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Recovering Reputation,

Rebuilding Brand Trust


A company’s reputation built painstakingly over decades could be irretrievably damaged in mere minutes. Given the rise of social media, an online reputation disaster could come out of nowhere. Nevertheless, with well-thought-out strategies, it’s possible to find the silver lining in a social media-fueled crisis.

This is how the ShoreMarketing team helped MiniMovers not only recover its pre-crisis reputation but also build new fans of the brand at the same time.

I would like to thank the ShoreMarketing team for going above and beyond when MiniMovers had our own social media crises, and turning around what would have been an absolute disaster into a positive for the company! ShoreMarketing don’t do things they THINK will work, they do what they KNOW works!

In this competitive business climate, it’s all about value and ShoreMarketing have always provided us with significant value in all aspects of our relationship with them. It’s all about integrity in this business world today…and ShoreMarketing has it in spades.

Linda O'Hagan

Founder/Owner, MiniMovers Pty. Ltd.

The Client

MiniMovers is a short-distance and interstate furniture removals company based in Australia. They provide both residential and commercial relocation services, as well as professional packers and packing materials. As part of their digital marketing efforts, MiniMovers has been managing their social media accounts in-house.

The Challenge

Since 2015, one of Australia’s largest land developers has been eyeing the development of Deebing Creek Mission, an Aboriginal gravesite located in Ipswich, Queensland, into a residential area. In March of 2019, preliminary work was scheduled to begin. This fueled outrage among the indigenous families and a great number of activists and supporters, pushing the issue further into the national spotlight.

MiniMovers was booked for a local move near the heritage site without prior knowledge of the aforementioned issue. Upon learning that their supposed client is affiliated with the complex national issue, the deployed staff called management before proceeding with the relocation. MiniMovers informed its operators to respectfully turn down the job and they safely returned to the depot.

Unfortunately, news crews had already taken a video of the moving van bearing the MiniMovers logo. A few hours after the video was aired on the nightly news, certain Facebook users took to their accounts to write bad reviews and urge more people to boycott the client. This is despite MiniMovers staff refusing to complete the job.

Upon becoming aware of the video making the rounds on Facebook, ShoreMarketing immediately got in touch with the moving company.

Our Recommendation

These days, a public relations crisis means being evaluated for possible breach of trust. When the public finds a business unethical, they take actions to manipulate the sentiments and ruin the collective trust of both consumers and investors. These actions include writing negative reviews and calling for a boycott–both of which can be easily done with the rise of social media and 24-hour news.

ShoreMarketing understands that a sudden PR crisis, such as the one MiniMovers encountered, calls for an equally prompt and head-on response. Understandably, MiniMovers panicked upon the sudden release of the video and the negative response it provoked in the public arena. Without delay, they called ShoreMarketing to seek help in saving their potentially ruined reputation. As soon as MiniMovers filled the team in on what had occurred, both parties started coordinating on ways to address the issue.

  • Humanise the Brand

Maintaining, or in MiniMovers’ case, rebuilding customer trust and loyalty in the wake of an online reputation crisis requires a show of transparency. Delaying response to an issue could be as detrimental to the brand as covering it up. It’s important for the brand to show that they stand by their principles and are actually delivering on their promises.

ShoreMarketing recommended that MiniMovers issue an official statement to explain the story behind the video that triggered public backlash against them. A press release was then written and submitted to numerous local and national news sites.

minimovers press release

MiniMovers Press Release

  • Give the Brand a Face

Some people see businesses as institutions that are only concerned about making profit regardless of the costs. Having a key person come forward to address the issue helps eliminate doubts about MiniMovers’ morals and intentions. After all, people remember and relate to faces.

Acting on ShoreMarketing’s advice, MiniMovers’ General Manager recorded a video to clarify the story behind the photos and videos spreading like wildfire on Facebook. The general manager apologised to the Deebing Creek traditional owners and asserted that their brand does not condone either their removal from or the development of the Aboriginal land.

  • Implement Quick Response Process

As aforementioned, MiniMovers has been doing social media management in-house. ShoreMarketing advised them to step up their reputation management by continuously addressing the influx of bad reviews on social media and external websites.

Given that social media has paved the way for people to connect with one another in real time, it means careful planning is not enough. MiniMovers must also be prompt in responding to social media posts or comments. A delayed response, or the lack thereof, gives power to users, especially to those who drag the moving company’s reputation through the mud.

  • Boost Virality

ShoreMarketing assisted MiniMovers’ in-house social media management team in getting their video message to reach more users. Our team shared said video to Facebook groups (business and moving ones) using our tiered sharing system.

With all the aforementioned strategies, MiniMovers was able to evade a full-blown reputation disaster and re-establish brand authenticity and customer trust, as evidenced by the customer commendations and good reviews they received.

ShoreMarketing has seamlessly become a valued extension of our team over the past couple of years that we’ve been working with them. They have helped us maintain our website and even recover from being penalised by Google! Their knowledge in optimisation, SEO, and Social Media Marketing not only benefited our brand but also improved the skills of the people behind it. ShoreMarketing always go above and beyond in supporting our team and we thank them for giving us the programs that we need for the growth of our company.

Irish Curley

Digital Marketer, MiniMovers Pty. Ltd.

The Results

As MiniMovers’ brand messaging was improved and established, so did the praises for the business. Facebook users lauded the moving company for acting honourably when others would have sued for slander right away. Some of those who helped spread misinformation even expressed their apologies and promised to take down personal posts defaming MiniMovers.

Here are the screenshots of some comments left on the video post on Facebook:

customer reactions to minimovers press release

Customer reactions after the press release

Facebook engagements are the actions people are taking on your pageーpost clicks, video views, comments, shares, etc. They are a measure of content consumption and shareability. Every like, comment, and share extends your reach beyond your immediate community, thus building more awareness for your content.

The table below shows a breakdown of the engagements on MiniMovers’ Facebook page after their general manager’s video message was posted.

Page Likes

As seen in the graph below, there was a spike in the number of new likes beginning March 7 until March 13, 2019. MiniMovers’ page received a total of 114 new likes—a feat considering it’s relatively more than what they actually get on a regular day.

Post Reach (Organic)

Organic post reach is the number of people who have seen your post on their screens without paid distribution. In MiniMovers’ case, their post about the land development issue has reached 14,461 users.

On Australia’s removalist industry

According to a report by IBISWorld, the demand for the industry services along the eastern seaboard has grown in the past five years, as this is where most commercial activities are. However, said growth has not stopped Australia’s removalist industry from declining by 0.2% in the same period. This is due to the growing number of consumers hiring trucks and vans to conduct the move themselves.

Nevertheless, there are still opportunities that could help the industry counter the decline. For example, MiniMovers used to rely on radio advertisements to reach out to potential customers and drive sales. Eventually, they stepped up their marketing efforts with digital marketing strategies, which includes SEO and social media campaigns. As a result, MiniMovers received more and better daily website traffic which converted to leads and sales.

Meet Your New Social Media Marketer!

Andrea Santos, Social Media Manager

Andrea handles social media ads for different industries such as travel, real estate, apparel, and moving.

As a social media manager, she is responsible for the setup, optimisation, and analysis of social media campaigns. After studying the brand and its services/products, she comes up with a message that would best resonate with the audiences of the brand.

Next: Paid Campaign Management

Typically, new Google Ads accounts are less competitive compared to older accounts with a good track record that are tested and trusted by Google. Nevertheless, such drawbacks did not hinder ShoreMarketing from boosting paid ads results threefold but at a much lower cost.

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