reputation management

What is Online Reputation Management for Businesses

January 8, 2015

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:

  • negative review/complaint censorship
  • review site astroturfing
  • Using the tactics of SEO to influence search results.

Ethical forms of reputation management, which are used more frequently, including:

  • requesting the removal of incorrect information
  • the utilization of feedback created online in order to influence the development of products
  • Empathetic responses to consumer complaints.

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:

  • Become Respected – Respect and trust are widely proclaimed to be assets that are both hard to achieve and perishable. Gaining the respect of clients and potential clients in regards to your work holds more importance than all else.
  • Transparency
  • Monitor what is Being Said about you – Not only will monitoring allow you to actively combat negativity, it will permit you to develop strategies for improvements and more. Additionally, new clientele can be gained through monitoring.
  • React Promptly and Politely – When a customer voices a complaint do NOT take it personally and respond quickly. Even if to simply state, “We are currently aware of the issue and we are diligently working to remedy it. Our apologies for your inconvenience.” Never delay a response or attack the consumer for voicing it. Their complaint is not a personal attack. It is the conveying of a less than positive experience. Use the information as a learning tool.
  • Address Criticism – Do not pretend that criticism will go away or not become harmful. Address it promptly and with the upmost respect. Offer consumers the opportunity the voice their opinions. This is a prime opportunity for data research that will prove invaluable moving forward with your brand.

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