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March 2015
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May 2015

No, Don't Ignore It!

I was having a conversation with a business friend of mine who was railing Man Noiseagainst "these social media sites" that share customer input on their experience.  That would include Yelp, TripAdvisor and yes Facebook and Twitter among others.  He said, "I don't know why they complain on social media how come they don't say something when they are in the store so we can fix it there?"

He has a point but, welcome to the digital age where anything and everything goes.

I asked him what he does when he gets a social media complaint and he said, "I ignore it.  It's just stupid and it will go away."

But, it won't.  There is a way to deal with social media complaints that, as you do it, actually boosts your brand.  Here are some tips:

  • Acknowledge to Goof - If something happened that ticked off a customer don't hide from it.  Use it as a way to show your ability to listen to the customer;
  • Offer to Make It Right - True, some folks just want to play mean but if the complaint is real find a way to fix it and say so. And, don't be afraid to do it publicly;
  • Be Nice - Look, we get it...nothing feels better than to fire off a Tweet or a Facebook Post so you can "get back".  That is until somebody out there copies the post, circulates it and then who looks bad?  Resist the impulse;
  • Use the Moment - While it's true that in the digital age anybody can complain about anything and often stay anonymous.  No matter if it's a "troll" or for real.  Use the moment to help consumers better understand who and what you are really like.

I really liked this piece from Hootsuite and how they used negative comments to re-build:  

 

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The Power of Connection

As most of you know I do a daily business news broadcast. Along with the MPL Studio Editbusiness news of the day and the markets we'll make welcome one or two business guests during the hour. The interview segments run, on average, eight to twelve minutes. We've had hundreds of conversations with established business leaders to start-ups.

Within 24 hours we send out guests the radio blog links, podcast links, photos and any video we take during the interview.  What happens next is interesting.

Some of our guests take the information we share with them and post it on their own blogs, Facebook Page, Twitter, Flicker...etc.  Some clearly don't. How do we know?

We watch the number of "plays" each has.  Those who are connected to social media and have their own audience start to build "play numbers" right away.  Those who don't...don't.

It's the power of connection.  Sure, while we're live we'll reach hundreds of listeners but, for those who understand the power of social media, hundreds more get to listen to the interview segment on "their time".  That, my friends, is the new reality of media.  Listeners, viewers want stuff when they want it and not built around our schedule.

Oh, the times they are a changin'!

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April 21st - Are You Ready?

There is an important business date coming up in April…and it’s not April Google Logo15th…but April 21st and it has nothing to do with taxes but everything to do with Google and your business.  What’s going to happen?

We believe Google will launch a new mobile crawler (probably with an Android user-agent) that can, and will, identify your site as being mobile friendly and tell the world if you are or are not.

What this means is when you do a search from a mobile device and get your results…if your site is not mobile friendly Google will flag it as such allowing the person doing the searching to know, at a glance, that there is no use in going to this site because they will have to pinch and squeeze their screen to figure out what’s on the page.

Up until now those of you that do not have a responsive website design perhaps have not seen any value in moving forward. That could all change drastically come April 21st when the new Google algorithm helps searchers decide…at the search screen that your site ain’t worth looking at…from a mobile perspective.

Friends…this is huge, huge, huge.  Sort of like when those of you who are on Facebook decided to plow all your marketing dollars into your business Facebook site and now realize that less than two percent of the people who like your page can…see it..without you paying Facebook to publish on a wider basis.

How do you KNOW if your site is mobile friendly?  Google has published a tool to help you learn if it is…or isn’t.  Here is the link to the Mobile Friendly Testing Tool.  All you do is put in your site’s URL and you’ll find out…

What if it isn’t…we need to talk…quickly or you need to talk…quickly… to your web developer.

And, you are welcome.

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Who OWNS Your Website?

Our firm has been working to help a non-profit re-claim their website. Huh? Own It Words Yep. We've now run into this a couple of times and it's something you should know.

You may "think" you own your existing website but, not so fast! Sometimes the web-developer continues to hold the magic keys and when there are "issues" that can't be resolved they "own" it and can take it down.

Because your website is, most always, the first point of contact with consumers you need to make sure you hold the keys.  Here are some quick tips:

  • Ask the Question - When you're in development make sure you ask, "When we're done with this project do we have control over the site from updates to hosting?"  And, get the answer in writing;
  • Non-Profit Boards - I've been on hundreds and because they are made up of volunteers who have "real lives" often the record keeping is pretty bad. Make sure the "contract" or "agreement" is on-file and everybody has a copy;
  • Cheap is Not Always Good - Non-profits (and many small businesses) don't have a pile of cash to invest into their website. However, cheap is still cheap and not always the best of solutions. Get some professional help. Your job is to run the non-profit mission or business not become a marketing professional;
  • Document Unresolved Issues - If you already have a website and you've been experiencing slow updates, a developer who is always busy and doesn't have time to help make sure you document the interaction between your board and the developer.  It keeps everybody in the loop and, if legal issues follow, you've got a record;
  • Stay Professional - It can be frustrating to work with unresponsive firms but stuff gets "passed around" try, hard, to stay professional in your email conversations.

Each non-profit board member has a "friend in the business" and the member really wants to help.  That's great but when it comes to business (and make no mistake your non-profit is a business) don't short-cut the decisions.  It could all come back to bite you.

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