It was bound to happen sooner or later and now you have a competitor or customer who is waging some negative advertising toward you and your business.
What can you do?
Do you ignore it and hope it goes away quickly, or respond? If you respond, do you tell them you’ll take legal action, or engage in negativity yourself?
Here are some business tips for dealing with negative ads and campaigns:
Related Resource from B2CWebcast: PR Hacking: How Ideas Spread And What Marketers Need to Know
Find the Comments
One of the simple ways to come in contact with disgruntled customers and negative ads is to set up Google alerts.
By setting up alerts for your brand and words such as “hate”, “bad”, “terrible”, etc., you will be emailed a list of links to items matching these keywords. Google alerts is a great way to see who is saying what about your business and to project your company’s reputation across the web. With the power of the Internet, businesses can tap into a full range of demographics to use in this regard.
Another way you may be seeing these type of negative ads are through your “contact us” page on your website, or if you have a forum on your site. Whenever you come in contact with a disgruntled customer or competing store launching a negative campaign, you can handle them in much the same way.
Start a Positive Campaign
The National Federation of Independent Business supports bringing those sources of good testimonials to the forefront when faced with a negative campaign.
Some ways to do this is to spotlight a few real customers and their good words about your company. Many times, especially online, your customers may already be counteracting the negative campaign. Launching a negative campaign will not help your company, and may make matters worse as you may be reinforcing the competition’s remarks.
Reinventing Your Brand
Another way to deal with these types of campaigns against your company comes from Mashable.
They suggest a humanization of your brand or business, like Intuit did. When they began using human avatars, people who viewed their brand negatively declined from 65 percent to 35 percent, a 30 percent decrease by changing nothing but the way their brand was portrayed. You can try this with any business, retail or service. Another way to help is to provide incredible customer service. It is hard to dislike a company that bends over backwards to give you great customer service.
The best defense to a negative smear campaign, whether by a competing company or by a customer, is to have a great offense.
As part of your daily business management responsibilities, listen to your customers, advertise some of their best testimonials to your company, and never launch a smear campaign against those that have slighted your company.
By projecting a positive outlook and great customer service, your company can ride out these periodical rough spots and help secure a better future.