Brands are consistently being attacked on multiple fronts. The Internet has only magnified this issue, making it hard to ignore. The Web acts as the loud-speaker for and by the people, which helps give them control over the market. Businesses that fail to take heed to their online reputation and build a proper management strategy will ultimately drive their companies into the ground. This goes for both large and small companies.
No one is left immune to the World Wide Web. It’s up to you to maintain a positive presence on the Internet. The worst thing you could do is wait for something negative to happen before you attempt to do something about your reputation online.
Having an online reputation management strategy in the works at the time your business is attacked can help soften the blow and give you more of a competitive edge. Of course, it all comes down to what the issue is, the public outcry and how your company is handling it.
There are different ways your brand can be attacked – it can be from a disgruntled employee, unhappy clients, dissatisfied investors, extortionists or competitors. This can lead to them posting defamatory comments to sites like Ripoff Report, posting negative comments on social media networks or posting negative reviews on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List.
In some cases, you may even have a blogger create a defamatory article or video that goes viral. When it comes to responding to these matters, it’s very important to keep a level head.
Respond Quickly and Appropriately
Make sure that you respond to problems in a timely fashion to show you are on top of the matter. Your response should also be professional – don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you.
Be Proactive About Fixing the Problem
Look into the problem at hand to see how it can be remedied. Maybe a dissatisfied customer can be given a coupon for another product or service, or a full refund can be issued if it’s warranted. The key is to put out the fire and prevent it from happening again in the future, so find the root of the problem to nip it in the bud.
Set Google Alerts
You need to keep an eye on the flames to make sure they’re not fanning out of control. You can do this by setting up alerts on Google for your brand name and related keywords, such as your URL and misspellings of your company name. You can have this emailed to you daily or even in real-time.
If you’re in real trouble, you can use online reputation management services from an SEO agency to help strategize how to best resolve your issues.