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19 Nov

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Online Reputation Management – 2 Tips for Success

November 19, 2010 | By | No Comments

A Tweet from an irate customer. A blog entry from an agitated influencer.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent years cultivating a brand image designed to generate positive attitudes from consumers. It doesn’t matter if you’ve invested quite a bit of money hiring a top-notch PR firm. In a world guided by the voice of the customer (VOC), a single social message is all it takes to start tarnishing that image you’ve worked so hard to build. But it’s just one message—does it really make a difference? Yes, it can.

One reason is that so many other audiences are looking at that message as well:

  • Potential and current customers
  • Stockholders
  • Media
  • Colleagues
  • Competitors
  • Potential investors

With all these publics Googling your brand, it’s mission-critical to proactively manage online reputation and react when there’s a problem.

Proactive Tactic: Craft Your Own Reputation

While any brand can suffer from a string of less-than-kind social media postings, it can be harder to overcome if you haven’t already created your own online narrative. Start by creating professionally-crafted profiles on the social sites your customers visit most frequently.

Don’t limit yourself to Facebook or Twitter; remember industry-specific sites as well. For example, some doctor recommendation websites allow medical professionals to add and update current information about their practice. Also consider enlisting satisfied clients in your online reputation management efforts. For example, a family practitioner might ask patients to rate their services on a doctor review website.

Reactive Tactic: Practice Transparency

There are times when companies have control over what others say about a product. Consider your options when a customer posts an unflattering comment on the CEO’s blog. In a few cases, it might be necessary to delete it (for example, if it’s nothing more than an expletive-laden rant). Other times, however, leaving the posting “as is” lends credibility and openness to your brand. It also provides an opportunity to answer the criticism openly and correct misperceptions or offer additional assistance.

Take control of your online reputation. Developing and managing your brand’s web presence can no longer be an afterthought, especially when you consider that everyone is reading about you, from your target market to potential investors.

Want to learn more about protecting your brand’s online reputation? Get a Jenny. The Get a Jenny team from Social Strategy1 helps brands defend their reputation with an approach that proactively manages online image while reacting to potential problems. Contact us and talk to a Jenny team member today.

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