Be Responsive to Your Online Audience

The first rule of managing your inbound marketing is to remain responsive to your online audience. Nowadays, Google, social media platforms, Yelp, Foursquare, and trade-related review sites make sharing feedback about your business really simple online.

You need to encourage people to leave their comments for others to see and share at any available opportunity.

Go out of your way to ask for feedback and provide links to your preferred platforms. If negative comments are posted, be sure to respond to them in a timely fashion. This means scheduling in time — daily — to check what people are saying about you. If you messed up, be up front about that and apologize immediately, putting things right publicly. You want to head off further criticism and even score points for great customer care.

If your webmaster has linked your website to Google, customers searching for your service or product may show your company in the results ahead of others in your locality if you have good reviews there. Any recent uploads of images also will count toward ranking your company higher than your competitors, helping you attract more customers.

Negative reviews are difficult to account for in terms of customers lost. Still, do your best to minimize the damage by showing you care, taking criticism into account so you can improve what you do.

This simple daily practice of monitoring social comments and input should take no more than ten minutes and be part of your wider inbound marketing strategy of maintaining a positive reputation. When you’re responsive, people will notice and credit you for it. Who knows? You may even get a new customer out of it. 

The key is being prepared for the unexpected with your inbound marketing strategy. In an age where marketing messages go two ways, your audience can wreak havoc on your reputation. Marketing strategies that account for risk mean being prepared to acknowledge explicitly and publicly when mistakes have been made, and being seen to go all out to make things right with your customers.

Online audiences will forgive mistakes and welcome good after-support. You can be sure that industry commentators will notice, too, and having them accommodate glitches with understanding will protect your reputation and continuing revenues. Making amendments openly and publicly online can create opportunities to really connect with your customers, and even build loyalty.

Jay Owen

Jay Owen

Jay Owen is the CEO of Design Extensions, a digital agency that helps others grow their businesses.

Jay believes every business owner deserves to grow their business and have the freedom they wanted when they started it. After achieving this dream himself (Design Extensions has grown for 20 years in a row!), he made it his mission to help other business owners do the same. When Jay isn’t focused on his business mission, he can usually be found with his wife, Claire, and their five children.

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