Online Reputation Management Services
The term “online reputation management” has been thrown around a lot recently, especially in relation to public relations nightmares some companies have experienced. It seems that rogue PR professionals are posting inflammatory Tweets or blogs, or maybe a company’s website was hacked and damaging information was released. On the other hand, you’ve probably also heard of companies with a great online reputation who are known to interact meaningfully and positively with their customers. Online reputation management is an essential part of public relations in the 21st century. Here’s how to get started.
When it comes to managing your online reputation, you have to remember the old adage that content is kind. If your customers like your content, they’ll tell their friends about it via email or social media. This means you have to produce the best content possible to manage your online reputation. When thinking about how you’ll make that great buzzworthy content consider the following points.
What Goes Online Stays Online
The absolutely first rule in internet reputation management is to remember that anything you post online will be there forever. Even if you think there’s no chance someone you post online will be shared, you should treat it like someone else will be able to find this someday. Never post anything overly sensitive or controversial on your website (unless controversy is your business.
Even if something is on your website for only day, there are websites that automatically crawl the internet for new content and save everything they find in archives. Therefore, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want on the internet forever.
Have a Personality
Part of managing a company’s reputation in the online age is to let the personality of your company shine. Don’t be seen as another boring corporate monolith. Instead, with the help of your marketing and public relations professionals, determine what kind of image you want to portray your company.
Having a personality doesn’t mean being annoying or cheesy, though. You can maintain a professional image and reputation while being personable. Using social media tools effectively can help you establish a corporate personality while being professional.
Only Publish Great Content
The internet is loaded with garbage content—cheaply produced articles and content that doesn’t have very much real value to customers. Instead of posting a blog post for the sake of having a blog post, think about what your company could offer the internet. Is there a unique perspective your company can offer the industry that other companies can’t? Is there an announcement you could make on your blog which could bring your business some worthwhile attention? If you make the effort to post the best and only the best, you’ll soon get a reputation for having something worth saying.
Care About Your Business
This one probably goes without saying, but if you actually care about the products and services your company offers, your customers will be able to pick up on that and respond positively. You’ll gain a reputation for being a worthwhile contributor to your industry simply because you care about it.
Use Social media
Using social media tools is a great way to manage your online reputation. It allows you to interact with your customers and target audience to show them you genuinely value their patronage. It also helps you to stay in control of your message and build viral interest in the products or services you offer. You’ve probably heard of the social media tools you can use to interact with your audience such as Twitter and Facebook, but using each social media outlet is a little different. Here are some popular social media tools and how to use them effectively.
Twitter is meant for short, frequent bursts of information. It’s great for quickly and publicly interacting with your customers and to engage in dialog with industry leaders. Create a Twitter account for your company and frequently tweet information your customers would find genuinely useful. This can include links to blog posts, inside information about new products and more. Don’t simply use it as another advertising outlet or else people will stop following your Twitter account fast. When other people mention your company in their tweets, respond to them by tweeting them directly. This will show up on your Twitter feed and show your customers that you genuinely care about what they have to say. Don’t get into public arguments on Twitter, though. A lot of companies have soiled their reputation when PR reps using their account started arguing or publicly criticizing customers.
Using Facebook is different than using Twitter in that you don’t want to update your Facebook account too frequently. Whereas Twitter users expect to see frequent updates, studies have shown that Facebook users are actually annoyed by people and companies that post too often. Allow your users to post on your company’s Facebook page and respond to their comments or complaints. Remaining silent is a good way to alienate customers. Social media has changed the web so that customers expect companies to interact with them. If you don’t, you’ll lose access to a potentially huge fanbase.
One of the newest social media sites, Google Plus (also called Google+) doesn’t allow businesses to make pages yet. However, individuals can make accounts. Having important figures in your company make Google Plus accounts and share information can be a good way to put a personable face on your company and get some positive exposure. Your CEO can do for your company what Steve Jobs did for Apple by being a prominent public figure.
Even though it seems like every company has a blog online, maintaining a great corporate blog is a good way to add content and speak to your audience. Allow blog readers to post comments on your blog, and have your blog authors respond to the comments their posts get.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating and maintaining a good online reputation. The process of online reputation management takes work, but it’s worth the effort as it will establish your company as an industry leader and build good relationships with your customers. You’ll also have better search engine optimization (SEO) for search engines like Google and improved social media exposure. If you need help finding the right reputation management tools, social media monitoring or knowing how to show up high in search engine results, there are many reputation management services available to help. Feel free to contact me for reputation management services.