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What the Netflix Price Hike Can Teach Us

Jul 29, 2011   |   Digital Marketing Ideas
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How to deal with online backlash and angry bloggers


When Netflix raised its rates a couple of weeks ago, the internet was abuzz with bloggers and angry consumers bashing the streaming entertainment giant. Just six hours after the announcement, Netfix’s Facebook page had over 9,000 comments, and they became a top trending topic on Twitter. With some plans increasing in cost to as much as 60%, Netflix had inadvertently ignited a social media fire.

So as marketing professionals and hoteliers, what can we learn from the widespread online criticism of Netflix? When a social media crisis happens and you find your business receiving some bad press, it’s important to act quickly.  Below are a few tips and tricks to consider when responding to consumers online.

  1. Be Polite. Even when responding to outright hate mail, always show respect for the blogger or reviewer. Remember, the online world is a public venue. Responding with anger, or too defensively, will only make matters worse.
  2. Explain your Actions. If the outcry is over a rate increase, explain why you think your product is worth the value. If it’s an outcry about a change in policy, explain why the policy change was necessary. If you can make people understand where you are coming from, you can often gain the upper hand.
  3. Act Quickly. It’s important to strategize your response to bad publicity, but it can be your downfall as well if you wait too late to respond.

Much of the time, it’s not the initial bad publicity that will cause the most financial lost – but your reaction to the bad publicity.  Remember, social media is a public venue, and one angry blogger can have a massive impact on your success.  Respond properly…and promptly, and you’ll not only gain creditability, but have the opportunity to gain the upper hand.

Contributed by: Katie Flanagan, SEO Strategist, Milestone Internet Marketing

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