Proactive Reputation Management
Actively managing your online reputation is essential to projecting your image or brand and keeping it positive and consistent. Today, people can say almost anything on a website or social media, and whether it is true or not, it will influence others' perceptions of you or your company. What consumers say about you on social networks, blog posts, review sites, and other websites can have a big impact on how potential customers view you - and on their decision whether to do business with your company.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management allows you to keep control of reviews and other mentions of your business. One approach is to monitor what is said online and react if there's a problem - in other words, a reactive approach.
But by understanding how search engines operate and how they choose what is displayed on the SERPs (search engine results pages), you can actually plan what consumers will see first and make sure it's good. It's quite possible to use Google and other search engines to your advantage and take control of your reputation online.
How is Proactive Reputation Management different from Reputation Repair?
On the surface, the difference in approach is fairly simple: repair focuses on fixing the problem after the damage is done, while the proactive approach helps companies by producing and optimizing content online so that in the event of a crisis, it's very difficult for negative content to compete with positive posts that are numerous and ranking very well in Google. This content even acts as a buffer for the company against the inevitable negative reviews that will likely eventually appear. The negative post will be buried beneath so many positive reviews that it will never see the light of day.
Neither process or strategy is easy, however. Both require a company to create a lot of positive content and use marketing and SEO to ensure consumers see it first. Both proactive reputation management and online reputation repair require expert knowledge of Google algorithms and an investment of time to optimize and promote positive reviews and content.
Advantages of Proactive Reputation Management
In business, it's always more efficient to prevent an issue than to solve a problem, and online reputation management is no different. Instead of waiting for a concern to arise, proactive reputation management will create a buffer that shields companies from attacks. In the long run, shielding your brand reputation offers several advantages:
- A great reputation and positive content ranking highly on SERPs does more than shield a company from bad reviews - it's also good promo and will help gain positive visibility.
- This strategy is cost-effective. There's time invested initially, but when you create enough good, positive content, it takes a lot for a negative post to knock it off the top of the SERPs. It is much more difficult - and takes more time and effort - to make damaging material go away in the event of a crisis. Creating and marketing good content is a much better value.
- There's no need to cross any ethical lines to repair damage. Instead, the positive customer reviews, blog posts and the like bury the negative content, driving it so far down the SERPs that it won't be seen.
- A good reputation is hard to tarnish, so if you provide outstanding customer service and engage customers regularly, they will trust you and be less likely to believe negative reviews.
- Customers and other people who work with your company or search for you online have good memories, and it's much easier to never violate trust than to try to win it back.
- This process can help not only to shield companies from attack - it's a beneficial service for a business that doesn't have an online reputation at all! This is a marketing service as well as protection.
Why is it important to manage your reputation online?
Negative reviews and other attacks can severely damage or even destroy a business. We've all seen the harm scandals can do, whether it's a customer review, news article, or posts by an employee. Customers have long memories and today, they have plenty of options, in any industry. Every business needs to know what customers are saying about their brand, and no matter how good your customer service and products are, it's likely that bad reviews or a less flattering post will happen eventually. People can say anything on websites, and you need to be ready. Your business name is only as good as your reputation.
Managing Your Reputation on Social Media
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have a lot of influence on the reputation of a brand. Because other people post about your business or industry, some of this is out of your hands. But there are things you can do to make social platforms, blog platforms, and review sites work to your advantage:
- Keep blog or profile pages fresh
- Take advantage of user-generated content
- Don't be overly promotional on these sites
- Engage with customers
- Address customer concerns in a reasonable time
- Use a social listening tool to track mentions of your brand in reviews, blog posts, etc.
- Make efforts to accumulate more customer reviews and feedback
- Use reviews and review data to help get insights into customer behavior
The bottom line is, you want to flood the internet with so much favorable content about your name or brand that instead of doing damage control, you're shielded from unfavorable blog posts, tweets, mentions on a website, and so on. The added value in this technique is that you're promoting your business and building visibility at the same time.
If you want to be sure your online reputation is bulletproof, contact us today.