Reputation management has come a long way. From its inception as a catchphrase to a full blown industry, reputation management is now an essential part of brand marketing. Or it should be. Are you keeping an eye on your online reputation?
Typically, there are two camps in the field of reputation management; those who are proactive and those who are reactive. In the proactive camp are those who are actively monitoring and protecting their reputation. Most often you see major consumer brands and celebrities fall into the proactive category. The rest of us…we’re reactive. We sit back and assume all is well until we get hit with a negative review. Then we wonder what to do next.
Consumer feedback sites, like Yelp, Kudzu and RipoffReport, all provide an easy avenue for upset consumers to air their grievances to the world. These forums can be your brand’s best friend or worst enemy. The trick is to have a plan to manage your reputation so you don’t end up wondering how to fix a major problem.
Here are a few things you can do to monitor your online reputation.
Monitoring is Essential. From Twitter and Facebook to blogs and review sites, you need to have a plan for monitoring what is being said about your brand. It’s relatively easy to search Twitter for comments about your brand. You should follow any Facebook pages that relate to your brand. However, monitoring blogs, review and general websites can be more time consuming and difficult. A quality reputation monitoring program can make it easy by delivering mentions of your brand to you.
Invite Feedback. Instead of waiting for consumers to post reviews on other sites, why not create a place on your own website for them to leave feedback? An easy to find and use feedback location might discourage public postings.
Work Together. If you have a person or a team internally working on reputation management, be sure they are working closely with your customer service team. They need to present a united front offering comparable solutions and not sending mixed messages.
What Will Be, Will Be. You can’t eliminate negative postings and it’s best not to try. This is especially true if you are talking about posts on your own website or social media sites. It makes consumers question your objectivity.
Respond Quickly. Instead of trying to remove negative postings, respond quickly. Reach out to disgruntled consumers and try to find a solution. Don’t let complaints go unanswered. It’s just bad form.
Invite Follow Up. If you’ve worked through a problem with an unhappy customer and turned it around, invite them to post a follow up message. Most vocal consumers are equally vocal about the good as the bad.
Reputation management can be a time consuming business, but it’s essential to the health of your brand. Don’t assume that everything about you on the web is positive. Be sure you have a clear idea of what the consumer thinks of your brand. Respond appropriately. Keep your brand healthy.
If your brand needs assistance monitoring its online reputation, Qiigo can help. Our Reputation Management software provides a robust look at what consumers are saying about your brand. For more information on reputation management software, call Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.