In a world where it takes 20 years to build a solid reputation and only 5 minutes to shatter it (just take a look at CEO Martin Shkreli, whose company reported a loss of $14.6 M after becoming one of the most hated CEOs online), an online reputation management is something that is becoming more and more important to businesses.
Nevertheless, many misconceptions about online reputation management prevail. Some people think it’s simply a matter of monitoring your corporate social media, while others brush it off as a public relations thing, and still others do not have a clue about how it can impact business and sales.
It’s never quiet on the web
The Internet was a very different place a few years ago. Corporate websites were just digital billboards for visitors to get information and companies were simply shouting their information at their audience, just like on TV.
Today’s world is quite different – websites are no longer digital brochures and so content generation is a must. Every day users have a loud voice now and social media engagements are vital to any business that wants to be successful; even those in B2B.
Failing to assess consumer criticism, designing an online that accidentally offends a group of people and not diligently monitoring your social media are all things that can hurt your business – and as you may know, things never really “go away” on the web.
So much for “there is no such thing as bad publicity”, huh?
Basic Guidelines for Online Reputation Management
Whether digital or not, your reputation is your reputation. Following these quick tips will help your business be proactive in handling possible threats and current blunders.
- Transparency: No one trusts someone who seems like he’s hiding something. Make sure you’re always upfront with your audience and customers.
- Monitor what’s being said: Not only is this important to protect your reputation, but this can potentially help you bring in more business by engaging your audience by paying attention to current trends.
- Earn their respect: As I mentioned at the beginning, a reputation is a time-consuming and continuous endeavor. Making people respect you goes a long way.
- React quickly and politely: We’ve all seen funny situations where a business dropped the ball on handling criticism or ignoring it altogether. Even if you have to let them know you will get back to them, it’s much better than to make them feel like you don’t care.
- If the attack is illegitimate and defamatory, take action: untrue slander and threats are actually illegal, even with free speech. Take action, if necessary, before it gets out of hand.
- Own up to your mistakes and learn from them: No one is perfect and neither are corporations. Owning up to your mistakes makes you appear humble and people react well to that.
- Do not hesitate to ask for help: If the fire is growing too hot, know that there are professionals out there that specialize in this.
At Concept9, we understand the importance of carefully monitoring your brand, and we work with a large network of resources to assist your business’ presence – whether it’s to increase your exposure in a good light, or reduce your exposure from a bad one.
Let us get you a cup of coffee (I’m a big fan of tea too) and get talking.