Putting Power into Your Reviews and Testimonials


Negating the Negatives

Negative Internet Reviews

If you are like many businesses today you have experienced the negative review on Google, CitySearch, Yelp, or a plethora of other sites. In the process you have most likely noticed that these reviews hide behind an alias. The reality is that they, the reviewers, are cowards or even worse competitors.

To top it off Google, CitySearch, and the others make it difficult and costly to respond. This may be a good thing, because your immediate response would be a “knee-jerk” reaction and probably end up hurting your more than helping. You must remember that you are in the age of the Internet and the person who wrote the review will NOT be the only one reading your response. In your attempt to respond you may end up hurting future business from the eves droppers.

What Do You Do

One of the best ways to counteract a negative review is to get a good review; but not just any good review. Get one where the individual writing the review is willing to give their name and their city and state. You want credibility behind the review!

Get Credible Reviews

When you have credible reviews and someone points to Google, CitySearch, or whomever and it is a review that hides behind an alias; you can point to your reviews (good, just okay, or even bad) and say that YOUR reviews have quality. You can say that these are people you can talk to and they will answer your questions honestly. These are people that have nothing to hide.

You can, with the writer’s permission, use these reviews in your marketing and sales materials as testimonials of the work that you do and they way your customers/clients/patients feel about you, your business, your products, and your services.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

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Helping Your Children by Building Your Network


Your Network Has Value to Your Children

While you may typically think of your network as your list of contacts that will help you in your business or career. Your network has the potential to help more than just you. One of the most important benefactors of your networking efforts can be your children.

How Your Network Can Help Your Children

Through your connections, you can provide your children access to influential people they may otherwise never know. Whether your child is looking for a connection to a college, an opportunity for an internship, a job, references, or some other interest that can benefit from a connection; you can be the missing link.

Almost daily most of you come in contact with interesting people with varied backgrounds. Capturing these connections brings value to you and your network, but it may also bring a needed future connection for your children.

As a parent building your network can be one of the most unselfish acts you ever take as you work to create the connections that your child will need as the progress through their career.

Read my other networking articles on this Blog for more reasons why you MUST be networking.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Can Your Business Really Have an Identity Separate from You?


Can You Really Separate Yourself and Your Business?

I do not think you could ever truly and completely separate yourself from your business. Today, I am thoroughly convinced that any attempt at separation is even more difficult than ever. In fact, the attempt to separate may be a death knell to your business as you attempt to establish your brand.

Businesses have always been tied to the owners/proprietors from the earliest shopkeepers to some of the largest single purpose corporations. The owner/proprietor was responsible for creating and building the brand.

Social Media/Social Networking Makes Separation More Difficult

Social Media/Social Networking offer incredible opportunities to build and promote your business and your brand. The problem is that many business people want to separate the two and that is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible.

I constantly receive emails and posts from people that want to separate themselves from their business. I am never told why they want to separate the two, just that they do.

Why is that? Are they afraid of something? Do they think that is how all big businesses became big businesses?

I have my business, UPPROACH, but the reality is that I cannot separate it from me. UPPROACH may be the name, but people know that it is my business. Whatever name I chose or will choose; the initial reputation and the reputation that the business will have for a long time is based upon my reputation and what I bring to the table.

I have worked many years to establish my reputation and brand; why wouldn’t I want to bring those efforts to my business? Why do I want to start over creating a new brand?

Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co

We can all agree that Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co, etc are all large companies. Where did they get their names? A little research shows you that these are the surnames of the people that started the business. Just like your business; these businesses got their start based upon the reputations and even the surnames of their founders.

Microsoft, Apple, IBM

Again these are all large companies and although the company names are not the last names of the founders; the reputations of the founders were critical to the initial acceptance of the businesses. We know the names and backgrounds of these company founders. We also know that the initial reputations for these businesses came from their founders.

The truth is that our personal and business reputations are intertwined and if you think that is not so; you are only fooling yourself.

Social Media/Social Networking Sites Present Challenges to the Idea of Separation

For sure Social Networking Sites present challenges to the idea of separation. It is increasingly difficult for owners to keep themselves separate from their business. A quick search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search sites will quickly connect you to your business.

I believe that many of these people want to maintain the separate identities because they want the freedom to express themselves as they see fit in their personal life. While keeping those activities separate may be the desire or goal; the fact is the Internet may not allow that to happen. That would be great if you could do it; the reality is that the chances of truly pulling that off are slim to none.

The reality is that who we are and what we are is all over the Internet. Maintaining any semblance of privacy and controlling what people see is a figment of our imagination. Some people think because they have not established themselves on the Internet that they are therefore not on the Internet and even that is foolish thinking.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping business, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Networking May Be Right Up There With The Fear Of Speaking


My LinkedIn Poll

I have an unscientific LinkedIn poll with a few results, but I am going out on a limb to draw some conclusions because I find it interesting.

The question I asked and the possible responses:

What is your greatest networking challenge?

  • Identifying possible connections?
  • Lack of comfort when inviting?
  • Available time?
  • Understanding networking value?
  • Believe it to be bothersome?

I was and still am asking about your biggest challenge to networking (go to my poll to participate). I am suprised by the responses I have received. The results are split 50/50 between small and large organizations, 33% women and 67% male, 33% C and VP-level, and all respondents were between 35 and 54.

As to response all but one indicates a lack of comfort when inviting people to connect and one of the non-C and VP level individuals indicated time constraints.

As I said above 50% of the current responses are from C and VP-level respondents and these individuals all identified the lack of comfort inviting as their biggest challenge as well. This really surprised me. I expected time challenges to be their reason.

What Do the Responses Mean

Although I received just a couple of comments; those comments and my experience lead me to the conclusion that the problem is a fear of rejection. The fear of rejection is powerful and it stands in the way of many successes. Successful people, however, do not let this fear stop them. They continually move forward.

When you invite people you do put yourself out there and invite a potential negative response, but that is a risk you must take; if you are going to be successful. If you are still laboring over a no response; you must really question your commitment.

The reality is that the worse that can happen is someone says: no. At that point you just need to dust yourself off and move on. Don’t dwell on it when someone says no; keep moving forward to your next invitation.

Your level of success can be measured by the size of your rolodex. The truly successful realize that they cannot do it on their own, it is with the help of others that they will continue to move forward.

I would appreciate it if you would take a minute to respond to my poll, so we can build better results.

STOP! Before You Take a Step Forward on Your Social Marketing – Read This!


Social Media Marketing Reality

First, do not get me wrong; I am a proponent of Social Media Marketing and I encourage the behavior. The problem is that it is being sold to you incorrectly. Social Networking Consultants, Specialists, Experts, or whatever you want to call them are not telling you the truth!

Social Media Marketing Is Not a Rainmaker Proposition

Social Media Marketing has the potential to drive business, and, yes, even massive business through your doors. The caveat is that it takes work; lots of work. It takes commitment; lots of commitment. It takes time; lots of time.

There is no getting around it; Social Media Marketing is not for the faint of heart.

Case in Point

Earlier this year I was talking to a friend about Social Media Marketing and the opportunities that it offers a business. While I am firmly committed to that statement; I have since come to realize that most business owners do not have the level of commitment necessary to make it successful.

This friend changed the website; it was not necessarily for the better. In fact, the old site, to me, was far more aesthetically pleasing. The content from the old page to the new page is not significantly different, but they can say things have changed.

As part of the new look they created a blog. Blogs are great but again they require commitment and dedication. This is not a stop-start proposition; this is a commitment and your audience is expecting regular postings. This friend created three or four articles over the span of four or five days in February and has done nothing since.

The truth is they should pull down the blog. This minimal effort gives the impression that there is no follow through within the organization and does not help them and, in fact, does more damage. It is like jumping into the deep part of the lake and making a big splash and then not coming back to the surface because you were not prepared and had not made the prior commitment to learn how to swim.

Social Media Marketing Requires Commitment

It is not that these owners are not committed to their business; it is the commitment to Social Media Marketing that is lacking. Not surprisingly business owners have many other day-to-day tasks that occupy their time and it is hard to think about Social Media Marketing when your biggest customer is getting ready to bail on you or your top salesperson is considering a new opportunity.

Obviously those situations loom larger and their immediate impact on the business is far more important and the effect is far more quickly realized and felt. The truth is that most business owners and managers do not have the time available to put into Social Media Marketing.

Before You Jump In; Ask Yourself If You Are Ready to Follow Through

Do not just stick your toe into the water to determine the temperature. This is a situation where you make the commitment, jump in, and stay there for the long-haul.

Next Time I Will Talk About Trying To Do Too Much

Social Media Consultants talk about using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mashable, Websites, Blogs, Digg, Del-i-cious, YouTube, and others. The truth is that it takes an entire department or staff to monitor all of those sites and a tremendous commitment. Trying to do too much; too fast will leave you frustrated and unsatisfied. Do not do it!