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How to Manage Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Do you worry that your organization’s social media activities may create reputation problems?

Are you wondering how you can protect your brand’s good name if something went wrong?

A strong brand must manage its reputation

There are two ways to do this. One is to listen and the other is to respond.

Listen, and never stop listening

First you want to know what people are saying about your brand. Whether you’re a brand new company or an established business you need to set up a ‘listening program’ that will keep track of what people are saying, and who is saying what. Here are some free tools to help you listen.

The easiest way to do this is to create ‘Google Alerts’ for your own name, your company name, your URL, your products, your competitors and your industry in general.

 

Know how to respond

The second way is to develop policies or guidelines for your brand so that you and others in your company will know how to engage respectfully and honestly with others (customers, competitors, the media, and so on).

Let everyone in the organization know what kind of content they can share, with what frequency they should respond to comments, what is forbidden to share or discuss, and what outsiders can expect from your company.

If you ever encounter negative communication about your brand, remember that it is better to ‘crowd out’ negativity with a flood of positive content rather than to engage directly with people who may have ulterior motives.

Over to you: Has your brand faced reputation problems due to online or social media activities? How did you handle it? Please share in the comment box below.

**Image credit: everystockphoto.com

 

Comments

  1. Google Alerts are a great tool for monitoring your brand, although I must confess, I don’t always seem to get alerted when something with my name on it is posted. Regardless, a response policy is also a smart thing to have in place. Lest we forget what happened to the Twitter account of one @markdavidson this morning…

    • Boy this Mark Davidson story is quite alarming. Makes me wonder how many other experts outsource their ‘voice.’

      Anyway I suppose my article was timely as it addresses the very issue that Mark faces today – online reputation. And I think the most important lesson here is that authenticity is probably the most essential quality that a brand should embrace – on and off-line.
      Thanks for sounding off Emma – come back real soon 🙂

  2. Google Alerts are a great tool for monitoring your brand, although I must confess, I don’t always seem to get alerted when something with my name on it is posted. Regardless, a response policy is also a smart thing to have in place. Lest we forget what happened to the Twitter account of one @markdavidson this morning…

    • Boy this Mark Davidson story is quite alarming. Makes me wonder how many other experts outsource their ‘voice.’

      Anyway I suppose my article was timely as it addresses the very issue that Mark faces today – online reputation. And I think the most important lesson here is that authenticity is probably the most essential quality that a brand should embrace – on and off-line.
      Thanks for sounding off Emma – come back real soon 🙂

  3. soulofaphoenix says:

    I know that this article is about marketing and consumer reviews and I know that is was posted years ago, but as in all things internet, these words that create problems for reviews regarding professional service providers currently and the words will never leave the internet, so I want to make sure the other side of the story is told. I expect the same ethics/dynamics are part of the marketing world, so please use your creativity to match my words with your particular situation as you read.

    I was severely abused by a mental health counselor who has good reviews online, still. I almost died from her abuse. I understand the point that a disgruntled client/consumer can create negative views and harm reputation, but if the truth is negative it needs to be heard unfettered. It is alarming how few medical and mental health providers actually give competent, safe and ethical service. Clients have their rights taken from them by these providers who violate ethics and the state boards do nothing to help so anyone who is victimized has no way to hold them accountable and has no voice to speak what has happened. (I was personally attacked verbally and in written form and threatened by providers simply for stating the truth about the abuse I sustained at the hands of a counselor. That counselor is now destroying the life of another person who did not know that this counselor was abusive because she was able to protect her (false) reputation online.) Online reviews used to be the only right clients/consumers had to warn the public of these very abusive providers (or companies who did poor work.) Now the consumer and client no longer has the right to speak about incompetent or harmful providers/companies without having them respond back with lies or intimidation tactics. Not only are we being threatened for speaking the truth in reviewing honestly , but by giving the providers the right to challenge our reviews, the truth of what they have done and are still doing is covered up, more clients are being harmed and the threats they have done “off-line” are now online. I like the phraseology of the link this article came from in saying if you want to protect your reputation, provide stellar service and ask people to give good reviews. If you want a good reputation, you need to earn it like everybody else. Stop allowing bullying or doing bullying online of those who speak the truth about your organization or service. This is America. We are allowed to speak the truth about what we experience from others, especially those in authority and not get threatened or silenced because of it. If you have a solid, ethical reputation for your business or practice, no online review that rarely may be false can harm it.

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