Managing your online reputation is essentially a responsibility of the brand manager in the modern business era. Search engines and social media handle millions of searches everyday. People who search online are none other than your potential customers, stock holders, investors, journalists etc. What they read about you on online media defines your business for them. As more and more people are turning to online media for sharing their thoughts, suggestions. Online brand reputation gains importance to keep track of things online. It is very easy for a unsatisfied customer to post a comment, create a blog, make a video or create a hate website. So it is important to make a clean search engine result. A brand’s online reputation can convert searchers into customers or loyal fans.
Leverage Social media
A company’s networth is tied in it’s intangeable assets like brand equity and reputation. One bad review does not define a company or a brand. Every brand must know it’s presence online and must plan to use those assets to it’s advantage. A brand must try leveraging it’s social media channels to attract , engage, promote and encourage positive feedback. It is important to plan your posts, your presence and answers to queries. A consistant approach shall be maintained on all channels. It is impossible to sensor every negative comment or piece of information. Follow the following steps towards effective online reputation management.
Step 1 Protect your name by registering or purchasing all domains, handles usernames etc. New social networking websites sprout everyday and if you don’t act fast, someone else can register your name. It can be an unsatisfied customer or a just someone hoping to get cash from the real owner of the brand. You should purchase negative domains as well such as “[yourcompanyname]sucks.com”.
Step 2 after securing your usernames, Set your privacy settings on all platforms where you are present, especially social networking websites, especially social networking websites. Inappropriate photos comments, statements or remarks would do no good on your own property.
Step 3 Start with simple searches on search engines i.e your name, company name, brand name, products, key executives and most importantly usernames, handles and domain names. You need to have a look at 2 results of each keyword.
Step 4 If you have a couple of keywords on top position in the search engine, It is time for you to start the online reputation management.
Step 5 Creating a website is important but it is also important to build your networks and get involved in professional, personal and media websites like linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr etc. It is also important to show your presence in blogs, forums groups and specific social networks.
Step6 Monitor your brands on all platforms. Set up alerts, feeds to catch everything being said mentioned about your brands, company, domains, executives etc.
Step7 As you grow your presence online, it will get difficult to track, manage and monitor your properties. Make use of tools such as Social Bakers, Hootsuite, Disqus, Social stream etc.
Step8 If a customer is unsatisfied. He will try on post it in social channels like twitter, facebook etc. It is wise to invest some time and money on customer service and address his issues personally. Try to resolve the customer issues through the same social stream itself.
Step9 Build your credibility by collecting testimonials from customers and posting them on the website or sites like Facebook and Twitter. Giving people the ability to add reviews or share comments can help build your credibility to prospective users.If you are a part of a trust or industry specific group, then this is the time to display their logos. Do the same with quality rating services as they make the users feel more secure.