The Importance of an Online Reputation Management System
The world talks about how important it is to reach your customer on a personal level. How you reach that customer differs in every organization. It is difficult to pinpoint the perfect strategy because every person on this plant is different from one another. In the “Old Days”, before social media, companies reached out to customers in cold advertising. They would put up bill boards, radio ads, television ads and even cold calls. Back in the day, there was not really a way for companies to communicate with their customers effectively. Some of the ways were automated phone calls to customers, salesmen getting information at the point of the sale and mail/online surveys. Those surveys had only a small percentage of responses. The communication channel between customers and corporations was not utilized as well as it is today. Back then corporations didn't have real time information on customer reactions to products, product launches, customer satisfaction of the company and ways customers spoke about about a company. Today all what I have said before has changed. Social media has rocked the marketing world by storm and social media is not going anywhere. (The image is from Icons by Lokas Software.)
Today, companies can see real time public reactions on companies. Whether its a new product launch, donating to a foundation or the CFO committed adultery, with todays social technology, companies moved from being large impermeable objects to giant glass boxes where the public can see and react to every move a company makes. The days of a company’s marketing department only buying a couple billboards and putting a couple ads in the paper are over.
Customers now demand interactively with the brands they buy and the companies they work with. The customer has been spoiled with these new social tools of technology and they feel it is imperative that companies feel the same connectivity importance as they do. Today more than ever companies have to be careful of what they do, what they create, how they do it and what effects they have on the greater public. Social media gives consumers the power to communicate with a strong voice. Customers that could not get their voice heard through courtrooms and legal departments can now turn to social media to voice their concerns to the public. Their story can turn into a social media public outcry and can devastate a company.
It is imperative that companies build and maintain an online reputation management system. There are four (4) key essentials that corporations need to have a successful system implemented:
- Know/believe in Your Brand Reputation
As your online presence grows your brand awareness will continue to grow as well. Knowing the public image of your brand while having an online presence will allow you to create a benchmark of where you are, where you need to be and where you want to be. Having a positive brand reputation in the social media world is the key to online reputation success.
- Positive Reaction to Negativeness
No one is perfect, neither are companies. Companies will make mistakes whether its a product recall or an employee getting injured on the job. Reacting positively to bad press and to the public will help your online reputation from getting battered. Social media is a great tool for reacting to press. Responding to individual messages and commenting on news stories posted on social media can help ease the negativeness. People can deal with issues as long as the entity that caused them is communicating and trying to resolve them.
- 24 Hour Monitoring
Knowing what is being said about you is very important. You must be able to have the potential to react to all public interactions. Your online reputation is on the line when you let ongoing social problems run on without a response. If you are a large corporation with a large customer base hiring two or three social media watchdogs is a good idea!
- Have Fun Online
Maintaining an online reputation is not only about making sure your brand outside social media looks good but also about what you do with social media. What kind of campaigns are you running? What are you doing online to engage potential customers? How are you creating an online buzz with your brand? Having an online strategy to engage your customers will increase your reputation.
Social media has changed the landscape of business practices for good. It’s how companies develop and maintain this new technology that will set them apart from their competitors. There are endless new web based tools that companies can use to help maintain their online reputation. Social media, and the tools that are used, will only get more in depth through technology that will further connect us. How will you use these to engage your audience? If you would like to get in touch to discuss about how social media is affecting your world, don’t hesitate to contact me! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with me on facebook!
Additional Blog Posts:
- Manage your online reputation - http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/why-is-it-important-to-manage-your-online-reputation
- ZAPPOS: Their online presence doesn’t stink and neither should yours! - http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/zappos-their-online-presence-doesnt-stink-and-neither-should-yours
(All accolades and credit for this tremendous blog post are for Michael Ferlito who is the author and content creator.)