Online Reputation Management – Honesty Pays

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A customer just hit the panic button…someone posted a negative review about this company on a local online directory. I calm him down with a few questions and a quick evaluation that reveals the review was posted by a disgruntled ex-employee.

Not that I’m suggesting in any way that it should be taken lightly. All I said to my customer was that there is not yet cause for a red alert. In the midst of several great reviews across social networks, video testimonials on YouTube, customer case studies and quotes on their website, any potential damage by this one tirade from an angry ex-worker can be checked. And we are already doing that.

So let’s set straight some fundamental facts about online reputation management:

  • No matter what you or anyone else says about your company and brand – good, bad, ugly – eventually, the truth will come out for everyone to see.
  • Stand true to the promise of your brand – the same positive experience should be delivered to everyone who is touched by your brand.
  • Positive reviews by customers, employees, media and all your stakeholders are very valuable. Leverage them to the best you can across all online channels.
  • You cannot afford to ignore even a single negative review; but proactive action and strategic planning is much better than damage control, knee-jerk reactions and tactical approaches.
  • If the top ten search listings for your company name on Google include good reviews, Customer Lobby reviews, LinkedIn recommendations, Facebook comments by your “fans”, and so on, you should keep up the good work.
  • Negative reviews, if any, will fall by the wayside and to the bottom of the pile as long as your organization continues to do a great job.
  • If and when your quality falters, watch out! The Internet is the fastest way for people to spread the bad news…and bad news is the one that rages like a wild fire.
  • Not too many people care enough about good news to share it over the web. But people do care about great news. So if you keep pushing your product and services and people to move from good to great, you’re bound to get into the limelight without too much of a “manufactured” effort.

Social media offers a great way to leverage word of mouth marketing. You can use blogs, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Squidoo, Hub Pages, Flickr and several other channels to manage your online reputation as we discussed in yesterday’s post. Word of caution – it can get overwhelming and it’s not always easy to do it yourself. Give me a call at 416.901.0974 and let’s discuss your online reputation management needs.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great post Liana! We at chatmeter have found that our clients have had the most success when they contact the author of a negative review privately, as that provides the best way to defuse the situation and give refunds where applicable. chatmeter offers a free service that you might find useful for yourself and your clients, we also have an affiliate page if you think we could work together: http://www.chatmeter.com/partners/chatmeter_partners.php

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