You may have heard the recent story of Posh Bagel. According to a Yelp one-star review, Posh Bagel allegedly denied service to a man dressed in a military uniform, and it caused an online uproar for obvious reasons. If you haven’t heard the story of Posh Bagel, perhaps you have heard that United breaks guitars. Regardless of whether or not either of these stories is true, these companies both experienced what it’s like to lose customers over viral Internet content produced by unhappy individuals who are out to destroy the company’s reputation. These two simple examples just go to show how important online reputation management really is.
Since all of your customers have resources like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, online reviews, personal blogs, websites, and more to spread the word (good or bad), it’s important to have an online reputation management strategy in place. After all, you don’t want to be the next Posh Bagel or United Airlines. If you are, you want a strategy to play ball fairly. Here are just a few ideas to help you build a strong reputation online.
1. Have a website
One of the best ways to manage your reputation online is to make sure you have an Internet presence long before anything can go wrong. If you build a strong website, you are in control of what messages you send to the people. Make sure your website content is current and tells the story of your brand. In order to do this, don’t take content writing lightly. Hire a professional writer to help you get the job done correctly, and make sure your marketing team reviews each message.
2. Create blog content
One way to control the message you spread is to write consistent blog content. Even if you just post three times a week, that kind of regular posting will bring return readers. Quality blog posts are a good way to become an industry expert and tell your brand’s story effectively.
3. Get involved in social networking
Keep up with the game by staying current on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter. The more positive content people see from your brand, the better off you will be.
If a customer has gone through the trouble of leaving an online review, make sure you take the time to respond. This could include thanking someone for the review and offering him or her additional information about your company or conducting damage control.