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3 Ways to Bungle Online Reputation Management

August 17, 2010 | By | No Comments

3 ways to bungle online reputation management

Want to watch your boss turn forty shades of red? Looking for a way to enrage board members? Perhaps you just want to tank the brand your team has worked so hard to build? Look no further, my friend. Here’s a down-and-dirty guide to transforming your brand’s online reputation management into a headline-earning disaster:

Take your sweet time.

Remember the old days when you had days or weeks to follow up on a consumer complaint? A ComputerWorld article reports that with the rise of social media response times have been cut to mere minutes. For example, it took less than 24 hours for the Domino’s Pizza employees’ video of their, uh, less-than-sanitary pizza-making method to go viral.

As a result, if you want an effective online reputation management strategy you need to be nimble. And you can’t be nimble if you don’t know what people are saying or watching. Consider outsourcing to an experienced social media monitoring company with the tools you need to listen—and react—to the conversation.

Act on your impulses.

One of the quickest ways to damage an online reputation is by hitting that “reply” button without considering the consequences. A U.K. marketing blogger recounted how her husband posted a photo on Flickr that depicted a bistro advertisement that had been placed outside of a public toilet—implying that the business was housed inside the restroom. The husband soon received a Flickr comment from the bistro owners that read “remove this photo or face legal action for misrepresentation.”

Regardless of whether the photo constituted misrepresentation, the fact is that the owners’ comments weren’t exactly social. In fact, it could be argued that there are a number of less public ways to handle the situation. Their threat was highlighted on the marketer’s blog—probably not the best way for the owners to convey a welcoming bistro atmosphere.

That’s why it’s critical to think before you hit the “reply” button. It was true in the heyday of email and it’s just as true with social media.

Turn the volume down.

A gaggle of magpies has nothing on Internet chatter. The number of conversations can overwhelm even the most gung-ho social media advocate among us. In fact, it can be tempting to ignore all of the voices, especially when some of them are less-than-kind.

That, however, is a big reputation management no-no. You can’t react to what you can’t hear. Social media monitoring firms have the experts to listen to and analyze the conversation so you can make heads-up communications decisions.

When online reputation management becomes a priority for your brand, partner with a team of trained social media analysts. Social Strategy1 has exactly the kind of staff and technology you need for a well-managed online reputation.

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