Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How To Protect Your Online Reputation

Proactive Online Reputation Management Protects Your Company

Many entrepreneurs are dedicating much of their budget to PR.
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net Stuart Miles
 
The biggest problem with a company’s online reputation is it often remains forgotten until something bad happens. And, in today’s online world, one bad mark on your company’s reputation can go a long way; causing bad

press to pop up in every search that a potential customer performs.

Reactive online reputation management is available for situations like this, but it takes time. It is a lot easier (and much more effective) to proactively build and maintain your company’s online reputation, as opposed to going into recovery mode the second bad press hits the Web.

With the Web, it is all too easy for potential customers to run searches of their own. What are they finding when they search for your company? A good Internet marketing firm that specializes in proactive online reputation management can help your company keep a consistent image and put the best foot forward in search.

Own the Conversation
Social media interactions are overwhelming for many within the corporate realm. Not only do profiles need to be set up on a variety of social media channels, but ongoing monitoring and conversation starters are needed to help companies succeed and garner the best online rankings possible. For best results, the majority of the following should be monitored consistently:
  • Your website and company name, and any other variations
  • This one is often overlooked because companies only monitor their certified websites. Slight variations (or adding a .net or .org instead of a .com) can reveal sites dedicated to working against your brand and company image.
  • Blogspot
  • WordPress
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Scribd
  • Quora
  • About.me
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Google+
  • Wikipedia
And remember, it’s not just about showing up in these places — that is why an Internet marketing firm with an emphasis in proactive online reputation management is so important. These sites must be monitored and show consistent interaction for ranking purposes. If someone else is taking over a search for your company name — crisis or not — there is a huge problem in your company’s branding strategy.

Consistently Focus on the Good
All of these outlets mentioned above can be a great source for sharing good news. Good news can help build rank and increase interactions with established customers. This shows that your company cares about much more than the bottom line. These sites are a great place to let customers know more about your brand and build a strategic presence on the Web.

Social Media: If a Problem Arises, Address It
One of the biggest pitfalls of American’s increased Internet usage is that the Web is always on. This means that disgruntled customers are free to air their grievances any time of day or night. And, as a business owner, you should feel obligated to answer. Social media outlets are often the first place that customers turn to find an answer to a problem. Many companies take the first step of setting up several of their social media profiles, but they leave these pages unchecked — allowing comments and bad reviews to stack up against them. Social media mentions are currently built into the search engines’ algorithms and are ranking highly. This means that a proactive online reputation management campaign should be built to constantly and consistently monitor all online mentions to make sure that any problems are dealt with expeditiously, before too much bad press can come out.

Our world is interconnected and it is time that companies start living in this world and stop hiding their heads in the sand. Contact an Internet marketing firm to get a proactive online reputation management in place for your company today, and start 2014 knowing that you are covered.

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