By: Jürgen Strauss
When do you need to manage your reputation online? Will you wait to be attacked negatively through social media to start this? Wrong! In any business, relationship must be built to gain trust from your target market. It’s a vital aspect of reputation management. This is why most successful companies or brands employ public or customer relations professionals to take care of this important aspect of corporate life -whether operating online or offline.
Spreading the Good News
Developing relationships in the online world is as crucial as building your customer base in the offline market. In fact, most marketing campaigns follow the same pattern as how traditional commercial processes are done – only with the help of internet technology as per the following strategies:
- Landing page serves as an online brochure.
- Newsletter set-up and distribution can now be automated using an online template and auto-responder systems.
- Social Media sharing is like word of mouth and you can do multiple postings for various social media using tools like Hootsuite.
- Article and Video Curation replaced reference quoting to educate site visitors for using certain products and services plus related information.
The purpose of these tasks is to generate sales leads or traffic that can be converted into phone calls and then of course – actual sales plus repeat business! While promoting your business – it is equally important that you are aware of what your customers are saying about you, your company and products in general.
Managing the Bad News
Regular monitoring of related postings is the key to proper reputation management efforts online. Contrary to the typical culture in the online community, most people only discover damaging contents when negative reports already turned into scandalous topics and degrading reviews are already popularised with regards to their personal or business reputation.
In many incidents, they themselves also contribute to making that “bad news” viral – by reacting inappropriately. Responding with hateful statements and scrutinising your detractors online can only worsen the situation.
You can start subscribing to free applications that will allow you to monitor industry news using keywords related to your interests. Google Alerts used to be very reliable but just in case it fails to catch up with the trend, you can always verify through Google Search. You can also check, subscribe and follow a social media topic of your choice and analyse the feeds provided using Social Mention. Talkwalker also claims to be an easy option for Google Alerts – that will give you updates based on your requested details. Daily mentions can also be monitored using Viral Heat which can automatically post your inputs into other social media like Facebook and Twitter – that are linked into your Viral account.
Managing the bad news doesn’t have to be an intensive campaign. Engagement is the ultimate secret in counteracting these negative contents and replacing them with positive ones. Here are some tips:
- Be proactive with people through social media regardless of difference in opinion•Establish relationship with both detractors and supporters – learn from feedback
- Be a “darling” of the press for direct online media exposure
- Register with your sector’s association websites or community groups
- Build up your own followers using online platforms like LinkedIn and Google Plus
- Be responsive to your selected social media accounts in a regular basis
- Enjoy the process and give out positive vibes to all the people you encounter in these channels
There’s no short-cut in clearing out bad reviews but with a little effort, you can manage and take control of your online reputation. Of course, a good reputation has to be earned and we assume that your business is a sound one, worthy of a good reputation. Use the online world to engage with people and provide information through your online social media accounts, promotional projects and community memberships. You can also publish your own WordPress blog sites and mini sites then link them with your updated properties over the net.
If search engine optimisation, indexing directory missions, monitoring relevant contents, creating or updating social media accounts and link building are too much for you to handle, at least you already know what it takes to manage your reputation online. In this case, the investment in a good reputation management facilitatore is definitely worthwhile and allows you to have quality time in managing and improving your business.