Do not misunderstand the importance of online reputation
Widely considered as social media monitoring, or public relations, your business’s brand image and e reputation can be impacted positively or negatively.
It’s not just embarrassing teenage photos or strange, radical comments on Facebook posted years ago by you or your employees. It is rather an abundance of complaints on social media which could easily hurt your business, although maybe not sounding the death knell. Care should be taken that such grievances are given the appropriate attention as soon as possible.
On the flip side, we all know the kick we get out of positive comments and praise, making it so much easier to acknowledge them. Either way, react promptly.
However, steering away from social media, review sites are much more easily found in search engine results.
These sites allow users to post complaints or compliments online – for all to see. In order to be considered transparent – which is the latest buzzword in internet marketing, complaints need to be handled positively and efficiently.
Especially because the post may never go away. There is no delete button. Even worse than this, really unhappy clients or individuals now have the ability to have their own personal “hate” site. Created specially to slate you, your brand image and your reputation.
And there is little you can do about it. No comments may be made to redeem yourself, and this can do untold harm for a very long time.
Constant observation: Google yourself
Needless to say, online monitoring is essential on a regular basis. Never forget that boundaries exist here too, and some content may be illegal.
Consider the following:
- Is this article damaging to your personal or your company’s online reputation?
- Is the information libellous or slanderous?
What on earth do you do next? Is there any way to defend yourself, without getting down and dirty?
If the content contains lies rather than honest feedback, take legal action quickly. This could result in it being removed.
Another strategy is using aggressive search engine optimisation to guide online searches towards positive, rather than negative content. This requires SEO skill, so find an accredited expert to help you here. Or, in extreme circumstances, an online analyst will help to trace threats by conducting a cyber investigation.
The immense power of the internet often defines your marketing, so keep it respectable. Make sure that your employees are clued up on social media marketing. Be transparent by asking for feedback. Address any criticism, and react quickly and politely. Command respect. Learn from previous mistakes.
Are your products contentious or do they invite criticism? Don’t give your competitors the advantage of using your company negatively in their online campaigns.
Your online reputation is key to a successful online marketing crusade. Do your utmost to use it to your advantage.
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# Brand image: think before you speak!
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