Now a days Social Media has playing one of the major roles to make your brand known to rest of the world. Managing Business reputation is one of the vital aspect on Social Media. With rise of social media and new technologies and emerging new apps, one never knows who has posted what information about you, Who knows you and what do they know you for? It is a tuff ask for Entrepreneur’s to maintain business reputation, but there are few things which might help every Entrepreneur around this world to maintain business reputations on social media sites:
Get Aware of your Reputation:
More importantly, in the transparent business world we now live in, are you AWARE of your reputation… and are you doing something about it?
Who are you?
There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is if you ARE Sketchy Sam and don’t want to change, there’s nowhere to hide and social media might end up being a big nightmare. The good news is you have the power to control your reputation through taking action, and this is how you do it. Imagine that you’re interested in buying an exotic car but know very little about the industry. You decide to go online, Google around, kick out questions about exotic cars on social media sites and two names pop up –
Sam says he’s the best in the world at what he does on his website—which is basically a brochure trying to get you to buy or go away. Sam is always selling and doesn’t see the point in delivering value. There are no interesting articles, advice or videos on his site—unless you pay him first! He’s always wearing a neat suit and acting “nice” in public.
But when you Google him, the only thing that comes up is “Sam’s blog” which was last updated on January 9, 2007 with the title “Buy A Car!!! Now!” and recent information on a lawsuit where he sued his mom for the family cat.
When you search social networking sites, you see that all he’s doing is shouting at people about how awesome and amazing his products are. Anytime someone mentions Sam or his products (positively or negatively), Sam is nowhere to be found. He isn’t a part of the conversation. Plus, when asking around, you quickly find out that not only is he a jerk but he doesn’t follow through on promises.
Laura doesn’t need to brag about how amazing she is. Others are doing it for her. When you Google her, you find a smattering of interesting information. Links to her web show where she offers tips, interviews she has done with major media sources on- and offline on the car industry, guest articles she has written for other blogs about exotic cars and other great stuff.
On her site, you find all kinds of free amazing content, including the “exotic car race off” with videos of cars racing and “pimp my car” articles on customizing exotic cars. On social networking sites you find her to be helpful, sharing interesting links and content, interacting and (ahem) being a human. Anytime she’s mentioned online (either herself or her products), she jumps into the conversation. If you ask around about Laura, you’ll hear about how she’s “great to work with,” “very authentic” and “recommended.”
Who Would You Rather Do Business With?
After all, reputation is everything (well, almost everything). When it comes to marketing, your reputation can either be your champion or your worst enemy. Why? Because it matters. It used to be someone with a big mouth could tell…
…10 people about you?
…100 people about you?
Now an individual can tell thousands of people by using social media, blogs and more simply with a click.
Reputation isn’t just ONE static thing, but a sum of many things, including:
- Being likeable, friendly and kind
- Being known for delivering great service and taking care of clients
- Being a trusted content source; i.e., offering relevant and valuable content
- Being active and engaged—joining in the conversation vs. one-way communication
Plus, when it comes to reputation, search engines have big transparent mouths.
Think about someone telling all of your dirty online secrets (hopefully you don’t have any) to ANYONE who asks. Now that’s something to think about, especially because search engines spill the beans on pretty much everything you’ve been doing online.
When you hear someone’s name for the first time, what’s your natural instinct? In many cases, we rush to our computers or phones and type that person’s name into a search engine.
Is there something you can do about your online reputation? You betcha. Here are few tips for managing your online reputation:
Listening to your Customers:
In this critical piece of online reputation management, a business needs to separate the noise from the real conversations taking place on social media about their products or services. The real conversations can be separated into two distinct categories; those that are actively talking about your business, and those that may warn of a storm on the horizon. The latter category requires you to listen carefully and diffuse the storm before it gains strength. Most social media managers categorize and separate these conversations into those that need “immediate attention” and those that require “active listening.” This allows them to be prepared and to strategize ways to diffuse the situation before the conversation turns into an ugly rant against their brand. Listening requires a careful plan of action with a fine balance between coming across as over protective and defensive and simply monitoring your reputation.
Responding is an Art:
Effectively responding and diverging crises is an art. You don’t want your communication to sound like a well honed PR message. People complain on social media channels because they are not satisfied, and they are usually hoping for a resolution. Always be sympathetic, and put yourself in the customer’s position. This does not mean that you should allow a customer to take your brand hostage while they are ranting against your company. However, responding means first analyzing what went wrong and how you can make it right. Most large companies follow a certain set of processes to ensure that they are responding to customer complaints on social media in a fair manner. These set processes can be setting up special email groups, hiring additional employees in the customer resolution area, and coming up with special offers to win these customers back.
Amplify your Wins:
I have seen many companies go to great lengths to satisfy an angry customer on a social media platform. It is not uncommon for complaining customers to receive complimentary gift certificates, free services, heavy discounts, you name it, in response to their public complaints. At the end, both the customer and company are happy and all is forgotten.
Create Contents which are relevant, Valid and Valuable, which should speak more about your product:
Everywhere—on your website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Every piece of content including photos (and even videos now) is crawled by search engines.
When you create educational or inspiring content (and mention your name or your company’s name somewhere within), you’re essentially controlling your own destiny when people search for you.
Here’s the secret (come a little closer). The content can’t be ABOUT you. Helpful content wins. Think about the interests/passions/needs of your target community as opposed to your own.
Who does this extremely well? HubSpot. To put it nicely, HubSpot isn’t in the sexiest of industries. They create lead generation software, but they’re a content machine. Their Internet marketing blog is extremely popular with millions of page views per month. They even have their own online web show where they go over marketing news and opinions each week.
Join the Conversation when you are sure of joining it
Set up a Google Alert for your business, your name, other key people’s names, your competitors and any key phrases. I add my Google Alerts to Google Reader so I can check them out at my leisure as opposed to getting an email anytime my Alerts are mentioned.
Setting up an alert is one thing; RESPONDING is the key. If you see something, good or bad, jump in and comment on the blog or source. Become a part of the conversation.
Responding to good comments doesn’t have to be rocket science. At the very least, a simple thank you goes a long way if someone mentions you on their blog or website. Negative comments of course can be a little trickier and emotional, but don’t shy away from them. Participate. Take the higher road. Address the concerns. Don’t ignore.
Plus, every little comment you leave is a chance to do good and build your brand. It is also a chance to be a jerk and hurt your reputation.
Watch and Listen From Every Angle
That’s another way of saying that Google isn’t the only answer when it comes to managing your online presence. In fact, there are many other places worth checking out, including:
Google Blogsearch: Blogs move quicker than Google (Google is trying to catch up with Real-Time Search), but to check what is going on with you, your business, competitors, etc., check out Google Blogsearch.
Search.Twitter.com: The hub of the real-time web. Nothing gets closer than up-to-the-literal-second updates. You can also take an RSS feed for keywords, your business, your name, people you want to stalk, etc., and put them into Google Reader (similar to the Google Alerts example), making even more info available to you on ONE screen.
Advanced Twitter Search: That little button on Search.Twitter.com. Allows for better geotargeting and a host of options you’d expect with the word “advanced.”
Ice Rocket: Well-designed search site to help track blogs, the web in general, Twitter, news, etc.
Backtype: Lets you track comments left on blogs and forums as well as on social sites. This is often overlooked, yet extremely important.
Video search: Videos are important and YouTube is the second-largest search engine to Google. Search there for videos about you and the competition. Other video search engines include Google’s Video Search, Yahoo’s Video Search, Blinkx and my new favorite: Truveo (very slick).
As mentioned in the first Online Reputation Management tutorial, social network accounts can help your Online reputation management prevention strategy. Getting into all the authoritative social networks, and establishing and optimizing your social network accounts can be a solid foundation for your online reputation outside the ring.
Search engines love real social network accounts. And they usually show up in the search engine results page. Just take a look at Oreo’s example:
Facebook, Twitter and Youtube easily shows up in the top 10 search results. Protecting your top 10 results in the Search engine results page is very important – powerful social network accounts make it so much easier.
There are a lot of ways you can increase the authority and trust of your social network accounts – the best ones are to:
- Link to them
- Optimize them
- Update them frequently by posting in them
Contact all those who took your username and ask if they can stop posting bad reputation about you. Contact the social network about it. Build an account and make it rank higher. Brand accounts in Google SERP rarely come by if they are not genuine. That is why prevention is key.
Clearance in the SERP outside the ring deals a lot with SEO. If the derogatory content has pierced through your prevention strategy outside the ring (in the search engines), you can use your key social network accounts to outrank them. It’s much like using your chess pieces to make strategic moves. Social network accounts are your best pieces in the search engine playing field. Knowing how to use these to your advantage in the search engines will make clearance a lot easier for you.
If there are other people who took hold of your brand username before you and are ranking higher in the search engines, contact the social network about it. Twitter does a good job at returning brand name accounts to the proper owners.
Don’t Wait for it to “Blow Over” –The sooner you address a problem, the faster it will be resolved. Most customers, when handled carefully and respectfully, will appreciate the response and share their positive experience. With minimal effort, you’ve turned a bad situation into an example of fine service. By ignoring customer requests on your social networks, you are disappointing the customer, and everyone can see how you blew it.
Always be Monitoring – Not every issue will come across the official social account or contact form for your business. Most likely, a person will post something negative using your brand name to their main account, putting it front and center in the feeds of their connections. By using saved searches, page tagging, and Google alerts, you can see brand or name mentions in posts even if people are not fans or followers.
Go to the Source
Don’t underestimate the people who reach out to you. With social media, you have the ability to peek into their social network, and discover how your brand fits in their life. You can also reach out to them in an offline capacity, such as a direct phone call to resolve the problem that they are having.
Don’t Feed the Trolls
There are people out there that have nothing more to do than harass others. If you find comments or posts that seem like they were designed purely to make you angry, they probably are. Don’t waste time with frivolous comments that bring down the level of discourse. As potential customers become more empowered to vet their product and service providers, online reputations become just as important as personal reputations. Unsatisfied customers should always be expected, and a system to put them at ease can pay in spades if they share their positive experience. If you try to ignore the problem, or get defensive, the wrath of the internet can be unleashed.
All of these things can help you maintain good reputation on Social media webie’s. Do put your valuable comments and also let me know in case you need any modifications and changes to be made for the Blog design and content. Your suggestions and comments are always open and welcomed!!!.
Happy reading and Have a great time Ahead!!!