There are many misunderstandings about online reputation management. Some people think this is just social network surveillance, others think it’s related to public relations, while others don’t know how it affects business and sales.
In this guide, we will talk about the role of online reputation management in today’s business environment. Companies of all sizes can benefit from a clear overview of the core concepts.
They talk about you
A few years ago, the Internet was completely different. The company was not an attractive customer but only sold to a passive audience. People can’t express their opinions, and the general communication environment was based on some media that communicate with an audience that can barely interact.
The situation has fundamentally changed. The website is no longer a static manual. Custom content is required. Regular contact in social networks is critical to the company’s success.
Regardless of the size of your company, potential customers are talking about you. They post tweets about your current products, post comments on your blog, post updates on their experiences on Facebook, and more.
If you think you can ignore this, or think you can work without considering the voices, grades, and opinions of others, please think again.
Between online reputation and transparency
One of the latest commercial applications is Be Transparent. Opening companies to solicit opinions seems to be beneficial for companies using this new method of communicating with their audience.
What does transparency mean? Here are some examples:
- Allow employees to talk openly about products and services
- Set up a one-to-one communication channel
- Ask for opinions and comments.
- Don’t hide criticism, don’t openly criticize
Easy to say, hard to do! Most small and medium-sized companies have not invested much in communication and have put a lot of effort into this. As a result, their efforts are usually wrong or contradictory.
Transparency is risky. In the long run, opacity is risky.
The “wrong” thing about online reputation management
Transparency has led many companies to fail because they have gone too far. In fact, it cannot be opened without a price. If you and your brand accept reviews, customer reviews, etc., you should be ready to respond.
Consider the following assumptions:
- What if your product/service gets criticized too?
- What if your employees are not social media experts?
- What if your competitors take advantage of this?
For this reason, a suitable online reputation management plan must be developed before “transparent processes” can be started.
Below are three scenarios in which reputation management fails in the digital age:
- Dark Horse Cafe received a tweet criticizing the lack of an outlet to charge the phone. Her answer was: “We are in the coffee business, not in the office business.” Needless to say, this aggressive behavior doesn’t work in the online world. Many bloggers report this as a negative public case.
- Nestle has received negative reviews of its environmental practices but has not yet been resolved. People became aggressive and released a modified version of the Nestle logo that forced the company to close its public pages. What does this teach us? Don’t pretend that people don’t speak, but face criticism as soon as possible.
- Amy’s Baking Company started a heated debate to refute bad comments online. Her insults to reviewers were eventually reported in local news. Obviously, negative attention is not a good advertisement.
How does it relate to your brand?
What do people say about you? Good reputation management on the Internet can not only respond to the evaluation that people make of you, your brand, your products and services, but also decide whether to react and if so, when. Sometimes there is no need to respond, and sometimes late payment can cost a lot of money.
The proactive solution to this problem is to regularly monitor public reputation, not just when someone finds out about a specific incident that needs to be resolved. How did you do it? The tool invented to solve this problem is called “social surveillance network”.
In short, social media monitoring enables companies to collect, process, and review publicly available online content (from blog posts to tweets, from online comments to Facebook updates) to bring negative or positive influence to keep their reputation.
Depending on the size of the company involved, you can monitor on social media (Google reminder, an example of a free network monitoring tool that everyone can use) or professionals.
Content that damages your company’s reputation
With online reputation management solutions, companies must consider two types of negative content. One of them is a complaint about social networks. These problems must be resolved correctly. However, if your company does not face serious problems, they are not a real problem for your company.
The other is the “online reputation bomb,” which affects reputation and long-term sales and can cause serious damage to the company. They are very powerful, because, unlike the content of social networks, they are clearly visible in the search results. What if someone searches your brand on Google and finds libelous content?
When should you go to law?
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
Obviously, everyone has the right to express their voting rights, but some restrictions must be observed. Certain negative content online is really illegal. Because
- You use bad words
- The information you reported is incorrect
- This caused damage to the company’s reputation.
How do you deal with all this? How do you protect yourself or your company from such illegal acts? Depending on the severity of the problem, there are several ways to restore your online reputation:
Effective search engine optimization
When someone searches for your name on Google, displaying search results on pages 1 and 2 is more important than your business card or website. They show you some network resources at a glance. If they display incorrect information, this will divert the company’s online reputation.
Does the user claim that your company has incorrect information? Is this comment specifically designed to damage your reputation and not give just feedback? Does it contain the wrong language? Remedies and quick responses eliminate negative criticism.
If your brand image is under severe attack, you may need to hire experienced online analysts to investigate dark threats and intruders through email tracking, data cross-indexing, and other information gathering methods. IT investigations are the best solution for a complex reputation management case.
If your online reputation management work is insufficient to protect or restore your brand image, you can seek professional help. We can help you to build your online reputation.