What is your online reputation saying about you? Your online reputation is how people perceive you and the reason why they dobusiness with you. Therefore, having it go down the drain because you allowed a few bad comments to slip through the cracks will not just hurt your business, but will affect the buying decision of future prospective customers. To avoid this, you need to effectively monitor and manage your social following. Managing your online brand reputation involves monitoring and identifying online activity that could ruin your reputation while at the same time, being authentic and honest as you listen and address the situation.
With social media, consumers and users come together and interact. They are easily persuaded by others opinions and the reputation of a business can easily be ruined through dishonest remarks and opinions of others. In fact, the Global CEO of the brand value agency Interbrand stated, “There is lots of evidence which shows that you’re more likely to be persuaded into an opinion when you’re discussing it with a friend or someone who is perceived to be independent.” (Tim Anderson, guardian.co.uk, 2013).
First, being dishonest can seriously damage your online reputation. As you are monitoring online activity, you will come across mentions about you or negative comments that need to be addressed. Being honest and authentic is the way to go. Consider this; you have the business on one side and the customer on the other. The business can control its communication through advertising, press releases and events. The customers control their communication through social media, blogs and more. There needs to be a happy medium where both can come together and work in unison such as in the case with Toyota and the way they effectively handled the 2009-11 safety issue with their car recalls.
Second, in order for you to effectively monitor social activity, you need certain tools. Remember, your online brand reputation can easily be ruined if bad posts or comments are left out there unanswered. In some cases, you might even want to remove them altogether, especially if there is no truth to them. If you are a local business in the U.S. or Australia, TruBlu will provide a free evaluation of your online reputation.
Another social media tool is Whos Talkin which allows you to see how other members of social sites are talking about you or your brand. You will not be able to manage the results that come up, but you can get fast results. Combine this tool with the Reputation.com service and you have a winning match to effectively monitor and manage your online brand reputation.
To sum it up, you have a responsibility to your business growth and to keep your online reputation and brand in check. Sure, negative comments are going to happen; however, it is how you respond and the actions you take that will determine if your reputation soars or plummets to its death. By utilizingspecialized tools and services and combine them with honest and authentic interaction to address your online followers’ activities, you can keep your online reputation nourished.
To learn more about controlling your online reputation, click here for our free report.