Last week, Eat24 very publicly quit Facebook through a funny blog post because of the recent changes to the newsfeed algorithm. And they’re not the only ones quitting social media. Damon Lindelof, one of the showrunners for TV show LOST, recently quit Twitter. According to some reports Lindelof quit because he got tired of all the criticism from viewers about the LOST finale (Lindelof denied this). Just take a look at the comments on every blog post about Lindelof. It’s brutal.
When you’re a Silicon Valley company looking for some PR or successful, well known writer like Lindelof, you can afford to quit social media and to ignore blogs. Eat24 has a hefty following on other social media channels, and got a lot of media coverage for their Facebook protest. Linderlof’s name and reputation is enough to get you your next gig and from then on, the viewers will judge for themselves (Indeed, Linderlof’s new series ‘The Leftovers’ will premiere on HBO this summer). However, when you’re a brick and mortar business or a service provider, you constantly need to attract new customers. Can you just quit social media altogether and just rely on word of mouth and traditional advertising?
Unfortunately the answer is ‘No’. That’s because over 90% of consumers use the internet to find businesses (source: BrightLocal). Even if someone hears about your business offline, they will still look up your business online. They will find your existing directory profiles on sites such as Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Yelp. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This is how they will learn more about your business, get direction, opening hours etc. This is also where they’ll read online reviews. This is why you can’t be passive about your social media presence. As a business owner, you must protect your online reputation or leave it to the wolves of the internet, both those with legitimate complaints and those with dubious gripes. To protect yourself:
1. Monitor your online profiles, both ones you’ve set up and ones that are out there in public directories like Yelp. Make sure the info about your business is accurate.
2. Respond to all reviews and comments, both good and bad.
3. If you don’t give customers a convenient outlet, they will go online to slam you. Be proactive with your customers while you have their attention. Use OwnerListens to solicit private feedback that you can respond to directly and privately.