Top 5 things That You Need to Know About Online Reputation Management
In this day and age, online reputation management is something that is relevant to every business in every industry. With online activity becoming more and more transparent, it is imperative that businesses are actively managing and analysing their online reputations.
However, do not be fooled – if your business does fall prey to negative online reviews, an online crisis or even a social media backlash, there is little you can do to prevent it! The key to remember about online reputation management is that it isn’t about stopping a crisis or negative reviews from happening, but it is about preventing the affect they have on your business. This blog will talk you through the top 5 things that you need to know about online reputation management!
Online reputation management should not just be a once a month activity
These days there are too many businesses out there that believe that online reputation management is a quick fix, something that can be carried out once every few months, a few buttons are pressed and everything goes back to normal. However, this really isn’t the case. In order to ensure that your businesses reputation is managed a strategy needs to be put in place so that all of your employees understand what needs to be done when should a crisis emerge.
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to online reputation management – this statement has never been more appropriate
It is vitally important that you are honest at all times. No matter what the crisis or how badly your business’ reputation has been tarnished momentarily, it is important that you are honest with your audience. If a customer has left a negative comment on one of your social media sites, the best thing you can do is apologise! Then, try asking for their email address and engaging with them in order to work out what went wrong and why. Offering some form of compensation, be it a full refund or money off their next purchase can also be a great way to diffuse the situation.
It isn’t just about maintaining your reputation online, you need to ensure your business has a positive reputation at ALL times
Online reputation management needs to be carried out offline as well as online. Your reputation is something that affects your whole business and therefore, you need to ensure that the way you are operating offline reflects the way you are operating online. Your reputation should not change depending on the platform so therefore you must treat your customers in the same way, with respect and professionalism.
Sometimes, you need to hold your hands up and admit when you have been wrong
In the online world, there is nowhere to hide, tweets are easily made viral, negative comments are just as easily shared amongst social media platforms and comments made on review website are just as easily made public. Therefore, it is no good denying or trying to hide the truth, because this could only damage your reputation even more. As I said before, there is often nothing you can do to stop a crisis from happening or a negative comment being made – you can only prevent these comments from having a negative impact on your business. Therefore, ensure you reply to all comments, even the negative ones, in the best way possible, admitting fault wherever necessary.
Time is of the essence – there is no time to bury your head in the sand!
Many businesses try to ignore or delete negative comments so they do not ruin their online reputation. However, this only damages their reputation even more. So don’t try and delete comments, don’t ignore a crisis, deal with it head on. Your reputation may suffer a small dip whilst the crisis is being taken care of, however, it is often not what the crisis is but how a business deals with it that determines the effect it has on the business.
So there you go, the top 5 things that you need to know about online reputation management. It is vitally important that you do not ignore negative comments made, you must engage with the consumer, diffuse the situation and learn from your mistakes so that your business is able to move forward. Online reputation management is something that should be considered at all stages, at all times and should be thought about offline as well as online.
But what do you think? Do you agree with the points made in this blog or do you feel there is a top tip that has been left out?