want us to do all the new stuff and maintain the old ways of marketing.  You can’t have both unless you add more hands.

Maybe this is all wrong and most marketers out there would like to keep doing the same things year after year but if you aren’t doing social media now, how hard do you think this job will be in five years when you are just getting into it.  I personally like to learn when everyone else is.

What do you think?

    Fox is crowdsourcing – why shouldn’t you?

    Here’s the article from Cynopsis Digital for website of the day:

    Fox has hired online crowdsourcing firm Passenger to build an online community of viewers around Fox shows to help executives make more informed programming and marketing decisions. Passenger will help the network test programming concepts, plot direction, character evolution and marketing schemes by empowering a group of dedicated users to chime in during the development process. Passenger is one of a few cutting edge firms entertainment studios are working with to the help ping the crowd before committing millions of dollars to production and marketing budgets, (a trend I will be exploring in a panel on crowdsourcing at the NATPE LATV Festival next month.) They also recently worked with Damon Lindelof and Carton Cuse, the showrunners of ABC’s Lost, to help determine which episode to submit to Emmy voters this year, (not an easy task for a serialized show.) The first order of business for Fox community members will be to offer feedback on Fox’s fall line up.

    I know you are looking at me and saying, “What the heck is crowdsourcing?”

    Here’s what Wikipedia says, “Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task, refine an algorithm or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (see also citizen science).”

    To me, it’s getting your online customers involved in whatever you are doing. There are people very interested in what you do if you give them a voice.

    A lot of marketers aren’t too interested in the crowd because of the work involved (communities require constant care and attention in the beginning like a new plant but once they take root you can watch them grow) and they tend to throw you curveballs. Like you swore something would work but then it didn’t – as a marketer – you can blame a half of dozen different things. But with crowdsourcing and communities, you have a lot of real feedback and if they don’t like your idea – then your idea sucked not the other excuses.

    Anyway, I’m glad Fox is going this way with their line-up. Who knows maybe TV won’t suck in the future?

    What do you think?

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