Online Reputation Management: 10 Top Tips
“10 Practical Tips To Conquering Online Reputation Management”
In the digital era, nothing is protecting you from criticism anymore. This can be both good and bad depending on how you deal with it.
While online reputation management will continue to change over the coming years, following these top tips will benefit you and your brand along the way:
1. Protect your brand, become and stay respected
Making people respect you and your work is more important than any other online reputation management rule. According to several business experts, trust is hard to gain and all too easy to lose.
2. Monitor what others are saying about you
Apart from the other reasons on this list about monitoring your online reputation, social media monitoring can bring you business. In today’s highly interactive and social online world, lots of people ask questions through sites like Twitter and Facebook, while they are evaluating whether or not they should buy from you.
3. Be as transparent as possible
If you don’t follow rule number two above, this one could backfire on you. But being transparent is critical when its almost impossible to hide anything successfully nowadays.
4. Treat your Google page 1 as your business card
First impressions count, and we do judge many books by their cover. If the words “scam” and “rip off” are associated with your brand, then that is something you should worry about.
5. Be polite, but react quickly
In case of a customer complaint via Twitter, for example, a prompt and simple “We are aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible.” is better than a late reply with more information.
6. Be prepared to take legal action
Sometimes, if you don’t sue someone, they may do it again. If its illegal behavior, you may have no choice but to fight back. Not long ago some employees of a national pizza chain posted gross videos of themselves playing with customers’ food. The company answered by firing them and having them arrested. Another example could also be people who post false information on the internet.
7. Call in a professional
If your online reputation management efforts are not enough to protect or restore your brand image, you have the choice to request help from a professional. Also consider that you can get help before a crisis and have a strong base of prevention in place if an issue should pop up.
8. Respond to criticism
Many companies have put out material that has caused a controversy among customers and even within their own people. Recognizing that there are sometimes various opinions on an issue, it can help to provide a response and make a public statement and invite people to share their opinion on the matter.
9. Understand your detractors
Criticism can be the chance to learn more about your customers. While it may seem negative at first, if you can get immediate input from your target audience, wouldn’t you want to know so you can learn and become better? In the not too distant past it was a lot harder to really know what your consumers felt about you and your approach to communicate with them.
10. Learn from your mistakes
We aren’t perfect, so learn from it when you fall short. Sony lost millions in class-action lawsuits a few years back. Why? Instead of being upfront about a mistake they made, they stonewalled criticism. What caused the criticism? The company placed copy protection (XCD) on its CDs which created computer vulnerabilities that malware could exploit. Sony learned about reputation management the hard way.