Monthly Archives: September 2009

Proactive Defense with Online Reputation Management

Negative consumer generated media intent on damaging your company’s reputation can occur at any time from many different directions. Posts can be placed on blogs, forums, and social media sites reaching large audiences in no time. It often occurs that posters will hit and run with negative content on one site and come back to do the same thing on another one. Meanwhile, potential customers, employers, business partners, investors or others can search for your company name, products and/or services at any time of day.

Should they find negative content posted while searching, the finding can give them cause for doubt and lead to a continued search for a company or prospective partner without any negative content attached. This is true regardless of whether the complaint is valid or not. Because of the ease of posting this kind of content, as well as the speed at which it can reach a large audience, it has become critical for companies of all sizes to implement ongoing efforts to protect their brands, products, and services using online reputation management.

This protection consists of three components:

  • Online monitoring – The monitoring of blogs, the news, and social media has now become mandatory for companies wanting to stay out in front of any potential problems which may arise on the internet. Monitoring allows for quick responses, direct communication to consumers, and the potential to guide the ongoing conversations about the negative content.
  • Proactive reputation management – This activity is similar to a typical SEO campaign but with a larger objective. The aim of proactive reputation management is to occupy as many rankings on the front pages of the search engines as possible. The practice can be extremely effective in keeping negative content off of the front pages due to the embedded positive content which is already there. The existing positive content can also make burying damaging content easier to accomplish.
  • Having a reputation management plan in place – By having a reputation management plan drawn up prior to the arrival of damaging content, the response to it can be enacted immediately, thus minimizing its effects. The ability to interact on social media sites or to release countering information quickly can keep the protected company on top of an unfolding situation instead reacting to a crisis in panic mode.

Containing and countering negative content is most effective when defensive measures are already in place. Should reputation damaging content arrive, a counter campaign utilizing experience, skill, and the ability to act quickly and with precision can quell a situation which might otherwise grow out of control.  For a free consultation on protecting your brands, products and services, call Reputation Management LLC today at (866) 530 7703.

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Online Reputation Marketing

Why Social Media Matters in Reputation Management

Social Media and Reputation Management

While estimates vary, it’s likely that between sixty and eighty percent of consumers now research products, services, and the companies that sell them on the web prior to making a decision to purchase.  Because of that new dynamic, it’s crucial for your business to be found easily on the search engines and for there to be positive reviews and/or chatter about your company when users look for conversations about your products and services in social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube.

While many still scoff at the idea of Twitter’s 140 character “tweets” carrying any weight, the fact is that social media is playing a larger role in shaping the perception of companies and their products every day and reputation management companies must adjust for that new dynamic. According to Marketing Sherpa’s “2009 Social Media Marketing and PR Benchmark Guide”, “At least two-thirds of consumers agree that recommendations and information from other people online are valuable, relevant, and influence their purchase decision.”

Like it or not, a growing percentage of your potential customers are going to their social networks for at least a part of their pre-purchase research. Imagine this scenario: Someone with accounts on Twitter and Facebook buys a product which has to be assembled but tries to do it without reading the instructions. The resulting experience is miserable, the product doesn’t work, and that consumer now has an ax to grind. Despite the problem being the consumer’s own fault, they send out “tweets” and write on their Facebook wall on how frustrating the experience was, and on, and on. You now have a definite reputation management issue on your hands.

If anyone else joins the conversation, the problem just continues to grow as more people in each network warn their friends about a new “nightmare” product. In this theoretical scenario, you’re not alone. Statistics show that at least 60% of companies do not take part in conversations to respond to negative reviews and commentary and do not monitor what is being said about them. It is a sheepish CEO who finds out from a customer (or a reporter) that his company has been trashed for three days running on the social networks. If you’re not monitoring these networks, you could be at risk of the same type of outcome.

This makes online monitoring of the social networks at least as important as monitoring the search engines and traditional media for news. In fact, the growing popularity of the social networks and the ability for consumers to generate media about whatever is on their minds makes it ever more likely that at some point your company is going to come up in conversation. If that conversation is headed toward the negative, being able to jump in with reputation management techniques at the earliest point possible can save you a lot of grief and probably a lot of money as well.
There are online monitoring tools available for companies comfortable with doing it themselves but there is growing trend toward professional monitoring for the purpose of online reputation management, faster, and more effective responses should  the need arise. Reputation Management LLC offers comprehensive monitoring across the web and social networks for a nominal monthly fee.

Call Reputation Management LLC today at (866) 530 7703.