Protecting Your Online Reputation
With the internet and social media accounts, one wrong move can create a firestorm that can turn into a PR nightmare. It took time to build your online presence and strengthen your online reputation. But it can take a few bad reviews or badly thought-out posts to take this down.
There are a lot of stories about a company twitter account that sparked outrage because of a misinterpreted post or something that was deemed insensitive or derogatory by the public. Sometimes, your online reputation can suffer a blow caused by someone else. A false review that puts your business down can result in the loss of customers.
Rather than spending your time putting away Public Relations fires, take control of the situation. Be proactive in protecting your online reputation. Here are some ways to do this:
- Take possession of your profiles. Create accounts on all social media sites. These profiles should contain up-to-date and accurate information about your company (your name, your contact information, the category your company belongs to and your operating hours). When writing the “About Us” section, be sure to also use well-researched and targeted keywords.
- Produce quality content. Present yourself professionally and inspire respect and trust in your potential clients. Double check all content for errors (grammatical mistakes, misspellings or broken links).
- Post regular content. Having a blog is a good way to establish authority as an expert in your industry. If you are able to produce quality tutorials and informative content, this will contribute to building your reputation on the Internet.
- Think before you post. In the world of social media, you can never take anything you have posted back. Someone may have made a screen cap of your post. Even the most innocuous post on Twitter or a seemingly harmless post on Instagram can be misconstrued. Some examples include American Apparel’s e-mail blast at the height of Hurricane Sandy, providing a SANDYSALE checkout code for those who were “bored during the storm”. So, be very careful about what you post before you click “publish”. If you are frustrated or angry, avoid making any posts and wait for your temper to subside. The same goes for responding to customer complaints and negative reviews.
- Be honest and polite in your responses. Some business owners have actually turned negative reviews and comments around by carefully written responses. These have even generated positive PR points for them. As much as possible, ignore the trolls.
- Keep your social media accounts secure. There are hackers who can get into a poorly secured social media account and wreak havoc by posting inappropriate tweets. Worse, an employee who has access to the accounts may do the same. Vodafone experienced this when one employee posted an obscene tweet using the brand’s Twitter account. Allow access to your social media accounts only to a few people whom you can trust.
- Apologize when necessary. There may be insensitive and inappropriate posts that are published using your account. The best way to respond is to apologize to followers who were offended and investigate the matter so that you can also add an explanation of why it happened when this is warranted.
- Keep track of your online reputation. There are plenty of online tools that help you monitor what other people can see about your company. Perform a search about your company, your brand, as well as the specific names of your products. Google Alerts or Yahoo Alerts are great tools that notify you if your company name is mentioned somewhere in the Internet.
- Clean up your search results. If someone posted something damaging or offending and your company or brand name is tagged or connected in any way, you can contact the person to at least remove the tag or to remove the post or picture entirely. If he refuses to do so, you can get in touch with the webmasters of the site to notify them of the offending post. You can also work to improve the rankings of positive posts (i.e. your blog posts, podcasts, profiles, etc.) so that these are the first thing that people see in the search results pages.
About Adaptivity Pro
When it comes to building your online presence, work only with trusted partners who know the importance of protecting your online reputation and implementing security measures towards this end. Adaptivity Pro not only offers Utah web design services but also has a team of experienced programmers that can strengthen the security of your website.