Best Practises for Reputation Management


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Reputation management was originally coined as a public relations term but now it is primarily an issue of search results and social media. Managing the online presence of your company is not about shameless self-promotion but rather a means of defense against disgruntled former employees, unhappy customers, and unscrupulous competitors. If you do not control your brand’s online presence then somebody else will and they are unlikely to always act with your best interests in mind.

Assessment

Before setting out to improve your company’s online presence, it is always a good idea to do some research and find out what, if any, problems need to be addressed. Search Google, Yahoo, and Bing! for relevant information such as:

  • Owner’s name;

  • Company name;

  • Brand;

  • Product or services;

  • High profile employees; and

  • Handles or usernames.

To be sure you are getting unbiased results, disabled personalized search results first. Record the top thirty results from each search engine for all relevant phrases and make notes about how positive, negative, or indifferent the comments were.

Signs of a Problem

If a number of the top ten search results are not about you or your brand you need to start building an online reputation before somebody else does. You should also begin building a reputation management campaign if you are seeing a number of results that are about your company but are mostly indifferent. When users search for your company or industry you want to be sure that they will find relevant, useful, and positive results. Search results crowded with indifferent comments will tell the user only that your company has not done anything to generate negative attention. Most of these results are not in your control and opinions may quickly change if your company is targeted with a slander campaign.

If the top 30 results are mostly negative, then it is time to do some damage control as quickly as possible. The most common problems that cause negative listings for businesses are:

  • Squatted usernames or domains and/or dopplegangers;

  • Job changes;

  • Name changes;

  • Negative comments;

  • False information;

  • Fake profiles;

  • Trademark infringement;

  • Bad news coverage;

  • Legal documents;

  • Complaint, competitor, and hate sites;

  • Personal or corporate scandals; and

  • Industry perceptions.

Build Your Reputation

To begin, be sure to protect your name. Register your desired username across on social media platforms by using a service like KnowEm. Building an online brand identity can be difficult without the same handle across social networks so be sure to join each new one as it gains popularity to avoid squatters picking up your brand name before you do.

Get involved in the community and build a network of coworkers, friends, clients, and businesses partners across a wide variety of social networks including:

  • Professional sites like LinkedIn;

  • Personal sites including Facebook and Twitter;

  • Review sites such as Yelp or Amazon;

  • Bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, or Digg;

  • Popular industry blogs; and

  • Local or special-interest social networks, forums, and groups.

To build your authority start an industry group or organization or sponsor an event or conference. Create relevant, helpful, and interesting information for your company blog and promote your thought leadership by writing for high-profile industry blogs. Promote news-worthy information through press releases and remain engaged with your community!

To prevent problems, manage your social networks and be accessible. Invest in good customer service and build your credibility with customer testimonials. Respond well to criticism and encourage feedback from customers and followers.

By: Tyler Shannon

2 thoughts on “Best Practises for Reputation Management”

  1. Great blog, I have come across many clients that had a bad reputation and needed to consider this. I have even had one that lost faith in Matt Cutts and Google. Since the recent updates we are seeing more and more clients needing to look at this and this blog will certainly help.

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