06 Jun Your Online Reputation Management Commandments
When it comes to online reputation, your image can be enhanced or destroyed with just one powerful comment. Of course, other people’s criticism is out of your control, but you most certainly can control the way in which you respond. And, further, you can control the manner in which conversation about your brand gets directed in the first place.
If you employ wise online reputation management, chances are great that your critiques will always be, at worst, GOOD! So, take charge of your business’s online reputation and enforce the following commandments:
While there is no formula for guaranteed admiration, RESPECT is a valuable possession in regard to online business authority. Your biggest goal in regard to online reputation management should entail garnering the respect of your followers. It should go without saying that acquisition of mass followers on social media more than likely translates to mass respect for a business’s brand. With that goal in mind, you must ensure you’re doing everything in your power to gain that respect.
*Be Wildly Clear
Your most valiant attempt at being accurately understood, and therefore respected, resides within clarity. Be clear and transparent about your brand, what it is that you do, your goals, how you have what people need, and why your brand supersedes competitors. By making your brand easy to understand, you avoid the risk of being misunderstood and adversely regarded as something you are not.
*Monitor Critiques about Your Brand
Your social media is the best way to see and gauge how your followers view your brand. By interacting with other followers, commenting, and asking questions, you are granted a whirlwind of valuable real-time information. If someone is pleased with your product and shares that, this can very well draw a number of new clients to your brand. If, alternatively, someone shares contempt for a bad experience, this can harm the reputation you’ve instated. Monitoring your critiques will allow you to give timely responses, thanks, or information on any given situation.
*Respond Fast & Respectfully
One of the more critical elements to managing online reputation is how you do, in fact, deal with potentially bad publicity. In the event that someone comments on your social media wall about your product negatively, the best thing to do is address it immediately and respectfully. Don’t respond with equally brash tone or, worse, brush it under the rug like it didn’t happen! Be bold and address the individual’s experience with kindness and help for a better experience. You will be respected in return!
*Reply to Commentary
It should go without saying that your business address both good and bad commentary. This includes everything from emails, blog commentary, social media posts/questions, and the like. As a business, you not only provide a product, but a service – regardless of your industry. And, one of you most essential elements priorities should always be customer service. Just because the commentary doesn’t warrant an answer or reply in an overt sense, doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t reply with a friendly “thank you” or any other kind and respectful acknowledgement.
*Ensure Clean and Positive Google Reputation
When your followers or prospective clients search for you on Google, you want to make sure that your reputation is upstanding. Unfortunately (or, fortunately), people place a great deal of trust in Google reviews and the like. That means that unabashed ripping on your brand has the potential to destroy online reputation. Conversely, Google praise and brand affirmation on your Google page 1 search queries posit you as a ROCKSTAR in your industry! So, make sure that all mentioning of your brand on Google page 1 is stellar.
*Gain Insight on who is Criticizing and WHY
Understanding WHO is criticizing your brand and why will be integral to reshaping a faulty marketing campaign. For instance, if your brand is Huggies Diapers, your target demographic is comprised of predominantly young mothers. In the event that negative criticism ensues from your target demographic, as opposed to outside sources or competitors, you will have a better handle on why your marketing is not successful, how to reshape it, and for whom to reshape it for. Listen closely to your critiques as they will guide you in your progress.
*Take Action against Illegitimate Assaulters
We will never tell you to combat criticism unless it is coming from an illegitimate claim or illegal behavior. Sometimes, individuals will purposely post false information about your brand. Unless you take care of this matter, the likelihood that this will continue by the same attacker is great. So, make sure that you properly address criticism, and combat the illegitimate discourse.
*Learn from Blunders
One of the most important things you can do, when you DO make a mistake, is flip it into a positive experience. How can a brand possibly make a mistake into something good? Well, all mistakes should be regarded as life lessons, and this applies in the same vain to your brand’s online reputation. When you mess up, as we ALL do, you might consider taking a closer look at the cycle of actions that led to the blunder. Did you ignore adverse commentary? Did you respond too harshly? In any situation, both positive and negative, you have something to learn and that is a reassuring reality.
*Request Help Where Help is Due
Just as we learned growing up, no question is a stupid question. If your brand is seemingly unaware of how to go about a minor or major milestone, ask for help. Seek authorities in your industry regarding advice. Your brand image is a priceless commodity and you should do everything in your power to ensure pristine upkeep. So, whether you’re concerned about a social media move, or how to respond to a negative critique, put the pride aside and ask for help.
Branding is often regarded as one of the most powerful tools for your growing business. And, with the shift in digital reliance, your online reputation is important to put it mildly. So, do yourself a favor and employ the above tips for effective and compelling online reputation management.