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Protect your ‘Rep’: 4 Tips for Managing Your Brand’s Online Reputation

By promoting your business on social media, you better your chances of building strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers and improving your SEO, but you also leave yourself vulnerable to negative criticism and social media mishaps. From anonymous online mischief makers to outraged customers, these pessimistic reviews could break you. However, there is also the potential for good reviews on social media that could very well make you. Here are four tips on how to better survive the rough seas and manage your online brand’s reputation:

1. Keep an eye on your brand

In order to even begin managing your reputation, you have to keep a sharp lookout for what is being said about you. Maybe if the lookouts on the Titanic had spotted that iceberg a little sooner, they too could have avoided disaster. The same goes for British Airways.Annoyed by the airline’s failure to find his father’s lost suitcase, one irate customer paid for this Promoted Tweet:

how to protect your online reputation

The tweet went unanswered for eight hours and was seen by more than 76,000 users before a BA social media representative responded. The tweet became a bigger problem than it should have because of the company’s failure to monitor its social media sites and immediately handle the situation.

The best way to stay on top of your online reviews is to use tools such as iWebtools, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck to track mentions of your product or service so that you can respond in a timely manner to both negative and positive mentions. Because you are most likely utilizing multiple forms of social media, it is probably best to keep all mentions in one place so none of them gets lost in the shuffle. Not only do you have customers frequenting your business’s Facebook and Twitter accounts with their complaints, but they have also taken to posting their comments on sites such as Yelp and Reddit. Frequent auditing of search engine results is also an effective means of monitoring what is surfacing about your business and how it is being represented.

2. Engage with brand detractors

When filtering through your online findings, it is imperative that you respond to negative attacks as quickly as possible, like plugging holes in the bottom of a leaky boat. While these attacks may be instigated by individuals, they can easily be seen by anyone and create a public image crisis that could hurt your brand. Contact the creator of any negative reviews immediately and see if you can resolve the problem. Don’t plug up the leaky hole halfheartedly though; the repair job won’t last very long and soon there will be another leak. O2, a UK telecom company, was undergoing a serious network outage and their Twitter account was overflowing with tweets from frustrated customers. Luckily, they did not follow Applebee’s lead and delete their account altogether after being berated for their generic corporate responses. Instead, O2 responded directly to these tweets with honesty and a little bit of humor. Their sincere approach was well-received and the tides changed dramatically in their favor as a result. As you can see from O2′s response to crisis, getting these negative commenters to engage with you so they open up about any difficulties or qualms is critical so that you can solve the issues immediately and no one else is affected. Maybe your friendly and efficient responses will even turn those bad reviews into good ones.

Continue to read on our blog: Protect your ‘Rep’: 4 Tips for Managing Your Brand’s Online Reputation
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This entry was posted on August 21, 2014 by in online marketing, Social Media and tagged , .
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