online reputation management

Online Reputation Management Tips

What is Reputation Management?

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“Just as people develop social capital that helps them build relationships and careers, corporations and other organisations develop reputational capital that helps them build relationships and grow their organisations.”

It deals with the activities performed by individuals or business organisations in order to maintain or create goodwill in public. Reputation management for any business is based on certain primary factors which are somehow interrelated yet highly essential for the growth of any company:

  • the organisation’s feedback in the market and public
  • assurance about general consensus complementing the business goals
  • social media activities and monitoring

A promising and positive reputation has both intangible and tangible benefits. The ‘feel good factor’ for everyone including stakeholders, customer, employees and consumer advocates plays essential role in building a good reputation of sustenance through tough times in every organisation. Companies with better reputations lead in attracting deserving candidates for employment, pay less for supplies, gain essentially free press coverage and accrue other benefits adding to profits.

When an organisation is well regarded by its clients, always first preference is given ahead of other competitors. And further other potential customers are influenced through social media, word of mouth and other communication mediums increasing its audiences and customers.

Main components influencing reputation management of an organisation are:

  • Ethical appeal: follows its ethical norms, respect worthy and can be trusted in future
  • Employees/workplace: talented employees, appealing workplace where the employees are treated well
  • Financial performance: financially strong organisation with profitability and growing prospects
  • Leadership:an innovative and exceptional leading firm in the market
  • Management: well managed team with high quality management focussing on clear vision for the future
  • Social responsibility:the organisation recognises all its social responsibilities and supports good causes
  • Customer focus: customer considerations and commitments
  • Quality: high quality products and services satisfying clients
  • Emotional appeal:‘Feel good factor’ in the organisation with healthy and competitive environment

 Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is the process of controlling and managing your company’s presence and reputation on social media platforms and Google pages to enhance profits. It primarily focuses on improved rankings for your organisation on search engine pages. Promotion of positive content to the top of search results and pushing unwanted content (negative, irrelevant) further down to ensure positive outcomes for the company, is what online reputation management specialists expertise in.

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Your online reputation can prove beneficial as well as highly troublesome in numerous aspects. Whether seeking an employment, selling a product or looking for an investor, different groups need to be considered before each social activity you carry:

  • Consumers
  • Business partners
  • Share holders
  • Marketers
  • Journalists
  • Prospective employers
  • Co-workers
  • Personal contacts

The results of a negative online reputation are highly subtle and at times lead to downfall and shutting down of organisations in adverse cases. Online customers believe in the concept of ‘what they see is what they would receive’, which is generally never true but is a vital factor to build up a successful online reputation for your company. Negative reviews, false comments, incorrect posts and feedbacks about you and your products can lead to loss of potential customers.

Social media often turns this belief stronger with numerous customers taking on popular platforms like Twitter and Facebook to criticise the products. Definitely, you are being discussed and publicised but negative publicity is never a good option for your own business. The image you maintained, your brand name and whole of your organisation is at stake and under the circle of abundant questions from customers. Here, online reputation management strategies help is eliminating the risks and recovering losses for your company.

Tools to track your Online Reputation:

Set up alerts and feeds to catch every mention of your name, company, brand, employees, domain, etc. If you want to get notifications before a problem escalates or enters the top search results, certain tools that can help you manage your online reputation. Even for a small business or individual, the following are the most comprehensive and user-friendly solutions:

Feed Reader
Set up a feed reader to help you view the custom feeds that you will be tracking for your keyword phrases

Google Alerts
Set up Google Alerts for free to track Web results, news, blogs, video and groups. Subscribe via email or through a feed

Yahoo Alerts
Set up Yahoo Alerts for free to track news by keyword, stocks, local news, feeds and more. Receive notifications via email, Yahoo Messenger or mobile

Twitter Search
Twitter Search makes it simple to search for any mentions of a particular keyword phrase. There is also an array of advanced search parameters that let you search by location, sentiment, dates, links, a particular person and more

Back Type
Back Type is the most robust comment solution that helps you claim your comments on blogs, finds comments mentioning a particular keyword, views all conversations from a particular post or article and subscribes to those conversations

Social Mention
Social Mention is similar to Google Alerts, but specifically tailored for social media. Since Google Alerts can be buggy, it helps in catching immediate conversations around a specific keyword

Board Reader
Track conversations across forums and message boards with Board Reader. You can refine results by date from a particular domain and by relevance.

Q&A Tracking
when anyone asks questions related to you or your company or a particular keyword, you can track those on certain Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers

Tracker
Tracker pulls keyword mentions from a variety of sources, not just Google Alerts. It is popular for its ability to save, sort, tag, share and subscribe to particular feeds

Steps to manage website/ Online Reputation:

  • Monitor your online reputation regularly to increase chances of overshadowing negative content if any with positive and attractive content for your clients
  • Google your company’s name to check sites that are negative and try to push them down in the search results with your own profiles on social media sites on top
  • Try using Google Chrome’s Incognito mode to search for your company or brand names as Incognito strips out some, though not all, of the personalised search results.
  • Monitor the first three pages of your search results, not just the first page. As, any sort of negative content on other nearby pages can eventually make its way to first page
  • Create a spread sheet containing all search results from the first three pages of your search. Indicate positive, negative or neutral results separately to establish a baseline for your online reputation that you can later use to assess your reputation enhancement efforts
  • Immediately respond to unhappy customers on social media and directory sites such as Yelp. Try responding publicly and show compassion and accepting mistakes goes a long way. Give yourself time to think about the response to a negative review and do not go defensive (or on offensive) rather understand why the client had a bad experience. Do not forget reassuring other readers that the client’s experience isn’t a routine affair
  • If someone provides positive feedback or review on a site, reward them with a coupon, freebie or a simple thank you. People will remember and they turn brand evangelists
  • Get as many positive online reviews as possible as not only consumers usually trust online reviews but even Google gives higher search result placement to listings with a higher number of positive reviews
  • Be cautious about your personal activities, both past and present.Give your customers quality content. The more awesome blog content you publish and promote, the more authority your brand name will carry
  • Connect with the media and develop relationships with journalists locally in your field for overall marketing and reputation management
  • Claim all your online directories and review site listings. If someone else, claims or accesses the associated accounts, it could lead to major reputation issues down the road

Your competitors at times can greatly hamper your market reputation, but you can always counter their attempts with the help of a good reputation management agency. Web Circle specialists are known for reputation management in Sydney and across Australia, providing excellent services to grow your business.

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