Video has the power to influence the way your audience and customers feel about you. A recent example of how you can do this is the new video that Facebook released that explains their NewsFeed redesign. Facebook has never been good at offering explanations about what they are doing and that they are, in fact, listening to their customers.
They have a horrible reputation for not caring and doing whatever they feel like. This may not be true. They might care very much but they have not been good at demonstrating it either way.
I work with a county services agency that has an image problem. Whether or not the press about them is true, I told the executive director that she really needs to get in front of the camera and address the myths and misconceptions that are floating around. By dealing with it personally and head-on, you can reduce the amount of misinformation and rumor spreading about your organization.
Show your customers your face and tell them what you want them to know. It will drastically change what they think when they hear the words coming out of your mouth.
I come from a family of readers.
My dad’s close relatives just love books and share everything they’ve read. The hand off books like warm loaves bread right out of the oven. When I was young, I wasn’t a part of their reading circle because the material wasn’t for my age range. My grandmother and father had a habit of communicating with me via newspaper clippings. When they had something tough they wanted me to understand (like when I was a smoker), they would send me an article with my name affixed to it and a note. It used to get under my skin because the subject matter was a judgement on my life. But now that I’m a woman in her mid 30′s and my dad still does it, I think it’s cute. He’ll drop by my house with a great magazine article about strong women. Female heads of state and powerful business owners. Usually women of color and often from foreign countries.
My mother died when I was six, a black career woman with two small children. My Irish American father is repping for my mom. He is loving me and guiding me and helping to show me what a strong adult woman of color is capable of achieving. He is being my mother when she is unable. Maybe that’s just being a parent. It’s his way and I find it quite loving.
When I was little, he would take me to Santa Rosa’s downtown library, drop me off in the juvenile section, and it allowed me to explore my curiosities. He liked to go to the magazine section because it carried every periodical you could possibly want. He would read as long as I’d let him. When I was old enough, I got up the courage to go find him on the other side of what seemed like this massive building. I came across him reading and twirling his hair (a Quirk family trait). I felt brave and safe at the same time.
I love the library. I love reading and losing yourself in something great. My dad was always a big part of that feeling and the articles that he gives me to stress a point are always thought provoking, intelligent, well written, and LONG. Longer than I’m used to now.
This is my whole point.
We are both college educated adults, Kevin and Kerry. For reference, he has a BA in Psychology. I have two A.A.S. degrees in Computer Office Administration and Computer Business Administration.
He gets his news from the printed edition of the Press Democrat, the paper for Sonoma County, CA. I do as well but I read it a few days late and in spurts and because I also follow the PD on Facebook. Often I’ve read the best stuff before I even touch the physical edition. I am an odd duck in that I will always get the physical newspaper. I tried to cut it once and simply couldn’t do it. I grew up reading the paper while eating breakfast and I find that I read different news in print than in the digital version. But I can’t tell you how many times my dad has asked if I get the paper.
Kevin reads magazines like Newsweek, TIME, Life, Car & Driver, Pilot, Consumer Reports, Motor Trend, and a few more. Though I’m not a car and airplane fan like he is, I read individual articles from many of these magazines and MANY MANY more due to reading just the article I’m interested in, for free, the day it comes out on the Internet. On a sad but apropos note, in December 2012 Newsweek printed it’s last paper edition.
I don’t have to get into his feature phone vs. my smart phone. Or his dialup vs. my broadband modem. Or the fact that he checks his email approximately once per month. I won’t tell you how many times per hour I check my own.
I visited my parents one night for dinner and the 2008 Democratic National Party Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was on tv. Dad was watching it and was a bit irritated with me for chatting and not seeming to care about a very important moment to him. My 3 yr old was running around the table as I tried to talk to my stepmom. I fudged and told him that I was recording it on my DVR. He gave me the oddest look.
Truthfully, he was more right than he knew. I didn’t care. I don’t watch political content on tv. In fact, I don’t watch much tv at all and couldn’t tell you what was on regular programming on any given day of the week. I was expecting to read about it later in a variety of places such as Twitter, Facebook, the newspaper, or other periodicals of which I subscribe. I was making the point to him that if I were to want to, I could look up the footage and that I wasn’t beholden to someone else’s schedule. The concept of recording a show or automatic recording is a little out there for him.
It boils down to this:
The way I live my life, the work that I do, the communications I have with 80% of the people I know, and the way I get my news is outside his realm. He has a really hard time relating to my world and I don’t blame him. I understand his perspective because that was the way the world was as I grew. Now that I’m older, things have changed.
I love my dad, don’t get me wrong. I have respect for his intelligence, his accomplishments, his education, his work, and who he is as a person. Depending on the day, he is more than willing to have a conversation about the technology innovation I encounter but these lifestyle differences are becoming more apparent to me.
I work with my “dad” every day. He is my average client; the bank manager, the business owner, the consultant, the government official. Many intelligent people with families and jobs are watching the world spin away from them. There are so many similarities between yet so many differences. It feels like the technology have and have-nots are drifting away from each other.
I have a simple technique I use to help build an editorial calendar. I print out my physical calendar, identify the events that I want to promote or talk about, using color coding for social media channels I then systematically distribute information. I do this every other week. Sometimes it takes an hour sometimes only 20 minutes.
Give it a try and tell me if it works for you or you have a better approach.
It’s generally considered bad form to delete a post from your Facebook page* just because you don’t like what that person has to say. As business owners, we have to come to terms with the fact that the second we open our “doors”, someone somewhere is unhappy. We can’t please everyone all of the time. Now, the whole purpose of using social media is to have conversations and communicate with others. If you are a page administrator that removes a post by the public simply because the content isn’t what you prefer, then you don’t understand what social media is really about.
I recommend deleting and removing posts from others if they are: racist, sexist, full of hate speech, obscene or violate your stated community guidelines. Deleting simply because you don’t like them shows immaturity, an inability to deal with real life situations, and damages your credibility. No matter how much you try to whitewash life, you can’t remove all negativity from your world. Instead of pulling out the big pink eraser, acknowledge the concern (if they aren’t delusional), communicate with the person, validate their concern then discuss your plan of action, whatever it is. Remember, there is always someone watching your actions and there are silent members of your audience that WILL notice. For a step by step guide on how to do this, see my blog on How to Deal with Negative Customer Feedback.
The way you deal with unhappy or negative people is proof of your character. A less than rosy comment doesn’t have to be the end of the world. It can be a learning experience if you are open to it. Have you ever had cruddy customer service, complained, then received excellent treatment and it changed the way you thought of the company? It happens to me all the time. People love to bag on telephone reps. I love it when I get the truly helpful and nice person. It happens more often than people acknowledge but sometimes it’s the way Ginny from Oklahoma treats you that determines how you feel about the multi-billion dollar conglomerate. Take every opportunity as a chance to provide a stellar experience. It’s never too late to turn it around!
Bottom line? Deleting posts damages your credibility. Are you wondering if you post something bad on my page whether or not I leave it? Test me: http://www.facebook.com/KerryRegoConsulting
* When I say Page, I mean BUSINESS PAGE. If you are a person, you have a PROFILE. They are not the same thing and have very different cultural rules.
Go ahead, do a vanity search (otherwise known as “Google-ing”) for your name or business. Do you like what you find? So often, people say they’ve done this and have been unhappy at the information they find. It’s old, it’s personal, it’s simply wrong. Don’t waste your time trying to get those webmasters to remove your information because they: 1) won’t 2) aren’t home 3) have been closed down 4) there are simply too many 5) they all get their information from somewhere. You can be proactive with your online information (see How to Get Started in Reputation Management) and displace it with content you DO want people to see. Or you can list yourself.
Why is it important to make sure the information about yourself on the internet is correct? Yellow Pages Association and comScore found that local search for businesses, products and services grew 58% last year and reached 15.7 billion searches, more than a tenth of overall search traffic. Additionally, see this Sprout Social blog to read more about the benefits of social media on local search results.
According to Internet Reputation Management, 94% of people do research before buying and 60% of those are going to research you online. They might use a phone, they might not. If they were to call you, they most likely aren’t using a traditional phone directory. People under the age of 35 probably don’t have a landline. Did you know that if you don’t have a landline, you may not get a book delivered to your door? It’s true. 18 states have enacted an opt-in policy for delivery and only 2% choose to receive one. Check out this infographic by WhitePages to see the status of the phone book.
Here are some tools that I think you’ll find helpful. Granted, there are more here than you’ll ever really use but pick and choose the ones you want to list yourself on. Focus on the biggies towards the top of the list and the ones that have incorrect info about you and get them the right stuff:
- Google Places
- Merchant Circle
- Manta (really common search result)
- Facebook (get a business page and list your address)
- Citysearch (click register to get started)
- InsiderPages (sign up then search for your business, claim it, or create your listing)
- Localeze (search for your business, claim or add listing)
- Angie’s List
- Get Listed (an aggregate and will show you what your listings look like)
Read more blogs by Kerry Rego Consulting on Reputation Management: http://bit.ly/krcrepmng
[Image via Sustainable SPC]