Online Damage Control: How to Stay on Top of Reputation Management

Have you ever wondered what people are saying about you online? Have you searched Google for your company's name to find out the "scoop?" It's important to play online detective to investigate your online reputation. Your "offline" brand is just one face the general public sees. However, your "online" brand is just as important when it comes to reputation management. Reputation management tracks people's actions and reactions and opinions to those particular actions. This "watch dog" strategy monitors companies and creates a feedback loop, especially on the Internet.

How do you manage your company's online identity?

It's not as difficult as you think! There are many websites and tracking tools that manage and track your online reputation.

  • claimID - Works with openID to verify your identity on sites
  • Garlik - Helps tracks down potential ID theft by finding mentions of names/company names
  • FindMeOn - Verifies your identity and links all networks together so friends, family and colleagues know it's your profile
  • Rapleaf - Tracks online identities by tracking down comments from reviewers
  • Keotag - Searches for tagged posts on blog search engines
  • Zoolit - Shareable web page that lists your social networks, websites, blogs and video sharing sites
  • Trackur - Monitors company's branding via social media sites
Forum Tracking Services - Finds information posted on forum communities

  • BoardReader
  • Big-Boards
  • Board Tracker (boardtracker.com/)
  • Yahoo Message Boards (messages.yahoo.com/)
How to Put Out Online Fires

There's a possibility that you could stumble across negative comments about your company on a blog or forum. How do you handle negative comments that could hurt your reputation?

You're in the online fishbowl and all eyes are on your company. Remember that WHATEVER you publish online represents your company. Carefully weigh the impact of your words before you write on blogs, social networks and forums.

You walk right into a reputation management disaster if you don't proactively research your company's online presence on a regular basis. Take a few lessons from crisis marketing strategies - don't put out fires AFTER the fact. By keeping tabs, you will save your company from angry customers, lost sales and will give you peace of mind!

Situation - Negative Comments from Media: If a blogger or journalist responds negatively to your company's products or services, there's a possibility that their negative comments could end up ranked high in search engines (especially news sites).

Damage Control: Don't let SEO work against you! The best way to handle negative comments is to directly respond in the site's public comments section. If the writer quotes incorrect information, clear up erroneous facts with direct quotes and links to your company that back up your statements. Some moderators will delete negative comments but your best line of defense is to respond directly.

Situation - Bad Customer Service: A customer buys a product or service and they aren't satisfied with the product, OR they encountered a negative experience buying your company's products or services online.

Damage Control: If a customer bad mouths your product as a result of a negative customer service experience, do everything in your power to handle the problem IMMEDIATELY! Respond directly to the comments or send a personal email. Apologize on behalf of your company. Offer to refund their purchase with a promise of a discount on their next purchase - offer BIG compensation to customers. You can't afford bad "word-of-mouth" publicity.

Author:.

Zeke Camusio is a serial entrepreneur. His sixth endeavor, The Outsourcing Company, is a web design agency with offices in Aspen, CO and New York. Zeke's blog, Let's Do It! is a great Internet marketing and entrepreneurship resource for all those who want to start or grow a business of their own. Check out Zeke's blog at www.TheOutsourcingCompany.com/blog. Join Zeke's Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52648031032

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