For businesses, a poor reputation can affect both sales and overall brand perception. And, in today’s world where there are growing opportunities to post reviews and information about customer experiences with individual companies, online reputation management is becoming increasingly more and more important. As such, businesses of all shapes and sizes need to be aware of and work diligently to manage their online reputation.
A negative online mention can create negative results for a business ranging from something as simple as online users opting to click on a competitor rather than on your listing in search results, or something as large and potentially devastating as an online boycott of a company and it’s products and services.
To get started, be sure to set up your own social media accounts. You’ll need to be in a position to respond immediately to any comments you find. The key social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, but you should also be sure to include any industry specific platforms or forums as well. Once you’ve set up your social media accounts, you’ll need to start monitoring.
With online reputation management, it is important to continuously track and follow ‘keywords’ used in online conversations that directly relate to your company. These keywords might include:
- your company name,
- company address,
- product names,
- names of executives and/or staff, and more.
It’s also a good idea to search for your keywords along with some common expressions that people might use when posting about a company (for example: [Company Name] is great, or [Company Name] stinks, etc.)
Be pro-active. Get involved in discussions about your company, products and services and be sure to act quickly if and when you find any negative comments. Always be as ‘nice’ as possible and explain your position thoroughly when responding. Be customer service oriented and show that you are listening and want to help. After all, comments posted online in website reviews, blogs or forums can linger in search results forever!