2 Tips for Managing Your Reputation Online
There are many good resources out there to give you tips on managing your online reputation. I’ve spent the day crawling the web looking for the most actionable tips for you to start using today, and I’ve come up with two of the best reputation management tips ever – for business reputation or individual reputation management online.
Best Online Reputation Management Tip No. 1 – Own the Sources of Information
Does “owning the sources of information” sound a bit difficult or a bit unethical? Read on for a moment so you can understand exactly what I mean.
You shouldn’t allow all the information – positive and negative – about your personal or business products or conduct to develop solely in public online forums. As great as platforms like Facebook and Yelp can be for your online reputation, they can also be bad because on these platforms you do not personally control the information.
To rectify this, you should have a clearly marked area of your site where customers can contact you directly or post publicly about your products or any other aspects of your personality or business.
Having this will allow you to respond promptly, to see at any time how your brand is doing, and to control how public postings appear. This amount of control will be beneficial for your brand.
However, when you do this, you should be sure to manage the flow of information ethically. It would be easy to totally suppress negative information on your own forums. This would ultimately have a negative effect though, because it would drive commenters to go to other, more public forums – whose information flow you do not control.
Do not suppress information; instead, simply manage it effectively so that the good side of your reputation is presented as well. Also, quickly respond to any negative content on your site or in your inbox.
Best Online Reputation Management Tip No. 2 – Invite Customers to Send Follow Ups
When you’ve fixed a customer’s problem, invite him or her to send a follow up.
For example, if you address a negative Yelp review and fix a problem, invite the writer to post another review. This new review would better reflect positive aspects of your company.
Follow up comments can greatly boost your online reputation for two reasons.
First, a positive review following a negative review will show that you have made a positive change on behalf of the customer. Other consumers will appreciate this positive change.
Second, a vocal customer can be the best type of customer for your business to court. While vocal customers complain more often and loudly, they can also be your greatest assets. Why? Because these customers will also give you the most effective and nuanced praise.
Remember, a reputation that takes decades to build can be threatened by a single event. You need to take proactive steps to managing your online reputation. This is true even before crises hit.