how to handle negative comments on your blog

In a post at his Web Strategy by Jeremiah blog, Jeremiah Owyang addresses a challenging scenario that often presents itself in social media these days: how to handle negative comments left by an unhappy customer on your site, forum or blog. The two-way nature of social media, according to Owyang, means you must face these basic realities:

  • Negative comments are a fact of life. You can’t please all your customers all the time; some will voice their complaints online.
  • Deleting negative comments makes things worse. Think a customer is disgruntled now? Wait until they take the discussion elsewhere with the additional, and valid, accusation of censorship.

A negative comment can have a positive outcome by following this advice from Owyang:

  • View negative comments as an alert system. By keeping close tabs on problems, you can manage them in real time. “Why wait for them to bubble up elsewhere on the Web?” he argues.
  • Impress unhappy customers with your response. “In most cases,” says Owyang, “these are individuals that want you to improve your product, so embrace them, acknowledge them, and get them involved in providing solutions.” They could leave the experience singing your praises.
  • Earn the trust of other customers. Having the confidence to encourage customer insight, whatever it is, tells observers you’re committed to responsive customer service.

“The savvy strategist will realize that by bringing the problems and issues closer to home, you’ll actually have a few advantages,” says Owyang. “By acknowledging and fixing these problems in public, you … can turn this into a very positive experience.”
Source: Web Strategy by Jeremiah. Click here for the post.

Web is tuned in with radio ads

Radio and the Internet are a perfect tag-team when it comes to boosting purchase intent, according to a study from Forum Research Group.

According to the study, 57% of radio listeners visited a website for further information based on an ad they heard on radio, with 60% of those people ultimately making a purchase. The study also found that 39% of Canadians 18+ listen to radio while online.

The findings are based on telephone interviews with 1,028 Canadians 18+ conducted in October of 2007.

The study also found that while total daily media time decreased in 2007, time spent with radio and the Internet increased by 5% and 17% respectively.

Google tops Microsoft as most visited

For the first time ever, Google has topped Microsoft’s web properties as the most visited in Canada.
In January, Google websites, including Google.ca and YouTube, reached 22.44 million unique visitors, slightly more than Microsoft sites, which had 22.42 million unique visitors, according to data from comScore Media Metrix released yesterday.
Google has been gaining on Microsoft’s sites, which include MSN and Hotmail, in recent years. Yahoo ranked third behind Google and Microsoft with 16.5 million unique Canadian visitors, followed by Facebook (15.3 million) and eBay (13.8 million). Rounding out the top 10 were: Wikipedia sites (11.7 million), AOL LLC (10.7 million), Yellow Pages Group (9.7 million), Amazon (9.5 million), Apple (8.7 million) and Canoe Network (8.6 million).
As of January, the total Internet audience in Canada was 23.8 million.
ComScore data also showed that Softvoyage.com, a travel industry site, was the fastest gaining web property, with a 53% jump in unique visitors in January compared to December 2007. It had 2.7 million visitors during January. It was followed by Workopolis.com and Monster Worldwide, which saw their visitors jump 49% and 41% respectively.
As for the most popular web categories, it seemed that after the Christmas break, reality started to set in for most Canadians. Sites devoted to taxes were tops, with a 44% increase in January over December. Number two was retail-health care (34%), followed by hotels/resorts (32%).

Blogs Explained – Again

It’s February 25, 2008, some might think it’s too late or redundant to explain what a blog is. The timing couldn’t be better to talk about blogs now. Blogs used to be strictly personal thoughts shared among the web savvy. Today, blogs continue to provide a freedom of expression while at the same time offering something useful for business, a marketing opportunity.

I’ve been blogging for 7 years. Initially I got onboard because of my curiosity. Being in the web industry, I’m continually looking at emerging trends. In February 2002, I posted this message to my douvan.com blog; “What’s a blog? It’s like having a diary but everyone can read it. blogs (aka “web logs”) can be used for all sorts of different things. Some people use them to vent, some use them to communicate to others indirectly. Some use them to let friends know how they’re doing, etc.”

Wikipedia defines blog as:
A blog is a website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting) are part of a wider network of social media. As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs.

So, what is a blog?
A blog is just a Web site driven by a content management system. What makes it so popular? blogging itself made the blog popular. Blogging is publicized by most other media as a legitimate output format. Today’s blog is easy and possible as a result of the applications created by programmers. Blog tools and programs make it possible for anyone to manage content on a Web site.

Who is a blogger?
Even Martha Stewart is blogging. A blogger is a content contributor. Thanks to the blog applications, a blogger can be anyone, HTML skills are not required. As often as possible, the blogger should post content in the form of news, opinions, text and links to her blog space. The title of blogger has in fact become esteemed in the eyes of the public. The blog is recognized as its own media channel like newspaper or radio. Some people are full time paid employees in the position of blogger.

Technology has made it easy for anyone to be a blogger. And anyone can have a blog. Remember, a blog is just a Web site. A blog page on your existing website can help to increase content and provide information in a way your visitors demand.

Create Valuable Content
When the content in your blog is valuable, you create a web environment where visitors can interact with you. Valuable blog content are the words, pictures, audio or video related to your industry. The text found throughout the rest of your site, such as product pages or company history is given from the company perspective. Your industry blog should be written from a personal point of view. Visitors are more likely to identify with the blogger than the head office. The blogger can gain additional trust and credibility by allowing feedback and posting comments.

If you don’t have a blog, get one.
The marketing opportunity is to provide feedback using this social media and increase search engine rankings as a result of the valuable content. A blog will bring more visitors to your Web site and allow your visitors to give their opinions.

Google Experiments

Google is always experimenting with new features aimed at improving the search experience and so far, it’s been pretty obvious that they know what they’re doing. Most people in this part of Ontario use Google every day, multiple times a day.

The Search Engine of choice in fact is Google by over 85% compared to the other Search Engines. One of the reason why Google is so popular is that theyr’e always improving the user experience with enhancements or expanding on new ideas.

Join an experiments to see how it can improve your search.

  • Alternate views for search results
  • Keyword suggestions (I’ve been using this one for a while, it’s fascinating to see the suggested searches)
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Left-hand search navigation
  • Right-hand contextual search navigation

Check them out and if you’ve got the time, join one of the experiments and share your experience. You might even find it will save you time.

Canadian Market Healthy – 21.8 million Internet Users

Canada is a relatively mature Internet market. 65.3% of the people in Canada use the Internet at least once in a month. There will no doubt be some growth in the future. What this means to me; Canadians are using the Web, which is good for all of us marketing on the Web. Check out the complete ClickZ article.