It's enough to make the average business owner break out in a cold
sweat; the thought of bloggers ripping them. But while many businesses
and companies are fearful of posts that shine a negative light on their
business, these instances are in fact a wonderful opportunity.
Here's what often happens with the clients I work with. A blogger will write a post challenging them, or outright attacking them. The post is usually based on either a specific interaction the blogger has had with the business, or it's based on something that they have heard that the business has done, or will be doing.
In either case, the blogger has just done something that should excite every business. The blogger has given the business an open invitation to reply to them, AND to address his/her readers.
Step back for a second and think about what would happen if you went to a blog and left a comment explaining what your business is, and how it functions. You'd be slammed unmercifully for self-promotion, and 'spamming' the blog. Your online reputation would suffer. As it should, because you would be entering into a conversation that had nothing to do with you, and would be promoting yourself. VERY bad move.
But what if a blogger wrote a post slamming your business? Or the new promotion that you are running? Then it would be perfectly acceptable for you to reply with a comment explaining who you are, and why your promotion is structured the way it is. Not only would the negative post give you the open invitation to explain yourself and your promotion to that blog's readers, but the blogger and his/her readers would be THANKFUL for you responding to them! Not a bad deal, eh?
Or what if a blogger leaves a negative post about your company, but the thrust of the blogger's negative stance is based on inaccurate information? This gives you the chance to come to their blog and correct the misunderstandings, and (if you are REALLY smart) you can then reach out to connect with the blogger to better explain how your efforts are organized. Offer to call them and walk them through your promotional efforts.
The bottom line is that when you see a negative post/comment from a blogger, don't think 'oh no, how do we make this stop?!?' Instead, realize that you now have an invitation to address these blog readers and better explain yourself to them, and connect with them. Negative posts and comments can be a very powerful tool to build your online reputation, if you are thankful, honest, and respectful of the people you are interacting with.
March 18, 2009
Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.
His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.
Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.
You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.
Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.