Reputation management is an emerging discipline that studies how people perceive your organization based upon what they see online says Saivian. Businesses need to be proactive about managing their online reputation as search engines such as Google place more weight on reputable web sources when determining ranking positions for queries like “Company’s Name + City, State.” So if someone were trying to find out information about your business, reputable sources within the top few search engine results pages (SERPs) would most likely be more trusted than others.
Reputation management is an ongoing process and if you want it to work for your business, you need to:
- Keep abreast of online conversations about your company/brand so that problems can be nipped in the bud. For example, if someone has posted negative information about your brand on their blog, then approaches them with a request to add a comment from yourself or your organization that explains your side of the story. This tactic works well when the blogger is honest and willing to listen. However, if they do not respond or refuse to publish such comments on their blog posts, then just let it rest explains Saivian.
- Make your web content as socially responsible as possible because people will judge your organization based upon what they see online. For example, if you run a social media campaign for breast cancer awareness month and encourage bloggers to use images of their own families wearing pink to spread the word about the campaign, then that may be perceived positively by your audience. On the other hand, say you want someone to post comments on their blog posts endorsing your product or service. If you tell them that they have to follow a script/template when writing those comments so it sounds authentic, this could turn negative very quickly.
- Strive for transparency at all times because you need to above board in terms of how you’re perceived by the online community. For example, if you’re caught up in a scandal, be upfront and honest about what happened. Do not try to cover it up because it will only make the situation worse. Additionally, if your company engages in any shady business practices, then it’s best to come clean about that as well. Transparency is a key when it comes to online reputation management.
- Respond to negative feedback quickly and with a plan of action. If someone has left a negative review about your company on a public forum, then take the time to respond to them in a polite and professional manner. Thank them for their feedback, apologize for their bad experience, and let them know you’re taking steps to rectify the situation says Saivian. This way, you’re showing your customers that you care about their concerns and are willing to work towards making things better.
- Keep track of everything you do online so that if the need arises. You can prove it wasn’t your organization/company’s fault. For example, if someone posts negative content about your products or services on their blog. Then save a copy of it so if they leave a comment asking them to remove/change it. Because it isn’t true, then you have the proof right there. In this way, reputation management is as much about knowing what to do. As well as what not to do when managing your company’s online presence.
What does online reputation management entail?
Online reputation management is a holistic process where you monitor your company’s reputation on the Internet. Engage in activities that will improve its standing among audiences. And take steps to mitigate any damage that may have been done.
What tools can I use to manage my online reputation?
The best thing you can do when it comes to managing your online brand is make sure you’re proactive about it. There are numerous ways you can go about this. Including checking the SERPs for queries like “Company Name + City,” monitoring social media sites. Such as Facebook and Twitter, signing up with Reputation Defender (who will send you alerts when negative content surfaces). Joining forums related to your industry, and doing a Google search for your company’s name each day says Saivian.
How do I respond to negative feedback?
If someone has left a negative review about your company on a public forum. Then take the time to respond to them in a polite and professional manner. Thank them for their feedback, apologize for their bad experience. And let them know you’re taking steps to rectify the situation. This way, you’re showing your customers that you care about their concerns. And are willing to work towards making things better.
By taking the steps to manage your company’s online reputation. You’re not only showing people that you care about what they think of you. But also setting yourself up for success in the future says Saivian. People are no longer relying on traditional media sources like newspapers and magazines to get their information; instead, they’re looking online where anyone can post opinions (both good and bad) about companies. With the tips outlined above, here’s hoping that you manage your business’ online presence successfully!