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Q&A With Derek Chew: Helping Brands Orchestrate a Comprehensive Online Reputation Strategy
Derek Chew has worked for huge companies like Yahoo and Fandango and now brings that wealth of marketing and SEO experience to his own Fullmoon Digital marketing agency. Follow Derek on LinkedIn or visit Fullmoon here.
Has the coronavirus had much impact on your business or that of your clients?
Fullmoon Digital started out fully remote, so our day-to-day operations have not been affected. The outbreak has affected our clients, however, especially those in retail operations that rely on monthly inventory replenishment.
The reality is that we have lost a couple of clients that have been operationally crippled by the virus-related shutdowns. On the other hand, we also have some clients who are increasing spend right now because they are still able to reach customers and there’s a demand for the products they are offering.
We are reducing our fees for existing clients to give them a longer runway to make it through the pandemic. Because of our existing remote setup, we have low overhead and can afford to take a hit for a short time so that we can continue to help our clients.
How do paid search and social media marketing fit into an overall marketing strategy?
We view our role as managing our clients’ marketing or advertising dollars, and we take a holistic, big-picture view and look at how to use those dollars in the best possible way. This tactical view is more complex than just taking the advertising budget and using it to get the maximum possible return in the short term.
Taking a longer-term view, it sometimes makes sense, especially in times of chaos like this current situation with the pandemic, for brands to scale back spending for a short time to focus on supporting and being there for customers, rather than just trying to sell to them.
Our agency has been keeping up-to-date with changing conditions so that we can help clients respond to the newest information and changes as they happen, and minimize any negative impact on their brand.
How can companies manage reviews to improve their online reputation?
We always encourage brands to engage with people. There are ways to turn a bad review into a good customer experience. If there is a complaint about missing food items, for instance, you can make another delivery right away to make up for that bad experience.
We like to call this the shock and awe experience, and we think companies should be doing more overall to make sure they are a step above the rest in terms of service and making things right when something negative happens during a transaction.
Responding to negative reviews and offering to make things right is another way to turn negative reviews around. It means a lot to most people when they see a brand respond to a negative review with a concrete offer to do better. It really is simple; you don’t need a marketing plan to be human.
How can companies use social media and/or paid search to give customers a better experience?
A number of things have to work together to make the customer experience seamless and enjoyable across all platforms. If a marketer puts everything into driving traffic to a brand’s website, that website may crash and become unusable by any customers.
It could be about the Facebook feed or the Instagram feed, which also help to drive traffic. It could be about a video that educates and builds trust in your brand but doesn’t lead directly to sales. Looking at a number of different factors (including bandwidth) yields the best results and gets customers to come back at some point for a sale.
In a sense, your brand’s reputation can hinge on how you treat customers when things are bad.
How does a positive online reputation help drive traffic and sales?
When you take a deeper look into online reputation, it’s important to have continuity of messaging through the sales staff and even on to follow through after the sale. Even if you have the greatest marketing in the world, you won’t be able to close the sale if there’s a disconnect between your messaging and the way the sales staff conducts itself.
What data is it important for businesses to collect to measure reputation?
It’s not just the number of 5-star reviews that matters when measuring reputation. Another thing you can use is net promoter score, which is the number of customers that would recommend you to someone else.
Doing regular surveys is important, and social media can be an alternative way to get feedback that is somewhat unsolicited and more accurate than a survey in some instances. Newer social listening tools can help to collect and quantify this data.
It is not easy to maintain a positive online reputation, but it is necessary and valuable.