December 31, 2008 ByKen Moody
Updated: Feb. 2015
When it comes to your image, or the image of your brand, reputation management is a phrase you need to know. The Internet is a very powerful and quick force. Negative comments on a blog, social media, or a forum can literally spread across the Internet in minutes and can result in a loss of business and profit.
That’s where reputation management comes in. Monitoring what is said about you on the Internet and responding quickly, and with the right message, can reduce the spread of negative comments. The real damage is done when the negative comments gravitate to the top of Google or Yahoo.
Tips to Manage Your Reputation
1. Google Yourself
The first thing, and easiest thing, you can do is to Google your business or name and see what comes up. It's not vain. It will give you a clear picture of what results you do control and which ones you don't. Not being able to control the negative results is the main issue in this case.
2. Go Incognito
Use Google Chrome's Incognito Mode for your searches, as this hide most of the personal results that Google serves you based on previous searches and associations.
3. Respond to Negative Comments Immediately
Immediately respond to unhappy customers, publicly if possible. If future customers see that you're trying to do everything possible to create a positive customer experience, they are more likely to forgive a negative comment.
4. Respond to Positive Comments Too
Showing your customers that you appreciate them will show that your business cares about them and will build customer loyalty. Be sure to say thank you!
5. Build Up Positive Reviews
If you find that your business has a lot of negative reviews, you're going to have to build up your bank of positive reviews to balance them out. People are going to research your business. Having them see only negative reviews, even if you've responded, isn't good.
6. Stay Where Your Customers Are
If you find that a lot of your customers are talking about you on social media channels such as Twitter or Facebook (search these using your business name as a hashtag if you don't already have an account) then it's time to start communicating via these channels. Many big brands such as airlines, service providers, and clothing brands use social media as a form of customer service. These social media complaints can spread just as fast as a blog post.
7. Be Cautious of Employee Personal Activity Online
Be aware that online information can be found very easily. If you or an employee behave inappropriately online it can have negative connotations on your business. Keep it clean, and keep it civil.
Tools to Use for Reputation Management
Here are a few tools to use beyond a Google search to help monitor your online reputation:
For more information about online reputation management, contact Sales & Marketing Technologies today for a free assessment and consultation.