In the digital era, reputation management has gained an extra perspective. You have to be careful about online reputation as the detractors and the disgruntled find it easier to troll you on the Internet. It is no doubt easier for them, compared to the heydays of electronic and print media.
Here are five commandments that will help you manage your reputation online. These well-chosen, evergreen tips will come in handy even after a decade or more:
Trust is something you have to gain with hard work done strategically. And then, you have to keep working on it. Trust, as many business experts say, is a perishable asset and you have to keep making efforts to sustain it. When people trust you, they would believe in what you say and your detractors would find it harder to harm you.
Transparency is the key to gaining trust. When you are continually transparent in whatever you do, you are sure to earn their trust, which does help in the long run.
Monitor and Engage Your Audiences
Social media monitoring helps you to keep tabs on how others view your company. Moreover, you are able to gauge certain trends and take appropriate steps to benefit from them. Find what platforms your audiences are present on and engage with them actively.
Twitter, for instance, can be an excellent medium for replying to the queries of your audiences. If a customer uses the platform for complaining about something, you can promptly convey to them that your team is working on the issue and trying to resolve it at the earliest. A short, prompt reply is better than a belated one with more information. Gaining insights into their mindset will help you frame the right strategy for winning them over.
Address Criticism Positively
A blunt reply to every criticism will only make things worse. You have to be diplomatic on social media and in how you react to various situations.
The way Whole Foods CEO John Mackey handled the controversy on the company’s WSJ op-ed on Obama healthcare reform in 2009 can teach one a thing or two regarding reputation management. Two days after the controversy arose, the company issued a response stating that opinions on the issue were many, including inside their own organization. They invited people to share their opinion on the matter. Their cordial approach helped in diffusing the controversy.
Take Your Google Appearance Seriously
Expect a good chunk of your audiences to reach you through Google. Do a check on what appears when somebody does a search with your name on Google. The negative reviews people may have posted about you on various review sites or blogs are also likely to appear in search rankings along with your website. If the negative reviews are just too many, you have to find ways of dealing with them, or else they would harm your online reputation.
Address Illegitimate Criticism Negatively
If someone is out to present you in negative light without a legitimate reason, you have to take remedial action. Discuss with your legal team if there is enough ground to sue them. A lenient approach towards them may encourage them to repeat their wrongful action.
Having a pre-determined policy about online reputation management will help you deal with such problems effectively. If your efforts fail to yield the desired results, the choice of seeking professional help is always there.