What is Your Digital Image? Seven Tools For You To Use

There was a time not too long ago when you could only guess at what your image was among your potential customers.  The Internet has changed a lot of that.  Now, word of mouth has been transformed into words on the net.  People don’t hesitate to write their opinions on forums, review sites, Facebook and Twitter.

What is your business image? 7 tools for you to use.

Do you know are they saying about you? What is your digital image?

The good news is that you can trace those opinions and determine what your image is on the web.  It will take a bit of work on your part for the initial setup and then you need to schedule time on a weekly basis as a minimum to review the information.  It would be better if you could do your reviews on a daily basis in order to stay on top of any negative information and respond in a positive way.

Before we get to the details, let’s talk about how to respond to bad reviews…and responding is a must.  Once someone types your name into a comment, it will live for a long, long time.  Your only hope to combat a bad impression is to respond, but you need to respond in such a way that you don’t start an internet war.

How many of you heard about the war of words between Steve Jobs and a college journalism student asking for a response to a problem she had with Apple’s PR department?  After several emails back and forth, Jobs finally basically told the student to “Leave Us Alone.”  To make a long story short, this all happened last fall and instead of dying down and disappearing, it is still out there on the web as a case study of what not to do.

When you respond, be sure that you stay positive, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and be as tactful as you can possibly be.  Start off by acknowledging that the person had an issue with your park.  Then begin stating your side of the story in a positive manner.  Whatever you do, don’t give in to the impulse to say things like “Jerks like you…”, “Why are you such a Liar…” or “Dealing with idiots like you…”  We have all been there but keep those thoughts in your mind and not on the keyboard.

To find out what your image is on the web, take the following steps:

  • Set up Google Alerts for your park name.  While I am at it I also set up an alert for my competition.  It never hurts to find out what people are saying about them.   Go to google.com/alerts to get started.  Once you are set up, you will receive an email anytime Google picks up your specific keywords.
  • Check out the park review sites on a regular basis, such as RVparkreviews.com, http://www.tripadvisor.com/, etc. for any comments regarding your park. Be sure to reply to reviews where you can either thanking the reviewer for their glowing comments or trying to resolve any issues the reviewer had while staying with you.  Whatever you do, don’t engage in posting bad reviews about the competition even if they have done it about you.  This definitely won’t help your position or your image because you will be found out and then the world will know.
  • There are several programs that monitor Social Media and aggregate the results such as http://www.mention.com/, http://www.talkwalker.com , etc. I would suggest starting out with a free program until you determine what you want to see and how much information you need.  (Be sure to check on what the program covers.)
  • Facebook is more difficult to monitor than other programs. Facebook users are able to limit their openness to the rest of the world.  That means that you will only be able to monitor those users who have opened up their pages to more than family and friends.  When you sign in to Facebook, enter your business name into the search bar and look for results from all public profiles.
  • For Twitter, you have a wealth of sites that will gather information for you. You can use com and TweetDeck.com to find instances where your search words have been mentioned.  These two have the added advantage of allowing you to schedule your tweets as well as many other features.
  • Do regular Google searches for your name. When you put the name into the search field use a quotation mark before and after the name.  This will help to limit the number of references that are actually linked to the individual words in your name and will return results for your full name only.
  • Don’t forget to watch Workamper News forums to see what workampers are saying about working for you. Listen to the comments and use them as constructive criticism.  It can be hard not to take the comments personally, but unless you look at the comments objectively you won’t be able to use the information to your advantage.

This list should at least get you started on determining what people are saying about you.  Once you know what is being said, you can determine how you want to react.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to track what is being said about you on the web.  The internet has become a way of life for us and it is only going to get more important to your guests as time goes on.

If this is overwhelming, don’t give up…give me a call.  Let’s talk about what you need right now and what needs can wait till later.

 

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Need a nudge in the right direction?  Give me a call at 800-478-0516 and let’s talk about what problems you need solved.   Be sure to follow me on Twitter:  @RVStops and @FocusedWords and join my group on LinkedIn, “Social Media in the RV Industry” and “RV Park Management Software User’s Group”.   Check out my blog at www.FocusedWords.com/blog for more articles about doing business in the RV world.  Copyright by FocusedWords.  If you would like to reprint, please email pwright@FocusedWords.com with your request.

 

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