internet

Represent your business properly on social media

Social media accounts for businesses are invaluable tools enterprises use to reach out to their client bases to fully understand their needs and wants. Make sure your social media manager understands the proper way to interact with people online, especially those with bad things to say about the company.

Online reputation management mistakes

As long as you have a successful business or brand, people will always have something to say about it. And when it comes to online reputation management, the goal is to create positive engagement with your customers. So if the discussion about your brand swings negative, here are a few online reputation blunders to avoid.

  • Reacting to negative commentary – Negative commentary is generally any commentary that constitutes a verbal attack. As a rule, if it isn’t constructive criticism, it’s probably negative commentary. Feel free to ignore these comments because engaging with them will escalate the conversation further, and fueling those flames are never good for business. It is one thing to stand up for values and principles in a diplomatic manner, and it is a completely different thing to engage in a word war with online commenters who will likely not endure any adverse effects to their negative commentary.
  • Reacting emotionally – If your reaction to negative comments is to fire back with negative comments, you’ll appear unprofessional. Customers want to do business with a brand that is professional. If you react emotionally or negatively to a customer online, who’s to say you wouldn’t do the same in real life to the person reading it? As a social media manager, you are the voice of the business. If your voice is abrasive, immature, and easy to bait into a pissing contest, best believe that your customers will see your business in the same light.

How to resolve negative commentary

While a negative comment about your brand may upset you, don’t let your emotions get the better of you and post something you’ll later regret. Instead, calm down, compose yourself, and follow these guidelines.

  • Figure out what the customer really wants – Every customer wants their problem to be resolved, but how they want their issue fixed will vary. Some customers want an apology, others want a refund, and some may simply want the product they ordered but did not receive. Just because the customer’s comments are poorly phrased doesn’t mean that they don’t have a legitimate grievance. Learn to ignore the personal attack and carefully draw out the true cause for concern.
  • Stick to the facts – When engaging with a customer online, the initial comment can quickly turn into a back-and-forth discussion. If this happens, don’t get off topic when addressing the problem. The customer may try to engage you in a he-said-she-said battle, but avoid taking the bait. Respond with facts, stick to the matter at hand, and don’t get caught up in personal accusations.
  • Turn the negative into a positive – Negative feedback is an opportunity to improve your business. So be honest with yourself and, if there’s truth in the comment, take a good hard look at your company. Did the commenter point out a glaring problem you can improve upon? Remember, a business is nothing without its customers, so it makes sense to do your best to please them.

To learn more about how to best manage your online reputation, or for assistance with any of your IT needs, get in touch with our experts today.

IT security policies your company needs

When it comes to Internet security, most small businesses don’t have security policies in place. And considering that employee error is one of the most common causes of a security breach, it makes sense to implement rules your staff needs to follow. Here are four things your IT policies should cover.

Internet

In today’s business world, employees spend a lot of time on the internet. To ensure they’re not putting your business at risk, you need a clear set of web policies. This must limit internet use for business purposes only, prohibit unauthorized downloads, and restrict access to personal emails on company devices. You can also include recommended browsing practices and policies for using business devices on public wifi.

Email

Just like the Internet policy mentioned above, company email accounts should only be utilized for business use. That means your employees should never use it to send personal files, forward links, or perform any type of business-related activities outside their specific job role. Additionally, consider implementing a standard email signature for all employees. This not only creates brand cohesion on all outgoing emails, but also makes it easy to identify messages from other employees, thus preventing spear phishing.

Passwords

We’ve all heard the importance of a strong password time and time again. And this same principle should also apply to your employees. The reason is rather simple. Many employees will create the easiest to crack passwords for their business accounts. After all, if your organization gets hacked, it’s not their money or business at stake. So to encourage employees to create strong passwords, your policy should instruct them to include special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers in their passwords.

Data

Whether or not you allow your employees to conduct work on their own devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, it is important to have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. If your employees aren’t aware of your stance on BYOD, some are sure to assume they can conduct work-related tasks on their personal laptop or tablet. So have a BYOD policy and put it in the employee handbook. In addition to this, make sure to explain that data on any workstation is business property. This means employees aren’t allowed to remove or copy it without your authorization.

We hope these four policies shed some light on the industry’s best security practices. If you’d like more tips or are interested in a security audit of your business, give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.