What are your customers and prospects saying about you online? In the fast-moving world of the internet, both good and bad news about your brand can propagate worldwide in minutes. Managing your online brand reputation is no longer a passive activity: It takes dedication and effort.
Active Online Brand Reputation Management: A Quick Primer
Today, companies have remarkable opportunities when it comes to engaging directly with customers and molding online opinion about their brand. Of course, not all businesses will take advantage of this, and doing so incautiously can produce blowback.
If you sit by and allow others to shape your online presence, it could diminish or even erase the ROI you expect from your website and other digital marketing. Luckily, there are easy and effective ways to engage in brand management with a light touch.
Let’s consider four powerful techniques:
1 Respond to Public Reviews on Sites Like Google and Yelp
Most sites don’t let you flag a review for removal, but you always have a chance to respond. A complete, courteous response to a negative review can reduce its power and sway readers to your side. Reviews aren’t the only thing to watch: Make sure your page on each review site includes accurate information and appealing photos.
2 Watch Social Mentions on Twitter and Facebook
Sad as it is to say, people are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones. If they detect you have an active social network presence, they may try to get your attention using social media. Responding calmly to complaints can turn an upset patron into a supporter. Also keep an eye out for enthusiastic fans you could develop into brand advocates.
3 Join the Conversation on Forums and Communities
Twitter and Facebook get most of the press, but they’re only two of thousands of digital communities. B2B enterprises should be especially keen to get involved with LinkedIn, where hundreds of groups filled with decision-makers are found. Taking time to answer group members’ questions can help establish your thought leadership while humanizing your brand.
4 Establish Instant Alerts for Important Terms
With the free Google Alerts service, you can receive email when your company or related topics are mentioned online. This helps you react faster to negative mentions while using positive ones to generate more buzz around your business. Although Google Alerts won’t capture everything on its own, there are also commercial applications for reputation monitoring.
Just as positive press can go viral, negative news or customer experiences can snowball out of control. By taking an active role in online brand reputation management, you’ll help ensure your brand makes a positive first impression and has the assets it needs to deepen existing relationships.