In Today’s information-driven world, no matter if you are an individual or a business your online reputation makes a huge difference. If there is something we don’t know about, off the top of our head, its become a reflex to reach for your Mobile phone and Google it.
Imagine this – You had an amazing interview for your dream job, everything went better than what you could have possibly hoped, for but they dig up some dirt on you online and you missed it by a whisker.
Or you put your heart and soul into setting up a company, ensuring quality services, with an effective PR strategy and the perfect website but are still just not able to drive enough business well, maybe its time to look into your online reputation –
Certainly not a very good
What is online reputation management??
Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, individual or other entity on the Internet. It helps drive public opinion about a business and its products and services.
Case study—United Airlines
Probably one of the biggest lessons for companies across the globe on the importance of online reputation was given to us by United Airlines when a passenger was forcibly removed from an overbooked united airlines flight travelling from Louisville to Kentucky on April 9th to accommodate 4 of United Airlines employees.
The incident was shot by a number of passengers on their mobile phones and posted on social media where they immediately went viral, the forced manner in which the passenger was removed from the plane and thrown out, drew a lot of flak from the online community, On the 10th of April the following statement was posted on Twitter by united airlines—
Following this, the United Airlines CEO issued a statement where instead of being apologetic for the inhuman treatment that one of their customers received, he tried to blame the passenger with these insensitive comments—
This added fuel to fire and within the span of 2 days the parent company United continental holdings lost upwards of 1.2 Billion$ from its market value.
20 years of reputation and service quality down the drain within 2 days, effecting not only the public perception of the airline but also axing a sizeable amount from its market value.
Now there are a number of things that United Airlines could have done differently to save face and avoid public humiliation—
- Instead of putting to use the counter attacking approach they should have been apologetic on social media
- They should have accepted the responsibility for the incident
- They should have reassured the customers that the incident is being looked into and the rightful steps will be taken in order to compensate the passenger that was effected and also to ensure something similar doesn’t happen in the future
The incident serves as a very important lesson for all companies and individuals your online reputation might not always be in your hands but you can always take the right steps to tip the scale in your favor and also use your various touch points with your customers to tell your story and showcase your products and services
Steps to take to improve your online reputation
1. Decide what you want your online reputation to be
The first step towards building an online reputation strategy is to know how you want to position yourself here are a few things to think about
Do you want to position yourself as a leader in your industry?
Do you want to be perceived as an industry authority?
Do you want to be known for exceptional customer service?
Do you want to highlight any USP’s in your company’s products or services?
Once you have answers to these you can define your short and long term goals and accordingly build a strategy around various touch points be it Content marketing, SEO, PR activities, Social media etc.
2. Know what your current online reputation is and then take steps to reach your goal
Access where you stand currently – Google your company and see if you get enough results, Ask your colleagues, Clients , Vendors etc. on how they perceive your company and align that to your online efforts.
If you currently don’t show on the SERP page it might be time to push your brand through content marketing and listing on platforms relevant to your company, A few platforms to explore —
Google Business page etc.
If someone Googles your name, appearing on page 1 and 2 of the search results will be much more important than your business card or website. They will show at a glance several high ranking web sources talking about you.
If they display false information, the first thing that you or your online reputation management company should do is devise a search marketing strategy that increases the ranking of positive content, owned by either you or third parties. The search engine game is too important to be ignored, and it is the most comprehensive approach to creating and maintaining your online reputation.
4. Keep an eye out to see what they are saying about you
Today, its easy for people to approach you through a number of platforms, your potential clients will ask you questions through Twitter, Facebook etc. they are evaluating whether
5. Address Criticism, react proactively but politely
As with the United Airlines example, you need to show your customer base that you care, being aggressive with your communication without researching the facts and avoiding responsibility towards your actions will almost always backfire.
The idea is to address genuine concerns proactively and also counter serious biased attacks to your brand image it might be necessary to engage skilled online analysts to investigate untraceable threats that could potentially hamper your reputation online
6. Craft a social media policy to drive engagement that supports your reputation goals
The next step towards building an effective online presence is crafting a useful social media strategy. A social media strategy entails how a company and its employees interact online. Here are a few things to keep in mind—
Develop a content review system internally before this goes live on your various social media channels
Avoid sharing sensitive data online
A captivating online reputation is all about professionalism. This also applies to
7. Improve SEO and your reputation with Blog Posts
The Key to success on Google is to consistently publish content that provides value to your reader base, Your blog posts also highlight your expertise in your industry and is a great way to win the trust of your potential clients. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in order to create content that supports your online reputation—
Use relevant Keywords
Write for your audience not for search engines
Try and highlight your expertise in your industry
Answer the problems your potential customers/Reader base is facing
In today’s information driven world where practically everything is available online you need to know how you want to position your brand in front of your audience, Not only does it act as a validator to your industry knowledge it also has the potential to drive significant business your way. Need a free strategy on how to build your online reputation?? Reach out to us and take your first steps towards building a significant online reputation