How to manage company’s online reputation

How to manage company’s online reputation

Anastasia Sharina

Student of Marketing Management, Seneca College

 

“If you don’t control your brand online,

someone else will.”

You have invested a lot of money, sweat, time and tears to build your business. You have missed uncountable theater plays of your children at school, holidays and soccer games to finally settle everything that you have dreamed about and worked on. Until one day you notice a sudden drastic decrease of the customer’s flow even though you keep the company’s overall performance up and provide customer service in excellent level. You wrestle with the reasons of this crisis until you find out that the business has very negative reviews online!

In the age of social media, regular interactions on social networks are necessary for the success of any business. Social communication has completely reframed the way people share their opinions. Now business giants can lose a vast amount of money because of an angry customer’s negative review. As Nielsen’s recent study reveals, 66% of global consumers trust reviews posted online by strangers.

So, how can companies maintain a positive online reputation and build a strong relationship with their customers?

Regular Monitoring

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First of all, organizations need to establish the online presence and reputation in different relevant social networks – such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – and regularly monitor them. Companies can do it by using Social Mention that help to find out key words people are using when they talk about the business in different platforms and real-time sentiments. Firms also can identify key influencers of the industry and what they are talking specifically about their company through Klout.

Positive Content Promotion

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No matter how good company can be, there will always be at least one negative review about it. And it doesn’t even matter if it is going to be true – it could come out from a mad fired worker or just from the person who had a bad day – the point is how to counteract with negative comments. Naturally, people are always attracted to positivity more than negativity. Consistent positive content in firm’s communication channels will help to counteract with some negative reviews and comments. This technique bundled up with best SEO practices can assist in displacing a negative content in search engine results for the organization.

Proactive Responding to Customer Feedback

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Responding to positive feedback will encourage customers to talk more about the company in a good way: it’s all under a rule “action begets action” – “positivity begets positivity”. It is especially crucial to respond to negative customer feedback in a friendly manner with apologizing and promising to give better results in the future. This tactic will prevent further spread of negative comments. In the world of social media that works 24/7 negative information spread extremely quickly, so, it is important to respond quickly. Monitoring tools that were mentioned above will help the companies to react to customer’s feedback.

Being proactive in engaging with the customers is very crucial for the online reputation to be successful. There is a social media nightmare example of Dell company that was named after that incident as “Dell Hell”. A single review of angry Dell customer-blogger, Jeff Jarvis: “DELL SUCKS. DELL LIES. Put that in your Google and smoke it, Dell” caused huge declines in the company’s success. The reason behind their crisis was inability to listen to the consumers online and the lack of positive conversations with the customers that made them feel like the company doesn’t care about them. But Dell has recovered themselves by starting to talk with the customers and make them feel as they are valued. In the end, Mr. Jarvis forgave the company for getting his respect back for the organization and posted the video in YouTube:

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Asking for Positive Reviews

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Another way to “fight” with negative comments about the organization is to ask customers for positive reviews. It can be done by simply creating a review portal either on the firm’s web page or in the specific social network. So, whoever lands to the company’s webpage will be able to see the section with positive reviews from different customers. The firm also could ask the key influencers of the target market to leave a good reference in the web page in order to create a stronger trust with the customers. Businesses can also use other web pages to maintain a positive online brand presence. For example, hotels could put the notes on the front desks that gently inform the customers to leave a review about their experience in TripAdvisor. It will help to get their positive feedback and boost a good online reputation.

Maintaining online reputation should be a must-do for every company because it takes a lot of time and effort to build the business and takes just a few minutes to let it drastically down because of a bad online review.

 

Work cited:

 

SimplyfyMe. “3 Steps for Controlling Your Brands Online Reputation.” SimplifyMe. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jul. 2016.

SMT. “The Dell Hell Case study – How to turn negative into positive?” Social Media Training, 12 July 2012. Web. 19 Jul. 2016.

 

How To Create A Good Blog Post

Why do bloggers make posts? It is a way of communication with the readers. They are asking questions, publishing relevant information and news, and the most importantly – they are giving their own opinion on the topic of the post. So, let’s find out how to create a good blog post.

Before making the post – plan it

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The idea and structure of the post should already be in your mind before your fingers even start to run on the keyboard.  It takes about several hours to write a blog post and a little bit more to create a high quality blog post, so, make sure you dedicate right amount of time for planning. It won’t matter if you have a great writing skills, if you didn’t plan accordingly. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself when you are going through your daily routine like on your way to work or while you’re cooking dinner:

What do you want to share with the readers? Which possible complications you could face? Which information can you use to support your own words? Where should you use hyperlinks for external sources to provide detailed information for the reader? Where should you put the image or interactive video in your blog post for better and faster expansion in social media?

If you write what interest you, then at least one person is pleased

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If you are a creator of a personal blog, try to write about something that is actually in the field of your interest. If the writer is not enthusiastic about what he is creating then the post is going to be “heartless” and not catchy for the reader. When people are passionate about something they are always able to receive somebody into the fold – in your case – readers.

It is a totally different situation if writing blog posts is a part of your job. Then you have to be able to actually become curious on the topic of the post and try to ignite the spark of enthusiasm. It is always good to find something positive about everything you do: so, if the topic is not in the area of your interest, then at least you can learn something new.

Outline of the post

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Every blog post has its own outline, because without an outline the blog post may seem cluttered. Like everything, our life has some structure, you really have to make sure that the post possesses this attribute. This requirement is mainly important in order not to get lost in your own words and to type ideas sharply.  You want to stay focused and don’t want to repeat the same ideas several times, in different sections of the post. Creating the outline can be a not easy process, because sometimes the ideas of the outline can come to your mind in the middle of the meal, so, be ready to write it down on the napkin – basically anything to keep you focused and not forgetting the ideas.

There are different strategies of structuring the blog post but from my own experience the structure of a good blog post should look like this:

  • A short introduction – it must give a short annotation on what is going to be talked about further in the post.
  • A problem description – it must be a short reason why the reader needs a further information.
  • The information itself – it should be broken down into units containing groups of information with catchy headers. It is usually presented as a list of useful tips.
  • A conclusion – it should give a logical outcome of the post with your own opinion.

R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.

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Even if the post’s topic is the area of your interest it’s hard to be an expert on everything you write. Whatever ideas you have thought about, there is always someone who has already thought of that in this century or another (if you are a fan of Dan Brown’s “Lost symbol” you will definitely understand what I’m talking about!). Especially now in the Age of digital information it’s not hard to find similar articles from journals and blog posts on something you are writing about. It is important to “benchmark” your idea, to see what other writers think about your topic. BUT I am not declaring that your own unique idea should be invalid under the pressure of other people’s minds. Just do a bit of research to deepen some of your thoughts and don’t forget about your own ideas.

Creating the content

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So, you have already thought of your future post, you know WHAT you are going to write about, you already know WHERE to put hyperlinks for external sources, and you also know HOW the post is going to finish. Dedicate a comfortable amount of time for the post and begin!

Try to create as much content in one session, then take a break and return to the post in several hours with a fresh mind.

The right volume of words

An average volume when creating a post should be approximately 1000 to 2000 words. But this is not a rule – there are much bigger posts, especially if it is talking about the programs and algorithms. Entertaining blogs usually write about 1000 words per post.

Writing is a skill – in the beginning it is always hard to adjust to these requirements but the more you practice writing the easier it is going to be for you to do it over time.

Creating a right headline

The most powerful element of making a good blog post is to create a bright headline. To create it you need to put yourself in the shoes of the reader and try to make it as catchy as possible. You should also think of words and phrases that can be typed to find your post in various search engines.

There are lots of different strategies of creating a headline. For example, what we do in the marketing field (yes, I am a marketer) before entering the market we need to segment the audience and target them depending on what their needs and values are. So, my advice is: to use the same strategy with creating headlines. Let’s take a look at this in details:

If you are writing the blog post for a business audience, your headline should be short and should contain numbers or a “How-to” type of posts that could attract the readers seeking the tips or a seeking piece of advice. Examples: How Our Side Project Generated $51,365 in 60 Days or How to boost your traffic on Amazon.

Another good method of attracting the readers is creating the headline with a question mark at the end. It naturally attracts a curious demographic to click on the post and start reading, especially if you use a thought-provoking question. Example: How Will Apple Do Without “What Would Steve Do”?

Using of imagespitcures

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The process of creating a good blog post must contain the usage of effective images. There are different reasons of doing this. First of all, a large block of text will make the readers to run away from your post screaming because of psychological reasons: it is always harder to read a plain text with no visual effects. The images will make your content look appealing to the eyes of the blog post visitors.

Also the images help to break up the text. So, it’s better to put them either after the headlines or after a cluster of completed information.

Additionally, effective infographics and charts can help the readers to understand complex information.

It is always good to keep in mind that people like to laugh. If you are writing about something casual try to make sure to put a humorous image!

Do not underestimate the power of editing

Editing is not only about checking the grammatical errors but also about evaluating your blog post as a cohesive information.

The editing begins with proofreading your blog post after writing it and checking the repeating ideas or words. Replace them if it is possible to do. Keep in mind that it is better to make sentences short and clear, because nobody likes to read massive pieces of information at once.

Also after proofreading you need to evaluate whether the flow of the information is not contradicting with the blog post structure. It really helps to read the post aloud.

Be consistent. You have to make sure that you are creating the post without changing the style: if you are writing it in a business style do not begin to use some entertaining words in the middle of the post.

If you have an opportunity to show it to somebody before posting – do it, because it is always helpful to see if other people are able to evaluate whether your writing makes sense to them.

To conclude

The process of creating a good blog post is a hard work. Practicing is the most effective way of doing it, so, just type, type and type.