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July 6, 2018

Online Reputation Management Tips & Best Practices for Businesses

With new digital technologies emerging every day, online reputation management is more important than ever. 

Actively managing your online reputation can help you stay clear of negative customers sentiment and boost your positive online presence. With proper online reputation management, you’re able to build a good reputation for your business.

Online reputation management eliminates the need to remove negative content, simply by actively promoting positive content. The goal of online reputation management is to get your positive content to rank high and your negative low in search engine results pages (or SERPs for short). The process typically involves proactive and often aggressive solutions aimed at countering, weakening and eliminating the negative online content about a brand by replacing the negative content with positive material. You may take several months to repair your reputation, and the reputation management company you choose must be allowed to see their process play out.

As more and more people move to a digital environment for almost anything, the older versions of marketing are being rendered obsolete very quickly. To capitalize on the new dynamic of digital marketing, you must manage and influence the conversation happening online about your brand. Hence, online reputation management is one huge way to fill gaps in your existing marketing efforts.

A blog is a great way to provide a wealth of information about the products & services you provide to your customers. As essential as social media is to modern digital marketing, the numbers are still difficult to measure. Digital marketing over the internet is constantly evolving, and it is much easier to see the impact of any campaign you’re running. Although every aspect of online reputation management and repair might not apply to your social campaigns now, you will gain a deep understanding of the moving parts you might want to implement later, and you will be well-poised to implement the most effective strategy you can. With an analytic understanding of your competitive landscape, you have the ability to craft a winning marketing strategy.

Online Reputation Management: Dealing with Backstabbers on Social Media

Reputation management isn’t just a set-it-&-forget-it thing. As you can probably already tell, there is more to social media than often meets the eye. The larger your online presence, the more challenges you can have trying to keep your social accounts straight, and hence protect your brand’s reputation & image.

Customer testimonials can go viral, good or bad!

Customers can be very outspoken about their experiences with a product or service. In fact, people are more likely to go all-out on social media about negative experiences than positive ones. Passionate people write long-form articles and create videos on what matters to them, and share them organically across their own social networks. The very nature of social media is that passionate posts like this spread like wildfire among these people’s friends, family & other online contacts – and they could even wind up in the eyes of your own. It’s a rebounding effect.

People can make positive experiences go viral like this. At the same time, long-form articles & videos about negative experiences can elicit even stronger reactions from your audience, so watch your back!

Because if you fail to keep track of the digital paper trail left by these kinds of social announcements (let alone any social post at all), it could bite you in the back even harder than you’d ever anticipate. Business reputation management companies actively manage how your customers view you and your business in the digital space. They will help to safeguard you from the viral and provocative effect of negative customer reviews on social media, and amplify the effect of positive testimonials.

How Social Media Policy Benefits Your Reputation

If you have multiple employees, implementing a social media policy is a must-have to pre-empt against bad employee behaviour that could harm your reputation. A good social media policy should outline what is considered confidential, and explain what the consequences are, if any, when employees act out of line on social media. Furthermore, when any company makes a mistake, a sincere apology should be made as soon as possible. A beautifully written letter of apology with a real signature on nice paper is hard to throw away.

Keep an eye out for various companies’ reputation management efforts to get examples of good and bad strategies. If the economy turns for the worse, it’ll be easy for you find out which companies are ethical and which are not.

Defend Your Image with Social Media Branding

For social media marketing and online reputation management to remain effective, you need to be noticed by search engines such as Google. One way to solidify your credibility in Google’s eyes is to build a “fortress” of branded, fully filled-out social media accounts around your business. The more social accounts you have, the better. However, it can be redundant and time-consuming to have to go about building these social accounts yourself. We have a service where we build hundreds of high-quality social media profiles around your own brand. Our free website audit will examine the quality of your current online branding and show you what we do to help. If you truly care about proper web reputation management, apply for a consultation today.

Building a Social Fortress Is Only the First Step!

Building a social fortress is a very important reputation defense strategy, except it’s only the first step. Once your social media pages are set up and you have gained lots of followers, you cannot just sit back and relax thinking you have achieved your goal. As we described earlier, overwhelmingly positive OR negative experiences often yield lengthy feedback in videos and writing, which can go viral!

So watch out for the reviews, comments and feedback that your customers leave all across the Internet. Or, better yet, hire someone to do so. It’s an essential habit and standard operating procedure for any business’s online reputation strategy.

To make your customers feel truly appreciated, reply to their feedback.

Don’t forget that customers want ATTENTION. Whether their experience is positive or negative, they want someone who shares and sympathizes with their emotions. Businesses big and small often overlook the importance of replying to reviews. Hence, customers will be OVERWHELMED with feelings of appreciation and privilege when you personally acknowledge their feedback, whether it’s negative or positive, in a fair and considerate manner.

An effort must be made to tell as many people as possible “face to face”. If you don’t reply to reviews, being “very busy” is no excuse to not delegate it to a professional online reputation management company that can understand your customer service needs. The best reputation repair specialists will go a step further to make review/feedback/comment replies feel extra-intimate and personal, as opposed to letting a simple-minded robot choose between one positive template and one negative template. Not that there are not smart robots around, of course!

When you’re working with a reputation control agency in this area, you should be as specific as possible with the details about your situation so that the person (or people) working to assist you can better understand the situation. You will see the process work from one step to another until your reputation has been wiped clean.

Online Reputation Management Isn't Passive

And yet, cleaning up the bad experiences only once is not enough.  Even when you manage to put a particular negative experience behind you, it can resurface at any time, especially if it’s an experience that went viral in the past. United Airlines, for instance, has had a history of sensational incidents, from mishandling of musical instruments by baggage handlers, to scorpion stings on board.

Whenever United experiences another incident, the news coverage tends more often than not to bring up their past negative customer experiences. Historically, it’s taken United Airlines writing multiple consecutive letters of apology to release the pressure and relieve consumers by assuming full responsibility and committing to repairing the effect of their wrongdoings.

Proper online reputation management can help you avoid the pitfalls of failing to acknowledge the customers’ emotions and desires when replying to their comments.

Not to mention that the best specialists stick with you long-term to keep things clean.

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