Originally, reputation management was a term within public relations and is the control or influencing of a business’s or an individual’s reputation. Due to the use of social media and advancements pertaining to the internet, it has been made a primary issue within search results. Reputation management is often associated with tactics that fall into the following ethical grey areas:
Ethical forms of reputation management, which are used more frequently, including:
Reputation monitoring of a brand or individual via the internet addresses potentially damaging content. It also uses feedback of consumers as a measure to avoid potential problems regarding reputation. Reputation management can also be used as a means to bridge a gap between how consumers and/or competitors view a brand as compared to how the brand views itself.
It may be hard to imagine now, but before the social media explosion, companies were not engaging customers. They simply took to the internet to sell products to a passive audience. Consumers were unable to truly place any amount of power behind their voice. Either they purchased the product or they did not. Today, that is no longer the case. Websites are no longer virtual brochures and social media offers every member a voice that can [potentially] reach millions. Whether a company is large, small or mid-size; chances are, people are talking about it. With that in mind, not all of the talk is positive.
The current business commandment regarding transparency, many companies are beginning to find themselves failing at reputation management. Allowing your company to be transparent does not come minus a price. Therefore one must be readily prepared to address consumers. The following will assist with proper online reputation management: