Today, savvy brands embrace online reputation management or risk losing revenue and brand cachet.
Many marketing execs and small business owners don’t grasp how important online reputation management is to their business.
Search is the front end to an estimated 45% of ecommerce transactions and many of these may be brand specific (company name of course) and if you aren’t managing your brand reputation you may be losing a great deal of business.
Google Search is now Deeply Embedded in every Aspect of Commerce and Brand Analysis
“Google it” has become the defacto analysis tool anyone uses to do a shallow or deep dive into who we all are. Brands and individuals leave digital footprints across the World Wide Web and at times these can be erroneous, through no fault of your own.
And it’s not just the public web accessible via a simple Google Search. Review sites like Yelp, Topix, RipOff Report and hundreds of comment driven somewhat anonymous web sites help to define who you are in a digital context.
Unfortunately, most “searchers” don’t look beyond the first page results on Google and/or via Yelp or other review sites. This cuts both ways, in some cases, making it easier to at least get rid of negative comments as more positive and hopefully, more accurate analysis of who you are using a commercial provider to help you or via your own online activity.
Online Reputation Management Best Practices
Deal with it immediately Today’s compressed product marketing cycles mean we all live and work in a digital context. If you get negative feedback via Twitter, Faceook, via a “complain” site practice immediate “head em off at the pass” strategy by dealing with the issue in real time.
Don’t ignore the complaint and hope it will go way; it will not, this is legacy information sitting on a server that is in many cases indexed by Google immediately.
Monitor Your Business Brand Use a commercial software application for brand monitoring if you are spending time and marketing resources on the social web. If your syndicating and publishing content, most of these platforms have built in “reputation management.” But, if you need a standalone application here are three good ones:
- Trackur is powerful and with reasonable monthly charges of under100.
- Cision has been around a long time and used by PR pros and agencies all over the world. Like most top tier tech vendors now bundling in more tactical services.
- Radian6 (now part of SalesForce) is the “gold standard” for listening and brand monitoring platforms for good reason, it’s extremely powerful, with robust features and functions.
Remember Risk and Reward Live Together. Negative comments and feedback give you an opportunity to move into a conversation with the other party. Check your ego at the door and use this interaction as a way to do a deeper dive into your personal or brand reputation.
You can turn some of these conversations around and build strong brand advocates that care about your business passionately.
Get Professional Help if Your Overloaded In some cases, with issues that are somewhat volume centric, you will absolutely need a professional online reputation management services firm that can help you dig through the issues; i.e. negative comments, sources, legacy data, how to offset them. This can take time BTW, there are no instant and/or immediate ways to fix these issues.
Embrace a Creative Public Relations Strategy PR is a great way to create positive brand awareness across the web and don’t just use boring “news” items for PR focus: talk about how customers use your products and aggressively integrate links back to your site in the PR.
The Best Defense is always Offense Content marketing is always the best way to drive search rankings about your brand. There is no magic formula but you should be blogging aggressively, syndicating content via social media platforms, embrace video marketing and if possible, reward consumers who are familiar with your brand to become brand advocates.
And, Google’s on and off again digital romance with Twitter is back on again: Tweets are again being indexed by Google in real time. Twitter, especially for B2B brands, is much more than a social network; It’s been driving SEO results for years, although at times difficult to tie back to outbound marketing activities.
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