How to handle online reputation management is a question that plagues both businesses and individuals alike. A negative sentiment can cause a business loss of both revenue and trust. Whereas the wrong perception of a person can strip them of job security or even bring retaliation from others. About 5 years ago, many Facebook users were changing their real names to nicknames in an effort to keep any “negative activities” from potential employers. The case of Lindsay Stone is a severe one, in which a single picture ruined her life. What started as an inside joke between friends became a public controversy with many sensitive layers, finally resulting in a lost job and hate mail from veterans and their supporters. Similar things have happened to huge companies, where the opinion of an individual created a PR nightmare for the corporation (ie. Chick-Fil-A scandal). In addition, websites like Yelp are thriving and a common point of reference for consumers, a negative review can destroy a hard earned reputation. The major takeaway is that if you do not monitor and maintain your brand’s image then it is at the mercy of the masses. Here are some tips to keep you and your company in a truthful, positive light.
1. CLAIM IT – Gather all urls similar or even close to your name. This tactic will hinder imposters from acting on the behalf of your company in an effort to ride your coat tails or simply damage your image. Value and urgency of this process increases as you gain notoriety, also be sure to remember social media platforms, review sites, YouTube and other video sharing sites. These efforts will keep your brand, customer loyalty and satisfaction in high ranking.
2. MANAGE IT – Make sure you have consistency in your voice, verbiage is key, and also be clear on the use of each platform. Twitter is primarily to field client questions or concerns, while Facebook is used for reminder advertising, client interaction and company updates. Set up canned responses so if there is any negative interaction, it gets resolved appropriately. Also, make sure everything posted is of high quality. This sets the tone of professionalism, giving current and future clients insight on how you run your company.
3. WATCH IT – At this point you cannot only pay attention to what you are putting out, you must be cognisant of your five W’s: Who, What, Where, Why and When. Have you ever googled your own company? You should, it will allow you to keep tabs on anything brewing online that isn’t in line with your brand. You may find people complaining about you or your product/service and you will be able to rectify the situation, creating a better experience for that client and other potential clients. Companies can also find knockoffs of their product just by looking up the hashtags they have created, so it is great practice to monitor those as well. All of this will enable you to be proactive vs reactive to potential threats, which is essential in global business today.
Some people are unsure on how to do online reputation management, or just don’t have the time for it. Drop us a line and we can help you out!