The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management
Countless mistaken beliefs are floating around the concept of online reputation management. Some think it is only about social media monitoring, while other folks see it as a public relations approach, and other still have no idea whatsoever. The impact of online reputation management on sales and business escapes them. But every company, of any size, can benefit from having a concise framework of its primary concepts.
They Are Talking About You
Not long ago, the information superhighway was quite different. There was no customer engagement, only companies selling online to a passive audience. There was no way for users to express themselves in an impactful way. The media landscape offered top-down communication overall.
Things have changed dramatically. Now, it is a must to offer user-generated content,and engaging customers with regular social network interactions is crucial to the success of any business.
Regardless of the size of your company, everyone is talking about you. That includes customers, prospects, clients…anyone and everyone. People are commenting on your blog posts, tweeting about your newest product upgrade, writing a review about their customer service experience, and more.
This is not a step you want to skip if you think you can operate a successful business without taking what people say into account, think again.
Online reputation is a redundant term, simply stated it is your reputation. In this digital age, criticism flows freely. In regard, to freedom of speech, this is a good thing, but it can be very bad if your company is attacked or defamed.
10 Commandments of Online Reputation Management
Although the world of brand reputation will continue to evolve in the coming years, the following ten commandments can help you protect your online standing:
Become Well Respected: Trust is fragile and difficult to achieve. Earning followers respect is most important when it comes to online reputation management.
Be Radically Transparent: Allow employees to publicly discuss products and services; establish a one-on-one communication channel; ask for feedback; do not hide criticism, address it immediately and publicly.
Monitor What They Are Saying About You: Besides the previously stated reasons, monitoring social media can help boost business. Facebook and Twitter users ask a lot of questions. They are researching and trying to determine if they should buy your products or services. Give them plenty of reasons to choose you.
React Promptly and Politely: Let any customer who posts a complaint know that you are aware of the issue and are working on a solution. Let the user know you will get back to them with a response as soon as possible.
Don’t Ignore Criticism: Address customer criticism quickly and do it publicly. Keep it transparent.
Consider Your Top Ranking on Google As Your Business Card: In life and in business first impressions can make or break a good connection. We are all guilty of judging a book by its cover. If your brand is associated with negative practices, you should be worried.
Understand Your Detractors: You can learn a lot about your audience from the criticisms they leave and what offends them. By paying attention to what people say about you, you can craft a better message moving forward.
Illegitimate Attacks Require a Defensive Act: Sometimes, illegal behavior has to be fought. When people post false information about your company online, there are times you have to sue them. If not, it may happen again.
Learn from Your Mistakes: Always be upfront about errors, mistakes happen. If not, you may be bombarded with criticism and lose valuable customers and profits. Sometimes the damage is irreparable.
Ask for Help, If Needed: If you are not making progress with your online reputation management efforts, hire a professional. It is important to request help when necessary to protect or restore your brand image now and in the future.