5 Essentials Things to Remember While Doing Online Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management

Case Study: The recent case of Deepika Padukone protesting against her cleavage reporting in an abrupt way by Times of India has showcased importance of Online outrage and how a brand should really perform during these times. We are all aware of the fact, Deepika made a tweet and later wrote an open letter to Times of India to which TOI gave a defensive reply instead of apologising or remaining silent made more celebrities, media houses go furious against Times of India.

Though TOI is a giant they should really learn the importance of apologizing at-least when the outrage was Digital and when the media houses are already against the giant brand for competitive or ethical reasons! TOI’s reputation is on stake and the brand should really do something about it than making more remarks on the actress and loosing it all – There is more power to Women after all!

Having said all this, we all know it possibly could be a publicity stunt by the leading actress to promote her movie Finding Fanny! In this article today, I am trying to put across necessary points for a brand to take care of its Online Reputation and act accordingly!

It is interesting to note how more and more business/individuals are investing in online reputation management (ORM). People tend to set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in order build their online brand reputation and personal identity. But that’s is not enough, monitoring and protecting your brand is an important task. An interesting infographic from mashable explain things you need to know to protect your online reputation.

However, we generally face off social media attacks, bad reviews from competitor, off-putting press and forum posts and other negative search engine result that can destroy our brand or business name. So, one should mainly understand that ORM is an ongoing process and requires getting truly proactive. Apart from following various paramount for reputation management you should follow these 5 essential things while doing ORM: resume

Start with Monitoring / Listening –

Start your ORM with monitoring what is already been said. Today, Internet serves as a tool for people to express their views, opinion and even smallest of complaint about a company or person. Customer may leave their valuable reviews, comments and mentions anywhere on your online presence pages. If you have various accounts across web make sure you monitor them often. Biggest thing is they miss out on local listing and other industry specific review sites like Yelp, ComplaintBoard, CitySearch, Google+ Local and Zagat.

While Google Alert is already there to avoid such mistake, you can make use of “Me on the Web” in Google Dashboard that allows to search result for your name. “Your online identity is determined not only by what you post, but also by what others post about you — whether a mention in a blog post, a photo tag or a reply to a public status update,” says Google. Choosing daily, weekly or monthly alert is your choice, but don’t limit yourself also try Hootsuite  and other monitoring tools like TwitterSearch, Socialmention, TechnoratiSearch  to check updates in real-time for further action.

Use Your Brand Name Wisely

First understand having your personal brand identity is necessary even for your business. Because a great website or brand will mean nothing if people don’t know who designed or own it. So, to build your online reputation make sure you register your username and purchase relevant domains. Make use of Knowem that allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 550 popular and emerging social media websites.

Your brand name should be appearing on any work that you do online. Use your brand in URLs, titles, social media profiles etc, so that you get maximum hits in search engine result. But unnecessarily stuffing your name everywhere can actually make it look cheap and break your online brand. Also, concentrate on your offline reputation as it will automatically travel online!

Be Up-to-date on Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms have become a part of people’s life today and neglecting them can create bad impression. Nestle for example damaged their online reputation by responding poorly on Facebook for the complaints received about environmental practices few years ago and another case of Such blunders get spread like fire and can potentially damage the brand.

You should pull out time to update and check all your social media accounts because B2C companies use social media to “track and follow up”  on brand mentions. Further, people generally post reviews and comments on it with an expectation of sooner reply. Remember, by paying attention to your online profiles you are engaging with your customer, building customer loyalty and discovering where you need to improve. Make sure you update your status at least once in 2 days and make people read what is posted on your blogs, websites etc. Because the more you engage readers more happy your search engine will be. While people consider most appropriate social network as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, Ning makes it easy to launch your own social network in a matter of minutes.

Follow White-Hat SEO –

With ever changing Google’s algorithm, one cannot survive longer while doing black-hat SEO techniques. Some of the spamdexing practice includes content spinning, keyword stuffing, interlinking, doorway pages and invisible text. Such unethical way of doing SEO is banned by search engines.

Read White-hat SEO Tutorial and follow some of these methods for ORM:

  • For high ranking of keywords always use original and valuable content.
  • Integrate a responsive blog and share interesting content often!
  • Get one-way backlink from high PR sites by creating guest posts on other blogs. Ensure to post as many positive news as possible about your brand through guest blogging or sponsored blog posts.
  • Bookmarking way of Digg and reddit still works.
  • Be smart and place each profile and pages on various servers so that search engine will review it authentically.
  • Google+ profile matters the most, share your content and create a +1 strategy around it

Listen and React Positively

Biggest mistake people do while doing ORM is to respond over defensively to negative feedback. Understand, Internet is huge and you will find lot of reasons why people write a negative feedback. The bigger your brand/company, the more negative feedback you may discover, but note that everything goes under search engine result. In negative comment writers, some may be your competitor but others may actually be your customer with valid complaint. You may find complaints on social network sites, blogs, websites and complaint sites like Pissedconsumer and other 22 relevant sites (click for the list), See how you can deal with them:

  • Don’t be too defensive, just apologize and promise them that they will not have such issue in future.
  • Handle small customer issues before they grow large.
  • Be available to customer to avoid most online reputation problem.
  • Reply within 24 hours or let your customer know the time frame for solving the issue.
  • Make them aware of the steps taken to resolve the issue.
  • Try taking the issue over the phone or offline instead of building the conversation offline.
  • Offer refund and free service when required.
  • Ask people to remove negative comment after resolution.

When just replying doesn’t work, learn how to respond to negative reviews to retain your brand loyalty and online reputation.

Note – Once the issue is solved ask your customer to post a testimonial and product review. Later you can add them to your sites and track them to your social networks.

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