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29 Aug


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Reputation Management Myths

August 29, 2011 | By | No Comments

Most days during my lunch break I like to catch a little of Jim Rome’s nationally syndicated radio show to catch up on my sports.  Recently an “Online Reputation Management” company began running an advertisement promising to help any business “defend” their online reputation.

The major issue is that this company’s commercial only promised to help your Google search rankings and that their “agents” would help get rid of negative mentions already out on the web.  Google may be the biggest search engine out there but it is not the only one.  Also getting rid of negative mentions is one of many stages needed to take in helping to defend your reputation online.

Here are some myths that some brands make the mistake of believing:

Myth 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/ Marketing (SEM) and removing bad comments off of consumer forum sites like Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer will actually defend your reputation online.

  • If you watch American Football enough you know a good defense needs to play well throughout the entire game, not just until halftime.  The same should go for your online reputation management efforts: you must implement a very thorough daily reputation management action plan and make changes where necessary depending on your brand’s wants & needs to truly understand the weaknesses of your company (and how to grow from them).  Simply removing poor conversations about your brand does not mean they still aren’t continuing on via social media outlets and other forums.

Myth 2: Reputation Management and Customer Service should be two completely different efforts in a brand’s digital plan.

  • In fact customer service should be an arm of the reputation management plan/ efforts.  How do you stop poor comments from coming in if you have terrible customer service?  The truth is you cannot stop a problem unless you fix it, and most of the time that requires the brand to make some serious changes.  Zappos is the perfect model of how combining customer service and reputation management efforts can grow your business online (they have been very good at keeping customers happy).

Myth 3: If my company is constantly keeping up with our customer service efforts through great reputation management, we are not at risk of a reputation disaster.

  • This is my favorite myth, because too many businesses out there think that simply creating a plan and sticking to it will defend their brand from any attack. Wrong! Ask companies like American Airlines and GameStop who simply had opinion pieces written about the brand, which were seen by many eyeballs, causing reputation nightmares.   You cannot plan or predict for these things to happen, but if you are doing more than enough to keep your customers happy chances are you will not face this issue.

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Michael F. Lewis II is a Social Media Consultant and Marketing Analyst for Social Strategy1.  He contributes several blogs weekly to the SS1 site.  Connect with Michael on Twitter via @mlewii.

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