Get noticed on Google

Get noticed on Google

Get noticed on Google

To get noticed on Google can be important for most businesses and organisations. With Google reviews playing a vital role. According to Blue Corona, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations and 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.

And it’s not just prospective customers that google reviews affect, but also anyone searching for anything to do with your business, as they affect the search algorithm. In short, having more good reviews means higher google ranking and therefore results in more leads followed by more sales and eventually higher revenue.

Furthermore 85% of consumers don’t trust reviews which are more than three months old. And only 40% of people look at reviews from the last two weeks. So keeping your reviews up to date and asking customers to add new reviews regularly is important. But it doesn’t need to be onerous. Below are three top tips for getting more reviews – and therefore getting your organisation noticed on google.

1. You don’t get if you don’t ask

After every successful project, purchase or event send your customers a personal email, thanking them for using you, asking for feedback and saying you look forward to working with them again in future. Explain that all feedback is read and used to improve the services you provide. Ask them to leave you a google review and provide a direct link to make it easy for them to do so. We are Comma can help you create a direct link to send to your customers.

2. Ask, ask and ask again

Don’t be disheartened if a customer doesn’t leave a review the first time you ask. They could have forgotten to do it and a reminder will push it back up their to do list.

It is fine to ask a customer up to three times after each interaction. Create some templates which you can customise. A week after the first, thank you email – check your google reviews and if the customer hasn’t left a review use your second template email to remind them. Again, personalise the email and ask again for a google review – including the link again. Then repeat the process in two weeks’ time again.

If the customer still doesn’t leave a review then don’t worry; some people never will but it’s worth a try. And regular follow ups help to keep your organisation fresh in customers’ minds.

3. Reply to every review

After taking the time to write a review; the least you can do is reply. Whether the review you receive is the great recommendation you expected or more negative, it is important that you acknowledge it.

For every positive review, thank the customer and say you look forward to working with them again. Do this in the most personalised way you can.

For every negative review, you still need to respond – and quickly. Every review you receive should be replied to within 24 hours. But don’t respond in anger, don’t be personal and don’t give excuses. It can be helpful to have a template response which includes the following:

  • Thank the customer and quickly apologise for the experience they’ve had. You must apologise whether you agree or not; whether you feel you were in the right or wrong.
  • Try to address the issue the customer has mentioned.
  • Attempt to resolve the complaint privately – ideally via telephone, if not then email. You can read our full blog on how to respond to negative reviews here.

Google provides this advice on responding to reviews – and the importance of making sure you do.

If you receive a fake review then contact google to get it removed. However, you should still respond as if it was a genuine review but it can be helpful to say something along the lines of “we can’t find record of this project however we are keen to get the matter resolved, therefore please contact our office on Xtelephone numberX as soon as possible.”

And finally, the basis of all of this is continuing to provide great customer service. Your organisation cares about what customers think of you. And you want to provide the best service/products so getting feedback is important to help you keep getting better. So take the reviews you receive and keep improving.

What’s the best review you’ve ever had?


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4 types of content your organisation needs

4 types of content your organisation needs

4 types of content your organisation needs

You’re busy. We get it. Even when clicking on this blog you were thinking “do I have time for this?”. We know that social media can seem like just another thing on your never-ending admin list. And that pressure can take away your creativity. So here is some inspiration to get your juices flowing again. Here we share four types of content that all organisations benefit from.


1. Evergreen
This is the stuff that you create and can use again and again. It’s particularly good for when you have no time – when that unexpected ‘thing’ happens and social media really falls to the bottom of the to do list.  Spend an afternoon creating posts which you can share, adapt and recycle. Your future self will thank you.


2. Little buds
Your clients, donors, supporters, and anyone else who follows you want to hear about your latest news. It doesn’t have to be anything big but they want to know what you’re working on. What services, products and events might be of interest to them. Share it all. People often like a tease too so if you are working on something but can’t quite share the full details then just share what you can and let them know you will spill the beans as soon as you can.


3. Perennials
These can also be useful too for when you are feeling uninspired. Introduction posts, opening times, what you do and offer posts are great to pepper your content with from time to time. Just try to give them a fresh twist when you can. These are great to use when you notice you have had an influx of new followers.


4. Seasonal
Reflect what’s happening in the world but linked to your organisation. For example, you might like to share a photo of the office dog for bring your dog to work day. Just remember to make sure you are staying authentic and not just shoehorning in an awareness day, event or holiday for the sake of it. For example, if you run a cats rehoming centre then bring your dog to work day probably isn’t one to take part in.


Remember social media is all about creating community. It’s a place where your fans, clients, supporters etc can come together to get the latest news, events from you as well as keep in touch with your organisation but it should be just as much about them as you. Ask lots of questions and get discussions going.


Remember, if social media gets too much and you can’t keep up, you don’t enjoy it and it isn’t giving you the rewards you want you can contact We Are Comma for a free audit. We can suggest ways to improve. We can create content for you, give you a schedule or we can run your social media accounts. Drop us a line and see how we can help you:


So, to practise what we preach, tell us: what types of social media posts do you find most engaging? Drop us a line or comment on this post. You can also find out more about the services we offer by visiting the What We Offer page on the website.


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Pic showing a group of people working on ideas for social media content

How to respond to a bad review

How to respond to a bad review

How to respond to a bad review

You probably already know the value of an online review. Satisfied customers sharing what they love about your organisation, services, and products helps attract new customers and gives them the confidence to buy or try. It’s a great way to grow your organisation. And it also helps with search engine optimisation (SEO) as Google and its ilk love to see real people taking the time to share their experiences. So the more reviews your organisation has the higher up the Google rankings you will go – without spending more on marketing. It’s a win, win. But what do you do if you get a bad review?

The first thing to say is if your organisation is doing well and you have happy customers, you’re meeting the targets you set yourself then you probably won’t get many or any bad reviews. But you may get a rogue one. And how you respond to that is going to make all the difference to your reputation – not the review itself.

Let’s imagine you run a social enterprise café. You employ young people, who have no qualifications and perhaps have struggled so far in life, to give them skills and experience in the hospitality industry while they also complete training courses at college. Your café is at the heart of your community and on the whole, your customers are happy. But one day you get a review that says:

“Rude customer service, long wait, and inedible food. I would never go here again and certainly would not recommend it. I understand that they are trying to do good things but I think the staff are not ready to be in the real world serving and making food. Great idea but don’t go there if you actually want an enjoyable lunch”.

Your heart sinks. Your mind races. Who was it? Have there been any complaints? What happened? Have the staff seen this? Are they upset? Then your fight or flight kicks in. At this point, you need to stop and take a deep breath. Don’t do anything at all yet. Responding to a bad review quickly and while you are in this mindset will not help. Instead, make yourself a drink or do a small task to distract yourself.

Then come back to the review. But start inside the café. Ask staff if they are aware of any recent complaints? At the same time, reassure staff – let them know you are happy and this is just one person who was probably having a bad day. Remind them of good reviews. Set the tone for the response – try not to take it personally; although it feels like an attack on you, your people, and your business. Reassure them that you will deal with this complaint, they don’t need to do anything.

Nobody knows of any unhappy customers so you set to work on a response. You could respond to each point, explaining why you think they are wrong and that if they had a problem they should have spoken up at the time. But you’ll probably come across as defensive and perhaps aggressive. And who would want to eat in a café with that kind of atmosphere?

Instead, here are three key things to include in your response:

  1. Apology
    Even if you don’t feel like it or don’t feel it is needed, this is not about you it’s about how the complainant feels so apologise. You don’t have to admit fault. You can say something like “I am sorry that your experience fell short of your expectations.”
  2. Email
    As quickly as you can, take this complaint out of view of everyone else. It might be a good idea to have an email address that you use just for these sorts of occasions. You can say something along the lines of: “I would value hearing more about your experience so I can investigate. Feedback always helps us improve. Perhaps you could email me at .”
  3. Reassurance
    This is your chance to defend, humble brag, and big up your team. Use this as an opportunity to talk about why many of your customers return and the good experiences they have. You might like to show your team you are proud of them, perhaps try: “I am really proud of the team we have here at Our Café. They have all overcome adversity to be here and are working hard to build better futures for themselves. Like many of us, they are still learning but I know each of them would be upset to know they had missed the mark. Each week we serve more than 200 customers who receive yummy drinks, snacks and meals, within the time frame performance mark which we set ourselves, served with great customer service. Many of our customers who return on a weekly basis tell us they do because they love the atmosphere we provide too.”

This kind of response shows other readers that reviews are listened to and acted on. That customer service matters to you. That customers matter to you.

Turning a negative into a positive


And if the complainant does take the time to email you, make sure you respond and continue in a timely, courteous manner. Try to get to the bottom of their complaint. If you need to take action, take it and let them know. Thank them for their feedback. And if you get to a good footing, you could even invite them back to try and change their mind. It is possible to turn a negative review into a positive for your organisation.

How often do you check your online reviews? Has this article helped you feel prepared for dealing with reviews in the future?

If you want help with setting up your online reviews, any aspect of your organisation’s online presence or reputation, We Are Comma can help. Email . You can also find out more about the services we offer by visiting the What We Offer page on the website.

 

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Pic showing a woman using a mobile phone with satisfaction symbols and check boxes superimposed
How to create a successful marketing campaign: Christmas jumper day

How to create a successful marketing campaign: Christmas jumper day

How to create a successful marketing campaign: Christmas jumper day

This is the first in our irregular series looking at successful marketing campaigns and how you can create your own winning promotion.

2021 is the 10th anniversary of Save the Children’s annual fundraising Christmas jumper day. Last year the campaign raised £3m for the charity – despite all the challenges of last Christmas. So why is this campaign so successful? And most importantly, how can you recreate its achievements?

There are five key reasons Christmas jumper day is so popular.

First, it’s simple. It’s an easy-to-understand concept. Wear a Christmas jumper then donate some money for doing so. Great! Finding a similarly simple concept to promote your charity or organisation might not be so easy but it is possible. There are a few options – either you can choose a time of year that you want to focus your efforts on and pick something familiar as a ‘hook’ to hang your campaign on; Easter bonnet day for example. Or you pick something that it iconic to your brand and focus on that.

Secondly, use an item they have or are familiar with. Everyone knows what a Christmas jumper is. Many people own them. Picking a day when everyone should wear them makes it powerful. This leads into point three.

Three, make your campaign accessible. Everyone can wear a Christmas Jumper. This is one of the reasons it is so popular in schools, places of work – everywhere. Anyone and everyone can join in – if they’re willing to wear a questionable jumper. And in fact, since Christmas jumper day launched the options for more tasteful Christmas jumpers have increased. Incidentally this has been reflected in the marketing. It started as a very tongue in cheek, dodgy jumper day. But its simplicity and popularity mean it has grown to be more middle-of-the-road. Asking people to wear ballgowns, for example, will never become so popular because they are not so easy to get hold off, a good percentage of the population would rather not wear them and many people couldn’t do their job in them.

Four, make it regular. This is the 10th annual Christmas jumper day. Schools, PTAs, hospitals, community groups, local authorities – everyone knows to expect it in early December. This means they can make it part of their plan for the year.

Five, make people feel good. This is the most important part to any successful campaign. People have to feel good for taking part. Save the Children’s Christmas jumper day makes people feel good for donating to a worthy cause. And they can build excitement about the coming celebrations for Christmas. It’s a win-win. How can your organisation leverage this feel good factor? Are you a charity that people can feel good raising money for? Are you an organisation which people can volunteer for and feel good doing so? Are you a small business that can make people feel good for supporting? Find your feel good factor and use it.

What lesson from Christmas jumper day will you be taking into your campaigns in 2022?

Remember We Are Comma can help design, develop and deliver your campaigns and create success for your organisation. Email to find out how we could help you.

Pic showing a Christmas jumper pattern

Photos from Adobe Stock

Is your business ready for the coronavirus?

Is your business ready for the coronavirus?

Is your business ready for the coronavirus?

The UK, and the world as a whole, is facing an unprecedent situation. Governments, healthcare professionals and scientists are still trying to figure out how to tackle Covid-19 and deal with its after affects. So it’s no surprise that many businesses are unsure of how to handle the situation. But there are ways to protect your business reputation during this time.

Hopefully you already have a business continuity plan in place. If you don’t, there are lots of places online which can provide a template for you to use. Some useful links and organisations are:

UK Government
The Business Continuity Institute (BCI)

Lots of local authorities also provide support for businesses around business continuity plans and templates. Manchester City Council has a good template, for example.

Business continuity plans often differ and there are various elements they may contain however some of the most important parts are:

  • Risk matrix: this helps a business see what scenarios could take place and then consider the likelihood. This then helps a business make sure they focus preparations on the most likely situations the business could face.
  • Potential scenarios: each business needs to take time with senior managers to brainstorm worst case scenarios, difficult scenarios and then less impactful issues which will affect business effectiveness but not require a shut down etc. These should then be RAG- rated. Though the BBC uses Gold, Silver and Bronze. The BBC has a great toolkit available here. This is where you need to add in the potential affects of coronavirus on your business. How will it affect your staff and customers? How will it affect the ability of your business to function?
  • Contact list: a vital part of your Business continuity plan is contact numbers. In an emergency everyone in leadership or vital roles need to be contactable. You should have your Business continuity plan team in place and they should all have their contact details on the form. Other organisations in your supply chain or partners you regularly work with are also useful to have on this list.
  • Checklist: This takes the person coordinating any event which interrupts business continuity through a list of things they need to do from building evacuation, calling emergency services, briefing staff etc depending on the situation. The checklist should be generic enough to be suitable for any emergency.
  • Activity log: This is vital, every detail of your business response must be recorded here. This document is vital and can be considered a legal document.
  • Evaluation and return to normal business: Once an emergency is over, your business needs to have a phased response to how the organisation returns to normal and then how the situation is evaluated to allow the business to avoid risk in future and/or better respond to emergencies.

Once you have created your business continuity plan make sure it is saved in multiple places in case of system failure. In addition, a hard copy needs to be available at every site your organisation operates from. Key members of staff need to know where it is so they can grab it in time of emergency. It’s also worth having other items like pen, pencil, spare mobile phone, torch and anything else you think you might need with it. These can be stored in a box file or bag.

Testing your Business continuity plan is vital. Tests can be run on desktops, talking through scenarios and response. It is ideal to have a real-time test scenario which involves all levels of staff at least once a year. Again, from these learnings the Business continuity plan should be updated. Your plan should be reviewed and updated at least once a year too.

The next step is to plan your communications. In an emergency situation you don’t want to be worrying about drafting statements to give to the media or other interested parties. Of course, emergency situations are fast moving and statements will need to change but you can certainly draft some statements, especially initial ones while you are establishing the facts of the situation, in advance. This helps put you on the front foot.

It is also useful to make sure you have someone who is responsible for the communications with different audiences – staff, customers, media, suppliers etc. This takes pressure off of the situation coordinator but the communications person should be working closely with them and the management team to make sure the right messages are getting out at the right time. If you don’t have someone you can trust to manage your business reputation, then make sure you know where to turn in a crisis. Even better, have support in place before you need it. Comma can give your business continuity plan a critical friend review and help with drafting your initial statements. We can also provide comms and media support in times of crisis, even setting up a temporary, mobile press office for your business if required.

Are you confident your business can weather any storm it faces? Do you have plans in place for dealing any negative effects of coronavirus?

Use the form below to get in touch, leave a comment or email us at .

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