Tag: 2012

We’ve all been there. You hear the rumors, you notice the whispers, maybe you’ll even participate in the gossip. But, when it’s about you, how do you respond?

We all want to defend our reputation. We are proud, we care, and we want everyone else to love us too. So, what do you do when this reputation is about your restaurant? When you notice that negative review (that is bound to pop up) on the various review sites that everyone participates in?

After you are done staring at the screen and willing the review to disappear, without success, it’s time to address it. Your handle on your business’s online reputation is key. Here I want to give you some advice for responding to reviews as a restaurant owner:

1. Stay calm and carry on – A common saying and for good reason. Especially as a restaurant, you will receive a bad review on Yelp, UrbanSpoon, etc, and the quicker you realize the inevitability of this, the better off you’ll be. We want everyone to love us, but all five-star reviews for one place is questionable to your audience. After all, nothing and nobody is perfect, right? Having a negative review isn’t the end of your world and in fact, should be viewed as the potential to turn that customer’s experience into a positive one on their next visit (that you should invite them to, see below), or learn from what the guest has to say.

2. Respond in a timely manner – The sooner that you acknowledge and respond to a review, the greater chance you have of making an impact on that reviewer. Besides the impact you make on the one who wrote the review, you’ll also show others who visit the review site that you are an owner who cares about reading the reviews and trying to make things right, if applicable.

3. Always give thanks – Whether positive or negative, it’s important to show your guests the value you place on their feedback.

4. Be personal – It’s easy to reply to all reviews by copying and pasting a standard response, but why not up the ante a little bit? Guests want to feel like whatever they say is appreciated and heard. If it is, you should show it. A simple, “I’m glad you enjoyed your burger!” will suffice and show that you actually read the individual’s review and want to start that interaction.

5. Make it right – Inviting in a guest who left a negative review for a meal on the house is a great chance to not only show your dedication to your customers’ experiences, but to gain a fan for life. More often than not, those guests who leave a negative review will be more than happy to try your restaurant out again and give you another, fair chance…and then write a positive review about the great time you are sure to show them! If the chance to make it right is not granted by the reviewer, respect their decision.

Here at Exakt Marketing, we are committed to assisting our clients with understanding the importance of reputation management and it’s a successful part of our marketing services.

Have you been managing your online reputation? What has been the result?

According to the Retail Email blog, this year the week before Christmas was the busiest week ever for promotional emails. Online retailers sent out an all-time high of around 6 promotional emails over the week of December 17th, which is up 4% versus the previous week and up 16% over the whole year.

What this means is given the volume of emails sent out not only during the holiday season, but throughout the whole year, getting your subscribers to open your e-newsletter can be a tough task. And since most companies are always looking for cost-effective ways to promote their products and services, e-mail marketing continues to be one of the most popular online marketing methods available.

So while you can’t guarantee your audience will open and read your e-newsletter, there are some tips and tricks to designing an effective e-newsletter campaign.

1)   Ask your subscribers to add you to their white list: What this means is they will add your email address to their address book. This will ensure that your newsletters are not delivered to a junk mail folder.

2)   Be consistent: If you can send your emails on the same day and time each week, your subscribers will learn when to expect and anticipate your emails. Most email programs (i.e. MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response) allow you to set up a delivery date/time so you can write your e-mail blast in advance, but send it at the same day/same time each week.

3)   Pick the right subject line: Your subject line should preview the contents of the email by summarizing the main point of your email’s message, while not being too sales driven or spam-ish. Avoid writing your subject lines in all caps. Tell your customers in 50 characters or less why they would want to read your message and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box in order to pique your subscribers curiosity (but make sure you’re not so “out there” that you turn them off!) Try out different subjects lines in each newsletter and review your email statistics (through your e-newsletter program) to know what resonates best with your audience.

4)   Keep your newsletter short and sweet: If your ultimate goal is to direct subscribers to your website, short snippets of text with “read more” links back to your site is a good idea. Longer email newsletters are usually filed away and read later (or not read at all).

5)   Convey valuable knowledge and a hint of personalization: Showing your users you’re human, is a great way to connect with your audience. If you can relate anything that you’re doing personally, to the message that you’re sending your audience, include a snippet in the newsletter. Users like to connect with a personal side of your company, not just a sales pitch.

6)   Construct the right footer elements: Your footer should not only abide by CAN SPAM laws, but it should also have a way for your users to opt out of your e-newsletter list if they wish to. This will help ensure your newsletter is reputable.

Have any additional tips and tricks that you’d like to share? What has your company done that has increased your subscription base? We’d love to hear from you!

As we drift into the end of the month, and the end of 2012, I introduce Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 video.

I was in a journalism course in 2010 when my professor showed me the Google Zeitgeist for the first time. I was absolutely amazed and almost cried in class. The video was put together so flawlessly and it’s something truly meaningful that they give back to us. I believe that was also the start of success for One Republic’s ‘Good Life.’

Regardless, upon finding the Google Zeitgeist video in the Tech section on The Huffington Post, the article linked to “Golden Tweets of 2012: Twitter’s Most Popular Posts of The Year“.

Twitter made a similar move by creating a website dedicated to capturing “2012 Year on Twitter.” Yes, please!

Twitter executed this website beautifully and features “Golden Tweets”, “Pulse of the planet”, “Only on Twitter”, “Trends”, “New Voices”, and “Your Year on Twitter”.

Nice. When a powerful social media source incorporates what has happened on their website and in the world, it’s a beautiful thing.

In the “Golden Tweets” section, you see the tweets that boasted the most retweets of the year. At the top of the list, President Barack Obama’s “four more years” tweet with the photograph of him embracing Michelle Obama. President Obama earned more than 810,000 retweets along with his reelection. Mind you, this tweet was sent out before he even went on stage to affirm his reelection. Social media FTW. Twitter also provides you with the opportunity to reply, retweet, or favorite the tweet if you haven’t already.

Justin Bieber came in second place with his heartwarming tweet to fan, Avalanna who had passed away. TJ Lang of the Green Bay Packers, Team Great Britain, and anime voice actor Kouichi Yamadera were the other winners of Golden Tweets.

If you are an active member of the Twittersphere, you probably recognize some, if not all, of these hashtags or phrases:

  • #throwbackthursday
  • pretty little liars
  • iphone
  • #syria
  • Dark Knight Rises
  • coachella

Yep, I knew you would!

(And don’t worry– Starbucks, McDonalds, and Taco Bell were on the list in the Food category. Sounds like ‘Murrica to me.)

Twitter explains that rather than just choosing “what terms were consistently popular” they chose the hashtags or terms that caught our attention. The geniuses in Twitter headquarters have provided us with insight as to what we, social media participants have cared about in the past year. It’s a smart move and I love it.