Personally, whenever I come to know about a new brand or even a product, the first thing that strikes me is its existence online which I am sure happens with most of us these days. Nothing can exist off internet as every single second someone somewhere is online and is already uploading and posting. Reputation is a big word as it builds you as a person and when we talk about an organization and its exposure on a large scale reputation is launched in a grand way and that has to be maintained. With Google becoming a synonym for knowledge one has to take it seriously while launching oneself on a grand scale.
Online reputation management is much more than just public relations or managing social networking sites as internet has others also to talk about you and they would somehow find the platforms to do so. It just takes a few bad comments and a damaged product picture or video going viral to sabotage the reputation of an organization effectively. Just a hand full of customers or ex-employees are enough to give you a tough time. That is why many e commerce websites publish customer’s testimonials and promptly addresses any service related issue. No matter how big or small a company, they are talking, tweeting, posting and commenting constantly about you. To give you a slight hint on how serious this issue is I would like to share with you an example of you operating your Instagram or Facebook account. You have all the privacy settings in order to protect your account from unwanted posts and requests while keeping a check on who sees your albums, likewise companies being exposed on a public platform also requires some check for reputation management.
Operating publically can come when companies form their base on ‘being transparent’. Transparency includes being open to feedback and customer responses which can be beneficial for the company. Addressing criticism publically just firms the customer belief further more promising and the one on one communication channel makes the company approachable. This may sound risky but can work wonders in the long run.
However, just being transparent does not work as ultimately the services you offer add on to the image. Also, some cases of service failure can get those customers out in the open to post. What then?
There should always be a thought process that should work in the favor of the company while addressing to costumers and there comes the online reputation management companies. These companies keep a check on who is saying what and how to react or whether to react at all on issues. The two types of negative contents that companies face in the online reputation management situation include the complaints on the social networking site. This can be resolved by proper addressing and do not possess major harm to the company. The other one that can harm your reputation on a bigger scale is of three type:
- Negative review: There are sites that let the users write reviews about the brand or companies they have happened to know or have been exposed to. Posting negative content here can hamper the sales and even addressing the criticism won’t be much of a help here. Sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor allows the users to post about their experiences with the companies and users happen to believe what is being said in public.
- Negative media coverage: Nothing ruins the reputation like bad publicity. Negative coverage from print, TV and online media can badly effect the running of the company.
- Negative sites: At times people create a Facebook page or ad hoc websites that says or publishes badly about the company under negative headings and some of them are also illegal content.
With all due respect to what people have to say about the brand some of them are defamatory and illegal also, contains false information so, online reputation management services are required to take care of the company for smooth functioning. The services include several such paths depending on the issue that can help to circulate and maintain the goodwill of the company. Some of these steps include:
- Review elimination: If the review is straight away aimed to destroy the reputation with improper language uses it could be removed through legal liaison and speed of reaction.
- Aggressive SEO: Increasing the marketing of positive content as it is the initial way to restore the good image and search engine results cannot be ignored. Appearing in the first two pages of the search engine is much more important today.
- Online exploration: Skilled online analysts can find out the issue through severe investigation and the attackers or possible threats. Cyber investigation is the ultimate way to get to the bottom of the issue with a sure shot solution.
Maintaining the online reputation of your brand can considerably increase the loyalty of the customers and they would want to stay connected for the efficient services that are provided. It definitely takes time to build up the business big or small and you definitely would not want to let it go because of some minor hatred that could hamper your brand big time. It is better to keep a check from the beginning rather than rushing to the solution when the problem is knocking at the doors. Getting associated with online reputation management companies would thoroughly keep you guarded against any such damage. No one goes unheard and this makes online reputation management more critical an issue for the eCommerce websites as they major operate from internet. Search engines like Google and Bing have powered the brands by giving them top ranks after much efforts and one would want to waste it all with few negative ones. So, online reputation management is becoming the need of the hour with businesses going online each day. Proactively managing the good and the bad can let the brand rule the hearts with better customers on board and smooth business functioning.