Reputation Management | 5 Tips to Avoid Problems
Reputation Management | If you have an online business and haven’t considered your online reputation management strategy, you are an accident waiting to happen!
The speed at which information travels online makes handling problems after they occur problematic at best, and disastrous at worst!
What this means in practical terms is that you need to be proactive when it comes to managing your online reputation, and not wait for problems to come along. Develop a plan for what happens when the occasional (let’s hope!) negative entry shows up, and how to deal with it when it does. Here are 5 methods you may want to consider:
1. Know what is being said about you
Google Alerts used to be the go to tool for automatic notifications of brand mentions or keyword alerts however reports are suggesting the Google Alerts is dying. Talk Walker or Mention are good alternatives to create alerts for the mentions of your brand, your competitors and your top keywords. You can subscribe to them via email or RSS feeds.
A manual Google search once a month once a month wouldn’t hurt either to see what shows up. Most of the time it’ll be your web pages, social media entries, web profiles and other useful entries. This is a good way to be proactive and have some semblance of control over your online reputation. Be sure to look past the first page of search results as well, as negative items don’t often start there, but may well end up there shortly, especially if they are being read widely!
Google is getting on the bandwagon and announced on Nov 26th 13 that you can now managed reviews in Google Places for Business:
2.Deal with negative items ASAP!
It’s very important to be seen as dealing with the dissatisfied party as soon as you can. Above all be professional, polite, ultra helpful, and try to make the problem work out to everyone’s satisfaction. That may not be in your favor, but resolving this without spreading the conflict and allowing others to join in the fray is your goal here. Remember that! Whatever you do, make sure you do not get into a virtual shouting match, as 99.99999% of the time, you will be the loser! It’s simply not worth it, so grit your teeth, no matter how wrong it is and deal with it. At the end of the day these people make up less than 1% of your business, but can affect the other 99% if given the opportunity. Don’t give it to them!!
The Queensland government has created a A step-by-step guide to managing negative online reviews and a video on the topic which does a good job taking your through practical tips on how to deal with managing your reputation online:
3. Use your company’s name in your SEO
One easy to employ online reputation management tactic is to make sure you are using your company’s name in your SEO. Don’t go overboard with this, but where it makes sense, use it in URLs, keywords and tags. The reason this works well for you is that the more often your company name is found in titles, keywords and tags, the more Google will tend to view these pages as the authority for that particular keyword, and rank them accordingly, as opposed to a negative entry with no links or other SEO. This will help make sure those occasional negatives never get legs and crawl onto the first page.
4. Make Even More Content Channels
Along the same lines, but with other benefits as well, endeavor to always be creating new content channels that bear your brands name, so as to keep the search results filled with positive and useful items about you, which not only helps reputation management, but site traffic as well! Think free blogs, Web 2.0 sites, videos, social media outlets and social bookmarking sites and more. Keep posting new and exciting content to these channels after you create them so they will keep their search positions.
5. Constantly be asking for reviews
In this case the best defense is a good offense. Proactively ask your best customers for reviews, and even go so far as to reward them. Not only is this a marvelous source of social proof that will help sales, it will mitigate any negatives that come along.
Keeping your online reputation pristine (or at last largely unsullied!) is really up to you. Don’t leave it to chance, as you won’t like the outcome!
Final Tip – The Importance Of Frequency!
Finally, how often you are sending out your “Thank You” email can make a BIG difference. This client was sending a group email once a month (as their booking system didn’t support custom emails in the automation) and were receiving 1 or 2 new reviews per month.
This was updated to be sent on a weekly basis and they are now receiving 3 – 5 new reviews a month. The timing of your review request plays a large role in your customer’s desire to take the time to write it for you, be sure to get them while the experience is fresh in their mind!
Did you know that being listed at the top of the results page not only provides the greatest amount of traffic, but also instills trust in consumers as to the worthiness and relative importance of the company or website? Bad reviews can tarnish that trust and send you plummeting to the last page on a search result. Take control of your online reputation management with Rapport 24/7! Rapport 24/7 is an interactive video marketing platform powered by spontaneous in-the-moment video testimonials and video reviews.
Call now for more information about the new trend in video marketing and online reputation management! (813) 760-2200
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