5 Tips For Proper Online Reputation Management
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How much is a reputation worth? $537 billion. If you thought you couldn’t afford to invest in online reputation management, think again.
Nurturing your online reputation does require constant effort, but that reputation can make or break your company.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled the necessary basics of online reputation management to get you started. Follow these tips and protect your company.
Don’t Hide: Widen Your Web Presence
Transparency is key for online reputation management. Don’t keep your exemplary business integrity a secret. Show your customers you have nothing to hide and you’ll earn their trust.
Top transparency tips:
- Use your business name as your web domain (localbizguru.com)
- Create additional websites for specific brands you own, charities you run, prominent corporate figures such as CEO or founder, etc
- Post frequently to ALL relevant social media sites (don’t forget Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Reddit)
- Blog, a lot, on all your sites
- Maintain a Wikipedia page
- Use proper SEO to boost your rankings
- Add your online presence to high-ranking sites (.edu and .gov sites are SEO gold)
- Comment on relevant blogs and forums
- Publish a whitepaper
- Do TED Talks
- Engage your public in person: offer presentations or services at community events, schools, conventions, etc.
These tips will expand your positive web presence and build customer engagement (and respect). They also keep you in touch with your audience and generate positive news coverage of your business.
- Use spammy link building or SEO tactics
- Use sleazy publicity stunts
- Defame other companies
- Write positive reviews for your company disguised as a customer
These are sneaky and/or illegal and will get you caught and flush your reputation down the toilet.
Monitor What the Internet Is Saying About You
It’s essential to your online reputation that you know what people are saying about you. How? Listen.
Many of the above tips will accomplish this, especially:
- Keeping engaged on social media, Reddit, blogs, forums, etc.
- Engaging in Q & A at public appearances.
- Allow (and read) comments on your blogs.
Also, check page 1 of Google search results for your company and set up Google Alerts to keep your search status monitored.
Are the top results positive? If not, address this right away–either by posting high-ranking, positive content using proper SEO strategy or by using the appropriate response strategies below.
Additionally, consider employing a brand monitoring service to not only monitor what is being said about you, but what is being said about your competition too!
Use these insights to craft a winning proactive reputation management strategy.
Remember, public opinion is often formed by conversations and mentions posted on the Internet rather than through elaborate advertisements. Turn the tide of public opinion in your favor!
Respond Quickly and Politely
Responding to negative publicity is a delicate matter. An unfavorable response is the fastest way to destroy your reputation. When your company’s integrity is questioned, use these tips to respond like a pro!
First, always respond immediately. Otherwise, haters and trolls will respond for you, on Page 1 of your Google search results.
Accept criticism. Complaints aren’t only from cranky, irrational misers. They are often a great way to spot real shortcomings in your business dealings that need to be addressed.
Apologize for the trouble and keep the public updated on how you are solving the problem. Then, actually, work to solve the problem.
Know when to solve a matter privately.
Instead of blurting out your apology in the middle of a rage-filled forum rant, it’s sometimes more appropriate to contact the website or author who started the negative post privately to resolve the matter.
Especially because your comment might boost the negative post’s search ranking.
- Get defensive
- Engage in arguments
- Act petulant or like a child
Grow up. Be nicer than they deserve, apologize when it’s not your fault, don’t put sarcastic jabs in your apologies. The way you treat one customer can be seen by ALL the customers on the internet.
Take Action Against Illegal Attacks
There are times, however, that you may need to take legal action against the illegal defamation of your company. A comment is illegal when it’s:
- Purposely intended to hurt your company’s reputation
In these situations:
- Contact the site or author stating your legal right have the libelous post removed
- Produce more positive, high-ranking content to kick libelous posts out of the search rankings
- Hire skilled online analysts or cyber-attack investigators to combat continuous attacks
You have a legal right–use it.
Get Professional Help When Necessary
Online reputation management may be more than your business can handle at the moment. But you can’t afford to let your online reputation slip. Hire a professional online reputation specialist immediately to make sure your reputation stays protected.
Online Reputation Management Cheat Sheet
To conclude, here’s a cheat sheet.
Don’t Hide, Be Transparent
- Expand your presence on the internet, social media, and in the community
Monitor What the Internet Says About You
- Pay attention to your search rankings and social media comments
Respond Quickly and Politely
- Be prompt, mature, and nicer than you need to be; your public is watching
Take Action Against Illegal Attacks
- Defamatory, false, and purposely libelous posts are illegal–use your legal right to have them removed
Don’t Wait, Get Professional Help Now
- Let us help build your online reputation