Reputation management is essential for any business. The development of the internet has made it a complicated and time-consuming task. Nonetheless, an experienced consultancy can deliver a good service in this vital area. A great deal of care needs to be taken. Although monitoring the sphere of search and pursuing well-crafted campaigns can be seen to be at the heart of online reputation management, there is much more to it than that.
Monitoring the sphere of search for mentions of a firm is a central aspect of reputation-based work online. Merely looking at the search engine results pages of the major search engines is insufficient. It is imperative to scan the likes of YouTube, Facebook, review sites, Twitter, forums and LinkedIn for comments made in relation to the specific firm in question. Google has launched a tool called Me on the Web to help in this area. Nevertheless, monitoring is only one part of the work which is required.
If an effective search engine optimisation campaign is run then it is possible that negative criticism of a company will be ranked lower by the search engines. An ill-judged response to a negative review can sometimes draw more online attention to it. It is much more astute to ignore something which could have been produced by a discontented former employee of the business in question. Ruthless competitors can also stoop to being involved in the production of negative reviews.
It is well to remember that the internet has created something approaching a ‘consumer is always right culture.’ In practice, this means that the social media networking sites are sometimes cluttered with unreasonably negative comments from disgruntled customers. Furthermore, if a firm always treats customers in accordance with their statutory rights and uses a reliable delivery company then a significant quantity of potential trouble can be avoided.
The best social media campaigns do not only get users interested in the goods and services of a company, they also get individuals to form a special connection with the company concerned. Such relationships take time to construct, but the process can be accelerated via techniques such as the hosting of competitions and the provision of special offers. Once these relationships are formed with enough individuals, a negative blog post about the company may well be given little attention. The key thing is to establish groups of followers and friends who are unwilling to pay heed to petty gripes.
It is sometimes forgotten that all the effort put into the distinct parts of an overall reputation management plan can have a positive aspect in terms of market research. If a consumer complaint has some validity, it provides a valuable learning opportunity. Its visibility may have been irritating and unfortunate, but the information can be useful for upgrading services and products in the future.