The Ten Commandments of Reputation Management

To effectively sell, you have to believe in your brand and truly believe your products can work for everyone. However, not everyone is going to love what you’re selling. The realization that you are not going to win over everyone is the first step in managing your online reputation, handling criticism and protecting your brand. Reputation management is more than taking care of online trolls, it starts with developing a positive image. From start to finish, let’s look at the top 10 tips to online reputation management.

  1. Be well respected.

Making people respect you and your business is of utmost importance because that trust is what your reputation is built on. Be honest in your interactions with employees and customers, as earning back lost trust is more difficult than building trust in the first place.   

2. Be transparent.

Customers expect you to be transparent in all business dealings, especially financial. It is far better to talk about any not-so-flattering company information instead of hiding it from the public.

  1. Be present. Be engaging. Be valuable.

Be Present: Customers need to be able to find you on social media. Have active profiles in all major social networks and post frequently to your blog.

Be engaging: Know your audience and what they are interested in. Speak to them directly and make engaging content.

Be valuable: Before creating new content, ask yourself ‘what is the purpose of this piece and what do we hope to accomplish with it?’ Repurposing old content can be a great marketing tool, but try to find a new angle to make it valuable and relevant to the customer.

  1. Be aware.

Social media has made it so anyone can voice their opinion for the whole world to see. Be aware of what people are saying about you so you can address potential problems and concerns.

  1. Be quick. Be polite.

There is no worse feeling that being ignored. Respond to customer complaints as soon as possible, even if just to let them know you are looking into the issue and will get back to them.

  1. Be understanding

Truly understanding your dissenters is key to implementing any strategy against them. More than discovering who they are, you need to understand why they think and act the way they do. Put yourself in their shoes and you will have more success in taking them from dissenters to supporters.

  1. Be proactive.

Criticism in and of itself is not a bad thing, it is an opportunity to learn and grow. When faced with customer criticism, be proactive in addressing and providing a solution to the problem.

  1. Be one with Google

If a potential customer searches for your company and sees hate sites and unhappy mommy-bloggers, they would be scared away from purchasing anything from your company. Your page 1 results are on display for all to see and you want to do everything possible to only have positive results on that first page.

  1. Be protective.

Not all dissenters can be swayed. There are internet trolls creating hate sites, leaving negative reviews and ruining your reputation. If your efforts are not working to rid your company of such trolls and they are spreading false information, it could be time to pursue legal action to protect your brand from any further damage.

10. Be forgiving

We all make mistakes, in our personal and professional lives. The best you can do is be forgiving, learn from your mistakes and move on.

Your online reputation is your reputation. Be prepared for how to handle bad publicity and implement that strategy when necessary. In the meantime, commit to running your business ethically and build up excellent customer service through social media to have a reputation and business people want to return to time and time again.

Mark Franco