How to manage company’s online reputation
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?
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
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
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:
Asking for Positive Reviews
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.
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.