Wednesday, October 4, 2017

5 Tips for Healthy Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management (ORM) has become big business. In many ways it's the digital division of public relations. Review sites and social media provide the means for immediate complaint (or praise) and have given rise to the need for companies to proactively monitor and address all comments. On the upside, these sites deliver a great opportunity for customer feedback and positive publicity. On the downside, it can be potentially damaging for a company’s reputation. Everyone has an opinion and the www gives them a forum.

Five Tips For ORM:
  1. Be your reputation’s watchdog.
    We can’t stress enough the importance of monitoring your reputation. And it’s not limited to human interaction, but also search engine finds, ie. SEO. With onlookers constantly checking, commenting, and rating your every move, it can be a daunting task to manage. However, there are agencies (like ours) that can help you manage the watchdog process.
  2. Proactively and empathetically respond to the comments.
    This is the number one tenet to managing your online reputation. Don’t ignore the bad review, but rather use this as an opportunity to demonstrate concern and excellent customer service. In other words be quick to address it and always start with an apology, even if you're not at fault. Get the story and develop a solution. Ideally, a phone call to the dissatisfied customer (when possible) with concern and resolution can alleviate and turn a frustrated customer into a happy one. For a large corporation this could mean 100s or even 1000s of contacts, but it will be worth it. When it’s not possible to call the person, address it publicly and avoid being negative in return. Make every effort to turn the naysayer into an advocate.
  3. Push the positive.
    This is PR 101 in both traditional and digital formats. Beat the drum with the good stuff by using online media to tout your company’s accomplishments and social consciousness, then provide clickable evidence. Be funny, if the opportunity allows. (It shows personality.) Tweet, post on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and your blog! The possibilities are vast.
  4. Be persistent in protecting your reputation and don’t game the system.
    Know what your current reputation is and be vigilant with improving it by encouraging people to give comments. After a successful transaction, make a call, invite them in person, or send an email with a link to rate your service and product. Keep your reviews current and don’t let them get stale. Consumers tend to ignore reviews older than three or four months anyway. But beware and be honest. Don’t hire “false positives.” They are almost always found out and exposed.
  5. Have foresight with a plan.
    Have a vision as to where you want your reputation to be in a year and have a preemptive “damage control” plan in place. No one can stop all negative comments or happenings, but having a proactive plan and response prepared in advance will go a long way to quickly reducing fallout, making today’s news yesterday’s.

Bottom line? The unpredictability of the future can be managed and even harnessed if you’re willing to play the game proactively.

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