The concept of online reputation management is reaching new dimensions and it is important that one should understand its significance as well as its uniqueness. The session cleared a lot of doubts on the same and brought forward some crucial tips for effective reputation management.
- Joe Laratro
- Jessica L. Bowman, Founder and President of SEOinhouse.com
- Lauren Vaccarello, Director of Publishing of Forex Capital Markets LLC
- Brian Combs, Senior VP & Chief Futurist of Apogee Search
- Tony Wright, CEO/Founder of WrightIMC
The first speaker of the session was Jessica Bowman. She stressed how in accordance with the halo effect, it is imperative that you create a consistent customer experience. This consistency is to be exhibited not only in your customer service line, new cycle and the real world locations, but also in the SERPs and social media. With traditional media, one can obtain a maximum of 50 percent halo but online interactions can cause large scale impacts.
With the advent of machines, such as iPhones, it has become even easier to surf, post and review content on the move. Employers commenting about their company on social sites can damage the reputation of the enterprise substantially. One needs to ensure that good customer service is in the company culture. More attention needs to be paid to those customers who might go and post online. Twitter, Facebook and iPhone have all made it easier to complain simultaneously to thousands of people.
It is advisable for companies to establish boundaries/guidelines regarding online commenting and blogging in the employee handbook. One should however, keep in mind, the opportunity provided by these media is also phenomenal and a significant amount of buzz can be created by allowing employees access to social media sites while monitoring what is being written.
There are many opportunities present to create a positive buzz. You can comment at Yahoo or Google Local, blog or post Twitter updates.
Next up is Lauren Vaccarello, who will be sharing crucial tips for maintaining and, if need arises, defending your brand image. You can start of with buying some important and relevant domains and keywords, such as your CEOname.com and MyBrandSucks.com. In today's world it would be a crime to overlook social media and one has to register his brand name on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Naymz.
Awareness is the key and one has to be fully aware of what the competitors are doing, especially the key players. One can monitor this with SpyFu, Google Alerts and Trackur.
However, monitoring is not the sole objective, taking necessary actions is. You can use Twitter to maintain your reputation. Their paid product Tweet Pro can substantially help you achieve the same.
Monitoring your reputation on Twitter can have surprisingly positive results for your brand image. One should not only try to empower the brand loyalists, but be equally alert to respond to negative publicity.
The next speaker of the session was Brian Combs, who again shared some essential information on the process of reputation management. Handling a problem should be a secondary affair. First, it is important to ensure the following:
- Dedicate enough resources for online customer servicing
- Monitoring online conversations
- Employing consistent naming conventions
- Creating and propagating multiple sites
- Trying to engage your customer as much as possible
It is important to spot the problem a soon as possible. Once you do so, it is imperative that you attempt to diffuse the same. Diffusing a problem does not mean getting defensive or attempting to strong arm, this might just make matters worse. Try to take the matter offline or block with robots.txt. If all attempts fail, then resort to scubbing the list. One can do this by:
- Taking up more and more shelf space.
- Do this through various sub-domains, product sites, international domains, social media profiles, miscellaneous articles on third-party sites, micro-sites that address specific concerns.
- Remember the main objective of doing so, blend the search results.
- The most important thing is that the content be unique. Moreover, link building may help.
One can also employ risky techniques, such as using Wikipedia, Pay-Per-Post, Review Me, Google Bowling or even deceptive practices to handle th problems. However, it is better to pursue reputation management without getting into risky behavior. But always keep in mind that reputation problems are far easier to prevent than to fix.
The last speaker of the day is Tony Wright, who took the innovative way of putting his point with an illustrative example. Wright put down the following important points about reputation management:
- Strong emotions can go on to ruin an online reputation.
- One has to respond with some caution. In some cases, responding can make it worse.
- Employers could come up with policies to prevent employees from responding in an inappropriate fashion.
- Threatening violence over the Internet will mostly make you look like an idiot.
Reputation branding is not the same as influencing. One should first work on reputation and then follow it up with the other criteria. Monitoring your logo should not go beyond control. For example, if a fan/supporter is using your logo, there is absolutely no need to freak out.Reputation Management: PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 2,