re·fined

Five Ways to Ruin Your Online Reputation

In the age of online communities and personal engagement with brands, pushy sales techniques are going the way of the dinosaur.  Here are five of the fastest ways you can leave a budding relationship with a customer dead in the water:

  • Send Unsolicited Email – Nothing turns fans off more quickly than email (or DM’s) they didn’t ask for.  In fact, many people now immediately unsubscribe/unfollow/unlike you before even giving you a chance if they feel bombarded by annoying correspondence.  Don’t think your message is spammy or annoying?  It is.  No really.  It is.
  • Abandon Your Community – Many businesses spend a whole lot of time and money getting as many followers as they can.  Then?  Nothing.  No response to comments, questions, or complaints.  Online communities do not manage themselves; take a little time to engage with your fans.  We cannot stress this enough.  Be a part of the conversation taking place around your brand.
  • Ignore The Little Guy – Long gone are the days of the Mega Corporation having a huge presence and the small customer having no voice.  Take care of your customers, or they’ll trash your reputation.  Rarely does sympathy lean towards the big company, even if the customer is in the wrong.  Be sure you take some time to hear them out and do what you can to make things right.  Spending a few hours calming one angry customer, even if their anger is misplaced, will save you a lot of time and money down the road.
  • Be Negative – You know that friend you’ve got on Facebook, or that person you follow on Twitter who seems to never have anything positive to say?  Don’t be that guy.
  • Have a Huge Ego – Thinking that you are more important than anyone else online is a huge mistake.  You never know when you’re going to run into someone that could change how you do business. Do not ever assume that your company or your standing within said company puts you above anyone else.  Don’t let your ego get in the way of apologizing when you’re in the wrong, either.  Customers like to see the human side of a business.  If you’re constantly acting as though you are untouchable, no one will want to do business with you.

There are many other ways, some much more obvious, that you can damage an online relationship.  These are a few of the most common mistakes that we see people making every day.  People who are otherwise brilliant, but are damaging relationships because they don’t take the time to listen to their customers, have a positive attitude, or step off of their pedestals long enough to create a relationship with their audience.