Your online reputation determines how you’re viewed by consumers and can make a big difference to your bottom line. To keep brand equity high, you have to protect your reputation from emerging threats, act quickly to resolve a crisis, and (should the worst happen) have a plan in place to rebuild your online reputation. The question? Is your online reputation management strategy working for you?
4 Signs Your Online Reputation Management Strategy Needs to Change
You Aren’t Actively Working on Social Media
If your reputation management strategy doesn’t include a proactive investment in social media, it’s time to rethink. It’s not enough to just manage bad reviews and remain passive. It’s definitely important to monitor sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor for local Calgary reviews that reference your company; but social media gives you the opportunity to go a step beyond simply responding.
These are platforms where you can control how you’re viewed by controlling what you post. Wendy’s is a great example of a brand that has embraced a particular social media presence on Twitter and run with it. Competitors got in too late and have found themselves dragging behind. They don’t have the same strong, easily defined presence on Twitter, and they often end up simply mimicking what Wendy’s is doing (and looking a little sad in the process).
You Aren’t Aggressively Monitoring Your Reputation
There’s more to reputation management than just looking for bad reviews, though these are certainly important to find and address. You also need to be proactive about blog posts, negative links on sites that search engines find spammy, and negative returns when someone searches for you online.
Many people will have their first experience with you via Google search results, so it’s not just important that your own website rank highly: you also need to get rid of negative third-party references that might pop up. Don’t dismiss these just because they’re from a third party. They can strongly influence how people feel about you.
You Don’t Have a Response Plan
A negative review is going to come. You can bet your money on this. You can monitor all you like, but what happens when you find a problem? Are you waiting until you find an issue before you decide how to respond?
Everything goes much more smoothly when you have a plan. Think through some of the important questions before a crisis happens. For example, who responds to negative comments in your company? How do you decide which comments merit a response and which do not? What Calgary, Canadian, or world issues (if any) do you want to take a public stand on, and who is responsible for making those decisions?
You Don’t Respond Quickly
Speed is of the essence when you’re trying to manage a bad situation. When someone complains about you online, it’s only a matter of moments before their closest friends and followers respond. Give it an hour or two and the issue may have gone at least locally viral.
Most people complain because they’re having a moment of anger or frustration and need to let it out. If you respond quickly, with professionalism and sympathy, you have an excellent chance of turning a negative interaction into a positive one. At the least, you’ll say something important about who you are by noticing and responding with restraint. The complainer might not notice, but others will, and that can only help you.
Turn Your Online Reputation Management Strategy Around
Your reputation means everything. If it’s time to rethink your strategy, call Digital Marketing Collective today and get local Calgary marketing professionals on your side.