Tag Archives: social media management

The Truth about Google+

I just saw this post from Social Media Today discussing the truth about Google +. It pretty much validates a lot of what I had been thinking already. Here are a few highlights

  1. Growth- growth numbers are skewed for Google+ because they tap into their google users an qualify them as Google+ users (me included). I have gone on the network a handful of times, but besides the Hangout feature, I don’t see it as a valuable use of my time.
  2. Teens aren’t leaving Facebook- I just had this discussion with my husband about a friend’s daughter that is a college freshman. She said she doesn’t really use Facebook and lots of her friends don’t. But she still has an account. 94% of teens said they used the platform at the end of 2012. When you already have almost complete domination of the market, it’s hard to show the growth that Vine and Snapchat are showing. 
  3. Frequency of use- the average length of time spent on Google plus in one month just a little over 6 minutes. The average for Facebook is 6 hours. Business wise, it makes sense to put your eggs in the facebook basket.

I still think that Google+ has lots of potential and will likely be an industry player in the next 3 years or so. Facebook does continue to evolve and grow with the users, so it will largely depend on what Facebook does with their network. At the end of the day, you still have to engage your customers where your customers are to be found. In my area of business, this primarily focuses on Facebook, Twitter, and will adopt Pinterest this coming month (though I have been a personal user for a long time).

Is there a platform you’ve adopted that wasn’t worth the hype? Or that tremendously grew your business? 

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Travel reviews for businesses

One of my primary job duties for my clients is to manage their online reputation on travel sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Places. This is increasingly becoming more and more important for businesses in our area, as we are a tourist hotspot with Disney being a little over an hour away. Positive and negative review management are equally important in my book. 

I stayed at the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, FL during the ING Miami Marathon last January. We actually purchased it on a daily deal site, so my expectations were a little low, and with previous South Florida hotels being less than stellar, I was bracing myself. But we were in for a very pleasant surprise. Not only was this chic, clean and comfortable, it was outright beautiful! So I submitted a TripAdvisor review. And within a few days, I had a response thanking me for staying at their hotel. What a lasting positive impression.

Here are my tips for managing your reviews, both positive and negative

  1. Be prompt- No matter if it is positive or negative, be quick to answer. Timeliness is everything, Customers usually expect a negative experience to be handled within 24-48 hours. You have to budget a day for your response to be posted on TripAdvisor, so the quicker you can respond the better.
  2. Address things they mentioned directly- It can be counterproductive to make your answer like it was spewed from a robot’s mouth. So if they commented on a specific dish, a certain staff member or the price of an item, address that directly. A personalized and specific response is more genuine and the customer will feel like you have listened to them.
  3. You don’t always have to apologize- Sometimes, the customer isn’t right. I had a restaurant client of mine where the customer was irate because she though a certain dish was supposed to be presented a certain way. Never mind that the chef has been making the dish the same way for 28 years and is classically trained in his cuisine. Even after management tried to resolve the issue they threw a big fit and put things in the review that are outright lies, such as the staff pounding their fists on the table. Don’t feel like you have to apologize for every bad experience! If the staff did everything to try to resolve the matter in a respectful and acceptable manner and the client is still not pleased, explain your side of the story (without blaming anyone) and ask them to contact you further if they feel an appropriate solution has not been offered to them. For all the honest reviews that are out there where people genuinely bring up matters that need to be brought to the owner’s attention, there are people out there that just want something for free. Resolve the matter if possible, but know you won’t make every customer happy.
  4. Get your best customers to submit reviews- When I worked in retail and customers would comment on my job performance and what they could do for me, I would tell them to submit a letter to my manager commenting on my performance. Same thing goes for business reviews. Your customers want to help? Give them a call to action and ask them for a glowing review. And feel free to reach back out to them with a thank you discount. 
  5. Share reviews on your social media pages- If someone has raved about your dish or your hotel room, share it on your Facebook page! Even people that are passively engaged with your page with see a pattern of great reviews and will unknowingly have a much more positive view of your brand. How many times have you caught yourself saying, “I heard that dish was good” after seeing a positive online review? My point exactly.

If you haven’t checked out your travel reviews, do so now and register your businesses so you can be immediately notified of new travel reviews. Remember, in the social media world and in travel reviews, silence is not golden. It’s harmful.

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