Your business’s online reputation management can be at risk from anyone who can write or comment on blogs and other social media, often for no other reason than competitor jealously, lack of understanding about the polices and processes of the business or just trying to shift blame for their own mistakes.
When defining and implementing a reputation strategy for your business there are 3 core mistakes that businesses make when attempting to look after their own online reputation management.
3 Pitfalls to avoid
- Not just about SEO – You may have heard this one before – but it is not just about SEO and in many cases you have next to no chance of affecting the search engine rankings. Some professional SEO businesses offer a “black hat” SEO which in many instances has an immediate impact but over time this is not a good strategy and as the watchdogs get more vigilant – the chances that you will be caught out and blacklisted are greater.
- Fighting back – taking on the people that write negative post or comments within a blog, social network or other forum must be done with careful consideration. In many cases you will not be dealing with actual people – rather you will be fighting internet trolls that attack businesses for no other reason than mischief making and spitefulness.
- Poor performance – If your business has made mistakes and has genuine issues and aggrieved clients then no amount of reputation management will help you. The truth will always come out and your business reputation will suffer.
So how can your business effectively manage its online reputation
- SEO Optimization – Decide if SEO optimization alone can displace any negativity online, or is the negative sentiment too ingrained. You could try to counter negative posts by having your content appear on competitors website but keep in mind the cost and the chance that you will add fuel to the fire.
- Do your research – who is the author of the negative comments – are they real people? Always assume you are dealing with real people and treat them with respect.
- Black Hat – Keep away from “black hat” strategies as if you are get caught out you can increase the damage to your reputation.
- Don’t rise – Do not get into a back and forth argument with people online – it just feeds their cause.
- Social Buzz – use Twitter and Facebook to talk about your business. In these environments you have the control.
- Stay in touch – Keep up to date with what is new in the online world – recently Pinterest and Google + have become players in the social media world.
You need to work out if you have the skill and time to implement and monitor your own reputation management, if you don’t then you need to engage people who do this for a living.