Online Reputation Management: Five-Point Game Plan
Having a good defense and attack strategy is important. Here are the key areas you should address when it comes to your brand reputation management:
- Search Engine Dominance
When users type your business’s name into Google, your company website should be in the first listing they see. Your target is to dominate the first page results with listings you control. Create a good social account profiles and make sure you do have a Google+ page.
To show authority, you should target to be noticeable in search results for keywords within your niche. The more a customer sees your brand in search results, the more they will trust and consider you as a good business company.
- Brand Monitoring
Depending on the size of your web business, many people may be talking about your company online. Irrespective of numbers, it is essential that you know what is being said and posted. You may need to reply to wrong stories, deal with an angry customer, or simply respond to an unanswered question. Even a small number of mentions good or bad can have effects.
Your goal should be to check business or brand’s mention wherever they take place online such as in social media sites, forums, blog pots or articles, then you can counter where it’s right. Smaller businesses can use free monitoring tools while larger businesses can hire consider a paid solution or hire online management reputation services.
- Reviews and Recommendations
Every business is open to critiques and the online world provides the perfect soapbox to air such sentiments. From most companies, that can be a good thing, an opportunity to flaunt glowing endorsements.
If your business is lucky enough to have many good reviews, then look to utilize those reviews on your website and through services such as Trustpilot and Bazaarvoice. Though there is cost involved with both, they can create an important part of your online reputationmanagement. When you share and boost reviews, your customers and users will do the positive talking for you.
- Negative-PR management
Negative PR can happen in many shapes and form – from an unhappy customer who posts feedback online to an exposé on wrong business practices. For most businesses, however, damaging feedback will be from customers; what is essential is how such feedback is dealt with.
If negative reviews are posted online, ensure they are countered and responded to—in an appropriate manner. If the complaint is very strong, it may be worth offering a markdown—or, if your brand is coveted, a branded giveaway with a sorry note.
Importantly, if the same negative feedback keeps stirring, then it is time to address the problem directly instead of continuing to make an apology.
- Brand Advocacy
Lastly, who better to recommend your brand than your best customers? Send your most valued customers free items, ask them to take part in company reviews or invite them to a VIP event. The possibility is that they will happily talk about their experiences online, projecting a very good perspective of your business, brand or services.