First of all, welcome back! Here’s hoping your Christmas break was filled with love and food in equal measure!
Now that we’ve got that out the way, imagine this: you or someone in your organisation has done something silly online, and the reputation of your brand is being dragged through the mud. What a way to start 2018!
Even if this hasn’t happened, in today’s online society so ready to burst with outrage, there’s every chance that one small misstep will be picked up on and spread like wildfire, something that can prove fatal for many businesses.
The best defence against a bad online reputation is, of course, having a great product or service and supporting it with fantastic customer service. Even then, one disgruntled customer can easily create a Tweet or a review that can begin snowballing.
So, in case things go totally wrong, here are a few things you can do to repair your online reputation.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Google your company, your product or your staff and see what kind of results come back. Set Google Alerts to notify you the second your company is spoken about online. Ensure there’s someone within your organisation who’s on top of reviewing your social media and responding to queries, comments and reviews, and give that person the authority to make certain decisions and offer possible incentives to satisfy disgruntled customers.
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Hell hath no fury like a customer scorned. If your company or someone who works for you was the one in the wrong, it’s in your best interest to sincerely apologise and try to make things right. Post your apology on your website and all of your social media, so everyone can see your side of the story.
You Stay Classy San Diego
If someone throws a cheap shot, you’ll want to throw one back sure, but this is a strategy that won’t get you very far. Always take the high road and stress that you adhere to your values, and those same values are keeping your customers happy. Never, ever respond with venom. It’s not a good look.
In Case Of Emergency, Break Glass
The worst time to try and implement a PR reparation strategy is in the midst of things going wrong. Have a plan in place already that can be rolled out the second a negative buzz is created. Designate a public face for the company, and know every step you’re going to take before you take it.
Smile And Wave Boys
Negativity shouldn’t be the only thing people find when researching you online. Make sure you present and promote all the positives you’ve achieved thus far, strive to have a steady stream of good news that’ll outweigh the bad. Continue to build, establish and then maintain a strong online presence that’ll be most needed when the bad news hits.
SEOh You Didn’t Know?
Be on top of what keywords might be used by people searching for your company and the negative incident that occurred. Make sure your positives include the same type of wording so they appear in the search results, this could be as simple as your company name plus “reviews” or “complaints”. Be vigilant and proactive, not reactive. SEM Rush is a great tool that organises these keywords for you.
Get Rid Of Links That Stink
It can prove long and arduous, but if you do find information that’s defamatory, incorrect or slanderous, you’re in your rights as a business owner to contact the host sites and ask them to remove the information with proof of your claim. This is, however, a whole different matter if you’ve gone viral.
Call Some Back-Up
If things have gone so far south that you can no longer repair it yourself, you may need to bring in a reputation management company or PR firm to help minimise the damage going forward. These companies can assist you with things like crisis response, strategic PR and brand preservation. Research the most trusted PR firms in your area and contact them as soon as you feel it pertinent.
So, in summary, the best online reputation repair strategies are persistence, planning and positivity. You can hope for smooth sailing, but you never know when there’s a storm around the corner, so be ready at all times.
Still not big enough to worry about an ‘online reputation’? Well, we can get you there! Call SponsoredLinX on 1300 859 600 today and start growing your business on the net!