How To Deal With The Dark Side Of Online Reputation Management?

Posted on Jul 17 2013 - 1:17am by Charlie Brown

Many people and businesses still don’t really know what reputation they have online. The internet makes a record of your every digital step such as comment, status update and photo change. It is difficult to track your online activity and control your information being used by others over the web. Today, it is very easy to make you look good or bad on the web by anyone. Search engine results can even crush or elevate your business too. Therefore, maintaining a good name is important in cyber world as well as real world and this is for what Online Reputation Management is popular.

Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management has been designed to tackle issues related to online reputation. People’s opinion about one’s image, products or brands is monitored and their views are influenced in desired ways. Online reputation management approach makes use of tools like social media monitoring and search queries and allows to do content management by controlling negative and positive views. This approach also helps maintain a good reputation and hence, companies are prioritizing it. However, online reputation can bring some harmful issues in the long run. Here we explain a few of them:

Poor Communication

When people are restricted to express their opinion or feedback about a company at its site, they will turn to blogs and other social media like Facebook and Twitter and express their frustration. This can be harmful for the reputation of a business firm online.

Bad Press

Today, media reporting has become very quick and influential as well. They can crush or boost your business with a negative coverage, which can pass throughout the world fastly and badly reflect on your business reputation.

Fluky past

If your company had experienced scandals, or related with stories or had tagged photos or videos related to any scandal and these are still online, then it can be showed up on any time by your business rivals.

High visibility

Of course, information on the web is easily accessible as well as spreads quickly with an easy search and can reach to lots of people. But, a negative communication travels and spreads quicker than a positive news and hence, badly affecting that business’s reputation.

Negative views

Dissatisfied customers and clients seems to write negative reviews or create blogs that speak illegal, insulting or false content about a business. These negative comments or views can increase the number of neutral customers to rely on the side, especially when they search with keywords such as ‘scam’ along with your company name.

Mere tracking

Today, most people resolve issues by contacting directly or emailing the company over its website. But, if a company does not follow a paper track of process, then proving the complaint’s resolution would be difficult.

Let’s look at some examples of effects of online reputation management issues;

  1. The computer manufacturer giant Dell got a few negative product reviews a few years back from of their bloggers. The reviews made others to cut down Dell’s customer service facilities. The media had also covered the issue. But, Dell did nothing to resolve the issue and the company experienced a decrease in sale as well as bad reputation.
  2. A slip-up by Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s presenter in a recent Blackhawks game spread the cyberspace and additionally showed up her past satirical clips too. This has given high visibility and exposure to the Blackhawks and Comcast CSN and cost her job.

How can you avoid this kind of disasters? Well, we come up with some resolving rules to try out.

Enhance your presence

Make appealing profiles on different social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc and always try to keep your personal issues private.

React to all remarks

Reply to customers’ complaints and give feedback on-time. Address negative opinions in a clam and polite manner while fight firmly to the illegal contents.

Follow open communication

Practice open communication such as addressing criticism online, asking for feedback and maintaining conversation with clients.

Be a respected business

You have to do practice certain methods to become a respected business. For this, you have to help clients online and let them stay away from mistakes. Also, provide a free entry to develop trust and gain traffic your way.

Learn from mistakes

Examine your past slip-ups as well as others and learn from those mistakes and stay honest.

Follow a well-structured strategy

Own a well structured Online Reputation Strategy and put trust on your team as well as keep an eye on your open communication.

Ask for assistance

Get assistance of experts while handling more assertive SEO tools or dealing with legal actions.

Keep tabs on your reputation

Look for your company name on the web to see the latest opinions about your business, know your tags and earlier activities, examine media exposure and also make use of popular Online Reputation Management tools including;

  1. SocialMention: This tool monitors your mentions, displays your significance and sends alerts of your keywords.
  2. Google Alerts: This tool goes after desired terms in news, blogs or anywhere and send you email alerts of all mentions.
  3. WhosTalkin: This tool examines mentions on different social media and sends alerts to you on your brand searches.
  4. Alterian: This tool displays how people throughout the world feel about your business and also allows you to address it accordingly.
  5. Technorati: This tool goes after your blog and displays how people access and link your post as well as alert subscription.
  6. Trackur: This tool displays what people see when they look for your business and whether they mention that you are influential.
  7. BrandsEye: This tool analyses and allows you build reputation.

In this hi-tech, digital world, observing your online activity and reputation is a challenging process. Fortunately, Online Reputation Management can assist you by letting you stay informed, shape public opinion and manage content. Taking advantage of Online Reputation Management is a key to online success. So, make better use of it.

Photo Credit: Flickr/John Uhri

About the Author
Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown works as a consultant in a reputed reputation management firm. He also has worked on reputation repair projects and knows the importance of reputation management for online companies and business. He lives in Goa with his family and loves sharing his thoughts on marketing.