Mistakes are always bound to happen in the long run of all business. The Internet has often been likened to the Wild West, and not without reason. Online defamation is a particularly big problem for all business brands. Not only must business owners contend with bad reviews and damaging allegations, but also with the many internal errors that can create online reputation nightmares. For external issues—negative reviews, better business bureau complaints, or simply bad PR—there are two basic routes a small business can take. The first is to employ a professional reputation repair service. The second is to attempt to do it yourself. In either case, however, the best efforts are undercut if the company continues to make basic reputation management mistakes. In the long run of all business activity few things go here and there which tend towards making mistakes, Here are few mistakes which happens commonly with all along with some tips to minimize these potentially disastrous problems.
1. Lack of awareness
The first common problem small company’s face is the belief that reputational damage could never happen to them. Many business owners believe if their products are good and services superior, bad reviews and customer complaints could never be a problem Then, they’re blindsided by negative PR. Don’t allow yourself to become naive or complacent. Bad reviews can happen to any brand at any time. They stem from unreasonable customers, competitors, and even disgruntled ex-employees.
2. Social Media without a strategy
Every business marketing activity needs to be planned with a strategy before the launch of the product. Many business owners are all too aware of the looming possibility of online reputation damage. And as such, they are diligent in taking proactive action to defend their brand. This is admirable, but when you take proactive action without proper foresight and strategy, it can do more harm than good. This is especially true when it comes to social media implementation. Posting regular updates to the company Facebook or Twitter accounts can prove helpful in cultivating a positive online image. However, it is only helpful when it’s on-message.
3. Responding Zealously
Most of the times it happens that release precuts get both positive and negative replies, business owners sometime tend to give replies very zealously, which results in bad review of the product. Online reviews are incredibly influential in shaping consumer opinion and determining a brand’s reputation, but that hardly means an immediate response is always in order. Certainly, it can be a good idea to respond with gratitude to positive reviews. With negative ones, though, it’s important not to respond in anger or haste. In fact, it may be best to avoid responding at all. A response is unlikely to win over an unreasonable customer, and it is sure to lend the bad review greater visibility. It’s better to focus on creating positive content instead of responding directly to the negatives.
4. Being angry in your responses to negative commentary.
It is all too easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to a user’s badmouthing on a review site, but this is best avoided. In fact, unless there’s a way to respond constructively, you may want to avoid doing so altogether. You may anger a user more if you’re unable to help them.
5. Not getting into the social media game.
No matter what the size of your business, you’re probably doing yourself a great disservice by not engaging in social media activity. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, find out which site or combination of sites best suits your brand and jump in full force. After all, it’s free.
6. Letting other people write your online reputation for you.
Never lose your voice as an individual or a company. Make sure other companies, people and media sources do not have more control over your online reputation than you do. This includes giving ghostwriters too much power over your personal online property. Always keep an eye on what inside and outside sources are saying about you – and step in to intervene when necessary.
7. Missing out on owning all the online property that relates to your name.
Make sure you own the domain names, Twitter user names and Facebook pages associated with your company’s name, or someone else could snatch them up and start speaking forward.
8. Stepping into a sticky situation by getting too personal as you push your brand.
Remember that your Twitter account and Facebook page for your business are not a personal sounding board for your religious, political or other opinions, so be very careful what you post. If it’s an issue that is incredibly important to your company’s mission, then go for it. But treat lightly because any polarizing opinion is likely to have consequences for both you and your brand.
Even if you haven’t managed to steer clear of these common reputation management mistakes in the past, make sure to take these lessons to heart to protect both you and your brand in the future from facing reputation damage.