Can you keep a secret? It seems that Black Sabbath fans can’t…

sabbath-2-50(Before we go any further, let it be said that I am a big Sabbath fan, and this is more of a post about the capabilities of Social Media than about the band or their fans.)

On Friday 4th July, Black Sabbath will play Hyde Park with their British Summer Time Black Sabbath Time gig.

Tickets cost from around £69 (what happened to the days when I could go and see them for a mere tenner? Am I THAT old?)

However, in a deal with the event organisers, employees of that company could buy tickets for a massively discounted £2.50. Everyone was told, undr pain of death, that the link for the £2.50 tickets was to be kept private and not given to anyone outside of the organisation.

It’s 2014, Social Media is more popular than ever – can you guess what happened next?

Of course, the link was leaked.

Twitter went mad:

 

 

Facebook, Reddit, Google+ and other social networks followed suit. Before long the link had been forwarded thousands of times and thousands of fans were snapping up those £2.50 tickets. And who can blame them? A fiver for a couple to see Sabbath. Faith No More, Soundgarden, Motorhead and more heavy metal legends?

Some wondered whether it was legit, but most people were happy to possibly lose £5 against the chance of a great offer.

How did Hyde Park events react?

To my mind, in the best way they could – they agreed to honour the orders. A post on their Facebook page states:

Hi All, A staff ticket offer was leaked earlier today and some members of the general public were able to purchase reduced price tickets to certain Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park concerts. That offer has now been stopped.

“If you were lucky enough to purchase a ticket from this offer rest assured that your ticket remains valid.”

 What a brilliant response! Had they refused to honour the tickets, social media would have gone into overdrive, slating them and spreading the word.
By agreeing to sell the tickets at the price on the link they’ve gained respect and loyalty, and people are tweeting and posting positive things. Look out for when the tickets actually start arriving – I bet Hyde Park hashtags will be trending in no time.
They’ve turned a possible PR disaster into a PR win – kudos to them!

Where did it go wrong?

Well, let’s face it, in this day and age, a publicly accessible link such as that was not going to stay a secret for long, was it?

It only takes one employee to send the link to a friend, and before long it has snowballed exponentially. From one little tweet, millions of people can be reached through retweets and posts on other social networks.

I’m shocked that Hyde Park didn’t at the very least password protect the link – it wouldn’t have been bomb proof, but it would probably have saved them a few thousand pounds (although let’s not feel too sorry for them, I’m sure they’ll still make millions from merchandise, drinks / food and usual price tickets, plus of course sponsorship so they’re not going to feel this too badly.)

It seems to me that someone or some people just didn’t think – or of course, this could be a very clever PR ploy to gain positive PR 😉

What can we learn from it?

A number of things:

  • If you don’t want it shared, don’t make it publicly accessible – protect it or put it on a company intranet.
  • You can’t control Social Media – once it’s out there you’ve lost control of it.
  • How you react can be the difference between positive and negative feedback – reputation management is key.
  • Your author was offline in meetings that day and missed out on her £2.50 tickets – RATS! 😉

Did you get cheap tickets? Let us know when they arrive in the comments below!

Online reputation management – what to do about negative reviews online?

What to do with negative reviews online_One of the great things about the Internet is the level of freedom of speech that exists there. If we experience bad service from a product or service provider, we can tell other people, so they can weigh up the pros and cons before choosing to spend their money with the same vendor. This has really accelerated the way that word of mouth travels via the Internet, allowing your best customers to sell your products and services for you through their positive feedback and reviews.

However, the trouble is, that the freedom of the Internet that allows people to have their fair say have also allowed people to use the same processes to damage your reputation online. Whether their comments are negative, truthful reviews written by people that didn’t get the customer experience that they should, or negative, fake reviews written by competitors, disgruntled employees or ex-business partners, it’s important to know what’s being said about you.

So what do you do with negative reviews? It’s all about managing your online reputation and there is a lot that you can do.

Okay, so what happens when you Google your company name and a string of negative comments appears on the front page of Google? No doubt you’ll start losing customers immediately and that could be incredibly costly for your business. Let’s face it, Google is the greatest shopping directory ever invented and if you come up negatively on the front page, you just have no idea of the damage to your reputation because you can’t count the number of potential customers that you lose from it.

The first step to take when you discover a negative review is to check its veracity or verify if the complaint is a genuine one. In lots of cases, it could easily be a lie published by a competitor or just someone out to cause trouble for your business.

The next step is to find out if there are more complaints like it elsewhere on the Internet. You do this by Googling ‘your company name’ plus words associated with negative reviews such as ‘complaints’, ‘feedback’, ‘scam’, ‘problems’, ‘bad service’. I’m sure you get the point.

If you’re absolutely certain that the reviews or comments are not genuine, then you can politely email the sites that are publishing those reviews and offer them your side of the story and ask if they would kindly remove it. The trouble is that not all review sites will let you challenge a review and some will just flat-out refuse to remove anything from their site, even if you have proof.

If they refuse to do anything or ignore your messages, then see if you can add a comment of your own to the site setting the story straight. This at least shows that you are aware of the problem and were willing to do something about it. If it’s genuine, you have the chance to please a disgruntled customer, if it’s fake, people will see that you made an effort to address the situation at least.

If it is indeed a genuine problem, use the opportunity to resolve the issue and post the resolution on that website. More often than not, if you successfully resolve the complaint, the complainant will remove the complaint from the site.

If neither of these simple approaches works, you may need to go deeper. You can post a message on your website that’s optimised for the same searches that bring up the negative review comments. Let people know that there are issues and that you are working to resolve them. This works particularly well if the complaints are lies, but obviously highlighting problems is not a great sales tactic.

If the negative reviews only appear when your company name is searched for on Google, then you need to drive the reviews off the front page by ensuring that your name appears positively enough times on the front page to push them further down Google into the abyss. Using blogs, review sites, online profiles and other high profile websites are great for this.

Ensure that your own site features plenty of positive reviews so that you can point out how ‘out of place’ and ‘wrong’ the negative reviews are.

The best thing that you can do is to set up a level of monitoring regarding your company and its online reputation. You can do this for free by setting up Google alerts or use an application that will regularly check what’s being said about you online. Remember, it’s vital that as a business trading on the web that you are absolutely 100% sure of what’s being said about you in the public forum of the Internet and take steps to respond accordingly to any negative reviews that you find there.

But if all else fails, it may be time to bring in an online reputation management specialist that can wipe the negative reviews off the net for you.

If you need help fighting negative reviews and managing your online reputation, then we may be able to help. Nikki Pilkington is an expert in Internet and Social Media Marketing, and in some cases can help companies to manage their negative reviews and increase their awareness of what’s being said about them online. To find out more, email nikkipilk@gmail.com

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Online reputation management: what to do if your reputation takes a beating online

(This article originally appeared at Mad.co.uk)

Sad face

Sad face (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s every business’s worst internet nightmare: you head over to Google, tap in your company name to see how your web presence is coming along, and there in prominent position is something far from positive about your brand. Deserved or not, this entry could be damaging your business with every passing second.

Depending on the context, there are four main options available to you when faced with the threat of brand trashing: address it, remove it, bury it, prevent it.

Address it

Let’s look at bad mouthing. The power of the internet means that you can’t possibly control what people write about you – but your reputation can be made as much by how you respond to criticism as by the criticism itself.

When you stumble across a bad review, your first action should be to assess the comments as objectively as possible. Ask yourself, “Is this true? Have we done something to warrant this review?”

It’s all too easy to jump in and post a reply that’s defensive and perhaps even aggressive, but answering badly can just make you look worse. Instead, keep emotion out of it and aim to post a considered reply that answers the criticism calmly and factually.

If the review is warranted, it’s best to admit to any wrongdoing and say what you’re doing to fix the problem. This shows that you value your customers’ opinions and that you’re willing to correct your mistake. It’s then vital to follow up on any promises you have made.

It’s important to respond publicly, so even if you can’t give the full details, something as simple as, “Thanks for your comment, I’ve emailed you to find out more” could show that you’re working to address it and stop criticism spiralling further.

If you manage to resolve the problem at the root of the bad review, you can then post an update, and even encourage the original complainant to do so too.

Remove it

If a review or comment on a public forum is completely untrue, you can contact the site owner with an explanation and ask for it to be removed. However this will usually be down to their discretion so won’t work in every instance.

Sometimes, even deleted mentions can remain present in search results in the ‘cache’ – a sort of snap shot of how the page looked the last time the search engine checked. In such instances, you can submit a request that the search engine update their records (using Google’s webpage removal request tool or Bing’s support request form, choosing the ‘Content Removal Request’ option).

In the social media sphere, if you find someone pretending to represent your brand, sites such as Facebook or Twitter will usually respond quickly to remove imposters. Simply report the profile with evidence that it’s false.

If someone sets up a website with claims to be part of your brand, however, things aren’t quite so simple. If they won’t take it down on request, you next need to decide whether it’s worthwhile fighting it legally. In some cases, it might be that the fraudulent site has very little search engine visibility, so is only a minor threat that can be managed using a technique called ‘burying’.

Bury it

If a reviewer or site owner simply refuses to remove their content, no matter how unfair or untrue, you might wish to bury it. This involves ensuring that when your company name is searched for, mainly good things come up.

Let’s say your last client has said on GetSatisfaction that your service is rubbish. That review is here to stay and you don’t want other potential clients seeing it, so the objective is to dominate at least the first ten search results with positive things about your brand, effectively driving any bad mentions off the front page.

Social media profiles like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as directory listings such as FreeIndex and BT Tradespace are perfect for this. Make sure those profiles are well populated with regularly updated content to keep them at the top of the search engines.

Prevent it

As with anything, prevention is better than cure. Don’t wait until you’re faced with a negative mention to start ensuring good things appear when people search for your brand.

It’s wise to buy up all likely domain name permutations of your brand (particularly your own country’s domain, plus .com), and sites like http://knowem.com/ or http://namechk.com/ will help you similarly reserve your brand name on social media sites.

Next, make sure anyone responsible for speaking on behalf of your brand online understands what they can and can’t say as company representatives.

Finally, have your response procedure planned out in advance, so you know exactly how you will deal with any problems well before they arise. If things do go wrong, be ready to answer criticism, keep emotion out of it, request removals where possible, and bury anything unfair that remains.

Need some help with bad publicity online? I am the owner/founder of NikkiPilkington.com, a 20 year old  internet marketing company based in the UK and France – drop me a line at nikkipilk@gmail.com and see if I can help!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Would you like an hour of a Social Media Marketing Specialist’s time?

Telephone

Telephone (Photo credit: plenty.r.)

*** STOP PRESS *** First 10 places gone – price now increased to £50 for next 10 places!

I ran this service a while ago, and it went really well, but time constraints and lack of internet stability meant I had to stop – but I’m back!

Nikki’s Social Media Marketing Telephone Mentoring

It’s easy to read generic information, advice and tips about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging, SEO, Pinterest etc, but it’s not so easy to apply this specifically to your own website.

And while you’re spending all of your time learning and practising the new skills you’ve learned, who is running your business?

While I fully believe it’s possible to learn everything you need to know just by reading, sometimes you need a little extra help.

Imagine if someone could advise you:

  • How many times a day to post to Facebook
  • How to get interaction on Twitter
  • How best to direct people to your blog
  • What could be improved in your SEO
  • What you’re not doing with LinkedIn that you could be
  • When you should be posting to Pinterest
  • as well as answering any questions you have
  • and more!

Well that’s what this service is for!

In a one hour phone call with me, Nikki Pilkington, you’ll learn all the above and more. You’ll also get a follow up email detailing everything we’ve spoken about, as well as suggesting 5 blog post titles you should be writing.

In addition you’ll have email or Facebook chat access to me for 2 weeks afterwards.

OK, I need your help, how much?

In the future I will be £75 per call for this service, but as I’ve not offered the service for a while, the next 10 people to sign up and book their call will get this fantastic service for just £50.

£50 for 19 years of internet marketing knowledge.

£50 for a personalised plan of action.

£50 for 14 days access to me.

£50 to find out where you’re going wrong, and how to put it right.

You’ve probably spent more than £50 of your time just reading and testing the things you’ve read, right?

I’m in – how do I book?

Using the Paypal link below, you can book your session. Upon completion of payment, you will be returned to our calendar where you can book your call at a time of your choosing.

Remember, the next 10 only will be £50 – after that the price will revert to £75. So book now and let’s get your social media marketing and SEO back on track!




DIY Reputation Management: Five Tips for Business Owners

A guest post by Rich Gorman

There is a saying in online marketing circles, that a company’s online reputation is like its business card. In reality, though, that’s not really accurate — because in truth, online reputation is much more than that. It’s not just a company’s business card, but the very source of its credibility and authority. Your online reputation is what determines whether clients and colleagues will do business with you at all — or instead reject you in favor of your closest competition.

Think about it. In the Age of Google, a potential client can look up information about your business in a heartbeat. If that client only finds negative reviews and bad publicity, well, your brand is in trouble. It’s all too easy for the client to conduct another quick online search, and find one of your rival companies to do business with — a company with a cleaner online reputation.

If, however, a potential client Googles your company and finds only evidence that your business is sterling, trusted, and authoritative… well, then you’re good to go!

That’s what online reputation management is all about: Minimizing negative listings on the first few pages of search engine results, and ensuring that potential clients find only information that portrays your brand in a positive light — as a brand of choice among consumers.

A full-scale online reputation management campaign is something any company or brand should consider, but there are also some simpler, DIY tactics that any business owner can implement. Consider the following tips for protecting your reputation, and defending yourselves from online attacks on the Internet.

The first thing any small business owner should do is start regularly monitoring his or her online reputation. This can be as easy as regularly searching for your company’s name on Google, Yahoo, and Bing — but of course, setting up a Google alert is an even more effective method. Don’t just stop with search engines, though; you can also monitor what people are saying about your brand on social networks, simply through conducting Twitter searches.

Monitoring will let you know where you stand, and whether attacks have already been made against your brand. Your next step is to start playing some defense. Remember that there is nothing you can do to stop people from attacking you on the Web, per se — but you can make it so that consumers and online search users don’t ever see those online attacks. Your best bet is to build a strong, defensive wall of positive, brand-enhancing content — a wall to keep those negative attacks off the first page of Google.

A good defense means snatching up the best online real estate. Start with exact-match domain names — Your-company’s-name .com, .org, and .net. These are the pages that will likely rank the highest on Google, when someone searches for your company — and as such, you want to make sure your enemies and rival companies don’t have access to these pages! Even if you don’t plan to use all of these domains, you should buy them anyway. If you’ve got ’em, your enemies can’t use ’em.

Getting these domain names is important, but so is getting social media accounts — on Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest. Again, you may not plan to actively use all of these accounts, but signing up for them is still important.

After that, the next phase of the reputation defense campaign is building a strong, defensive wall. This is something you must do brick by brick — with each piece of content you write and publish being a brick in your defensive wall. The goal here is essentially to flood Google, Yahoo, and Bing with positive content about your company, effectively drowning out any negative listings or bad reviews. The more content you publish to these online domains and social media accounts, the better.

This is the most time-intensive part of the reputation defense process, but also the most important. It’s an ongoing job, too. Google rankings are based, to a degree, on “freshness” — so a Facebook account or a blog that has new posts every couple of days will be much more helpful to you than an account or blog that is only updated once every two months.

Here’s one final word of caution: Generally speaking, you’re going to want to resist the temptation to respond to negative reviews, on sites like Yelp.com. Responding to negative feedback may make you feel better, but in the end, it’s only drawing more attention to these undesirable listings. Better to aim for suppression — achieved through the high volumes of content mentioned above!

Reputation management is not easy, and it does require some time and a commitment to writing good, compelling content on a regular basis. With that said, a strong online reputation is invaluable. There’s no way for a business to succeed without one. As such, investing in reputation management is something no company should fail to consider.

About the Author

Rich Gorman is involved with multiple companies and is an expert in reputation management. Additionally Rich operates the official blog for the Direct Response industry where he shares his thoughts on Direct Response Marketing.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Let me update your Facebook Business page for 5 days – for nothing!

P Harry Potter

Image via Wikipedia

I know, it’s crazy!

But many of you will know I’ve had a whole lot of hassles moving house and I am currently working from a cupboard in my bedroom – that kind of work environment makes a girl do crazy things!

So, here’s my cerrazzy offer!

I will:

  • update your Facebook page twice a day
  • encourage people to sign up (via my 30,000+ network of Facebook, Twitter and other connections)
  • encourage interaction on your page (the best way to engender loyalty)
  • be your Facebook gooroo 😉

For free?

Yup. Sign up via the Paypal subscription and I’m giving you a 7 day free trial of my service. This allows for the fact that there are weekends in every week (a girl has to have a rest sometimes!) so you get a fab 5 days of me working my magic on your page!

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one! If you decide not to go ahead with an ongoing full service with me, simply cancel before your 7 days is up. Obviously I’m hoping you’ll realise that having someone else handle your FB page is a great idea and leaves you free to concentrate on other things 🙂

You’re mad!

It has been said, but I want to hit the UK in style (I recently moved back from France if you didn’t know) and what better way to do it?

What happens after the trial period?

If you decide to let me carry on being your Facebook wand waving genius, then it’s just £50 a month.

 

So, to reiterate:
  • I’ll update your FB page 2 x daily
  • I’ll encourage people to sign up
  • I’ll make sure your readers are seeing things that will entertain, educate and encourage them to remain loyal to your page
  • Oh and you’ll probably get a lot of visitors to your website too
OK I thought of a catch – I’m only taking on 15 of these deals. Sorry, but I have a life and a family too 😉
So, if you want your Facebook page to be energetic, interactive and the talk of the town, subscribe below and hop on the NP bus!
Small print:
  • You will have to make me an admin of your page
  • If you sign up and then cancel straight away then you’re not playing the game, so no ball, sorry 🙂
  • If you don’t cancel I will presume you want to carry on and you will be charged via Paypal accordingly
  • I cannot be held responsible for the huge amount of enquiries and interest that may come your way
  • I reserve the right to stop working from my cupboard and move into my lovely office at any time

Go back up and sign up now – there won’t be many places left!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Want to make £60 for doing next to nothing?

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? But one of our affiliates did just that in less than 3 weeks last month.

OK, £20 a week isn’t going to set the world alight, but it’s better than nothing, I’m sure you’ll agree!

So what did he do to make this magnificent amount of money?

Well:

1) He signed up to our affiliate program, to sell our ebooks

2) He emailed his newsletter list, recommending our last book, the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

3) He updated his Facebook page, recommending our latest ebook, the 30 Day Facebook Challenge

4) He added details of our 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven to his email signature, and posted about it on his blog

5) He let everyone he knows know that 299 Steps to Website Heaven is available for just £3

That’s it! It probably took about 20 minutes all told, and he’ll continue getting affiliate payments every month while his links do all the work and sell for him.

Like I said, it’s not a life changing amount of money, but it’s better than nothing and might pay for a night out once a month – so what are you waiting for? Sign up as an affiliate now and get started!

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Nikki P 30 Day Blogging Challenge is here!


The Challenge Trophy

Image via Wikipedia

The whole world seems to be blogging these days, and it can often seem as if you’re being left behind. You can’t think of things to blog about, your forget to update, you don’t have enough time, or you just don’t ‘get it’.

My 30 Day Blogging Challenge is here to help!

Every day for 30 days you’ll receive an email with a blogging challenge – it could be a specific topic, and idea, or something to include in your blog. It could be something to help your SEO, increase readership or encourage comments. It could be something completely different 😉

The emails are short, easy to understand, and I’m on the end of an email or a Tweet (@nikkipilkington) if you need any help.

This was a free course for the first 750 to sign up, but now we’ve reached that threshold it’s just £3 – that’s around 10p per day for a great boost to your blog!

Impatient like me? Get all 30 days’ challenges, plus a whole host of extras in a handy downloadable ebook  for just £5

Happy to get one a day and miss out on the extras? Subscribe now for just £3 using the Paypal link below:

 





Are you getting the right message across?

nikkigothLike a lot of small business owners, you’re probably Tweeting, Facebooking and Blogging your heart out, and hoping that you’re getting the right message across.

But are you?

You see, it’s not what you’re saying that matters, it’s what others are reading / hearing.

I often wonder what people think when they hear or see my name, do you?

Klout tells me that I Tweet mainly around the areas of:

  • Marketing
  • SEO
  • Business
  • social media
  • media
  • public relations

Which is probably about right.

But that only tells me what I’m saying, it doesn’t tell me what others are hearing.

So periodically I put out a Tweet or Facebook message along the lines of “What do you think of when you hear or see my name?”

Inevitably there are many people who come back to me saying:

  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

But more and more recently I’m seeing people saying other things such as:

So what does that tell me?

Well it tells me I’m doing something right, I hope!

Yes, people know who I am from a business perspective, and the services that I can offer to clients, but they’re also beginning to get to know ME; who I am, what I like or dislike, what’s going on in my life.

And it’s served me well.

When my daughter was born, I got warm wishes from many people, and new clients understood that there would be a delay in their work as she was early and I spent 5 days in hospital.

When people already know I live in France, they know our relationship will be phone and email based, and don’t expect face to face meetings.

When I had internet problems and had to work from Macdonalds, I lost just one potential client, because everyone was aware of my woes and how I felt about the issues they caused.

They know me. Not some corporate, stiff company image I’m putting out – the real me, warts and all.

What do your followers / likers / readers get from the messages you put out? The real you? Or the corporate you? Ask them now – I guarantee you’ll be surprised 🙂

Enhanced by Zemanta

299 Steps to Blogging Heaven … on Kindle!

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

We’re thrilled to let you know that the fantastic 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven is now available on Kindle via Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk!

If you’re not getting the best results from your blogging, or just think you could be doing it better, then 299 Steps is the ebook for you!

In it I tell you:

  • How many times a month do you need to blog?

  • How do you get people to read them – and comment?

  • What should you be writing about?

Whether you’re an accomplished blogger or a complete beginner, you’ll find lots of really useful tips in this great ebook.

So, if you part with your hard-earned cash (not much though) what will you get?

Lots of step by step guides, hints and tips to make your blog stand out from the crowd. You’ll find out:

  • Plugins and additions to make life easier

  • Time saving hints and tips

  • The best way to write blogs

  • How to word titles to get more clicks

  • Ways of encouraging comments so your blog doesn’t look like the Marie Celeste

  • and more!

PLUS from the moment you download your copy you’ll also have email access to me to ask questions – your own personal blog consultant!

You can buy it from Amazon.co.uk here

Or from Amazon.com here

Just want the plain old PDF version? You can still get that here 🙂

So what are you waiting for? Power up your blogging today!

kindle

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Analytics Google