Reputation management has been something many companies have been focusing on even before the internet was accessible. Back when it was a public relations term, Reputation Management was making sure you know how people think about a certain person or organization, and then manipulating certain elements so those people will have a more positive outlook towards that person or group. With the dawn of the internet, not much has really changed, except for the fact that there are now many different ways to properly manage someone’s reputation, with there also being more ways to ruin it as well.
A positive opinion can really make a difference in a company’s performance
Pixabay photo by TeroVesalainen
Because word has never travelled as fast as it did before the internet, people who do reputation management need to be more alert and make sure they cover all the bases. Companies have even popped up that actually specialize in this line of work, making the benefits of outsourcing even more apparent. And this isn’t solely for the big-name companies and CEOs either; groups of any size will benefit from properly handled online reputation management, and here, we lay down some steps you should follow to make sure your Reputation Management Campaign is effective.
1. Create valuable content that highlights the good points
Ask any digital media or online marketing professional and you will know just how much a well-written content piece can influence the public’s opinion of your company. Creating high-quality content is still one of the biggest drivers of ranking on search engine results and if you made use of professional article writing, this can make or break your entire online reputation management campaign. We’re not saying, however, that you should throw out content pieces singing your praises every day. There is a time and place for everything and outsourcing some content writing jobs will help you with that.
2. Make it a priority to rank high in search engines
When it comes to having a positive reputation online, ranking high in search engines is imperative. As mentioned before, if people search for your brand and they find that most of the results are owned by you or are at the very least are saying good things about you, then you have a higher chance of people having a positive opinion about your company. You might think that since you own your brand, if people search for it, you will always come out on top. This is not the case, as there have been times companies found out to their dismay that when they searched for their own name, their direct competitor comes up before them. Take the steps necessary in order to prevent this, as this can be devastating for your campaign.
3. Fix the negative content that rank high on the SERPs
When you have reached a certain level of popularity in your chosen industry, it is probable that people have mentioned your brand online. This will usually come in the form of guides, reviews, or maybe even comparisons against your competitors. Most would think that this is actually a good thing because all publicity is good publicity, right? Wrong. There are times that these kinds of content negatively impact your reputation management campaign, as these mentions might negatively portray your brand. These snippets might be outdated or inaccurate, but if they rank high enough, people will still read them, affecting their opinion about your company. A solution would be to reach out to the website and ask that the article be taken down if the information is inaccurate or updated if it’s outdated. You might even consider offering to fix it, like rewriting the article and then send it back to them for re-uploading.
Though seemingly inconsequential, a single bad review could be the start of your reputation’s decline.
Stocksnap.io photo by geralt
4. Know what people are searching in relation to your brand, and create content that matches
As you probably know, your target audience searches for a plethora of things related to your brand or industry, not just reviews and guides. The thing is, if they search for something about you and you don’t have anything that ranks high enough in that search, the information they’ll be getting will come from third parties. Although not necessarily debilitating, it is a risk you can avoid. If you see negative content pieces, then as with the previous step, contact the author and tell him to update it. If that fails, just write up another article, and then outrank the negative one. Make sure to do the first option though, as the second one will likely take more time and effort.
5. Set up alerts for your company
If you properly followed the aforementioned steps, you have most likely removed, or at least outranked, most of the reputation damaging content out there. However, this is just the beginning. There is still a lot of work to be done, starting with making sure you know the minute something about your company pops up online. Now searching for your brand 24/7 is a very inefficient and ineffective way to nip negative mentions and posts in the bud. But if you don’t make sure you respond in a timely manner, some new posts might climb up the SERPs in the coming weeks, and you’ll have to go through the same painstaking process as before. This is why it would be best to subscribe to an alerts service, so you can be immediately notified if something potentially damaging comes up.
6. Make full use of social media
Aside from guides and reviews people usually post about your product, a lot of people also go to social media to discuss what they think about your brand and what you provide. This kind of situation is a high-risk, high-reward scenario, because of the fact that discussions and posts on such platforms are usually unfiltered; people will most likely say whatever they want about a company without fear of consequence. If somebody loves what you do, great. It is very likely that the person will suggest it to his or her circle, which can then get the ball rolling on maintaining a good reputation for your company.
However, if an influential person, or just somebody who happens to say the wrong words at the wrong time, says how unsatisfied they are about your brand, it can prove disastrous for your reputation. Because of this, any company worth their salt will have a dedicated social media team. The team should be primed and ready to field any questions or concerns, being able to answer anything that people might say about the company on the internet. Not only does this allow your company to respond quickly, but certain content will also have a better reception depending on the platform, and social media sites are a great avenue for certain types of content.
7. Make use of a qualified digital media company
One of the most efficient ways to keep a reputation management campaign going is to make use of a great company. Not only are they able to maintain your campaign, but they might also be able to provide other services your company will find beneficial. Research some of their previous and ongoing clients to see what they are able to do, and if you find a company that you think fits with yours, stick with them.
Maintaining one’s reputation is hard enough back when it was all just newsprint and scuttlebug, but now with the internet being the number one medium for scandals and rumors, it is doubly hard to maintain a good image. This carries on to a company’s reputation as well, and if you’re not careful, the negative opinions online can spell disaster for your business. This is why you should consider hiring professionals who know what they’re doing. Digital media companies, like SquareFish, are very knowledgeable about this kind of thing. Contact us now, and we’ll tell you how we can help you.
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