Manage Your Online Reputation
In this day and time it seems that all things are posted online for the world to see. This has revolutionized the way that people communicate with each other and the way that they communicate information of companies, products and services as well. The use of social media tools can help market a company’s products and services, but it can also be very damaging as well. A consumer can have a problem with a product and/or service and give an instant review using their Facebook status or Twitter feeds. Or the consumer can start a blog to give their opinions, likes and dislikes about a product and/or service for the world to see in less than five minutes.
(Image by Lindsay Wheeler (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
Protect Your Online Reputation
Many companies are having problems protecting their reputation online because mostly everything on the internet is permanent and so easily searchable. These technological advances have companies questioning how to manage their online reputation. Many are searching for ways to curve the “Negative Nancy’s” of cyberspace as well as allow the world to see the praises of “Positive Peter”.
So what steps can be taken to protect a company’s online reputation?
Step 1: Join Online Communities
Well one thing that companies can do is join the online communities of Facebook, Twitter, etc. This will give consumers the chance to "like" or follow your company (maybe you would like to "like" us!) and hopefully filter others to like or follow as well. This can create a new and more positive following, and it can also allow the company to follow the comments of the “Negative Nancy’s” and give the appropriate response to the situation.
Step 2: Screen Reputations of Senior Managers
Second, companies should screen the reputations of middle and senior management professionals. As leaders of your company, it could be very harmful if these people have a damaged online reputation. Individuals need to be very mindful when posting pictures and quotes via social media because many companies are searching the internet to find out about the candidates before they hire and promote them. In the U.S. alone, nearly 70% of HR Recruiters have rejected candidates because of their online behavior. Also most companies are incorporating social media policies to curtail what current employees are allowed to post to their personal internet pages. Companies need to protect themselves from confidential information being released by employees as well as being viewed as a bad work environment which could impact the recruitment of future talent.
Step 3: Join Online Communities
Lastly, companies need to "google" themselves. This will allow you to see not only what and where information is being shared about the company, but it will shed light on where the company name, products, and/or services rank when searched. The last thing that a company should want is to not appear on the first page of a Google search. If the search reveals more negative comments than good then seek the services of a reputation builders such as Reputation.com, or hire in-house staff that can perform branding and managing the company’s online reputation.
(All accolades and credit for this tremendous blog post are for Shenita McCants who is the author and content creator.)