The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management
There are a lot of misconceptions about online reputation management. Some people think it’s just social media monitoring, while others believe it has something to do with public relations, and still others literally have no idea how it can impact business and sales.
In this guide, I’m going to explain the role of online reputation management in today’s business and media landscape. Companies of every size can benefit from having a clear outline of its main concepts.
They Are Talking About You
Just a few years ago, the internet was very different. Companies were not engaging customers but just selling to a passive audience; people could not express their voice in a powerful way, and the overall communication landscape was very “top down.”
The situation has radically changed. Today, websites are no longer static brochures. User-generated content is a must. And regular interactions on social networks are vital to any business success.
No matter the size of your business, they (prospects, customers, clients…anyone and, potentially, everyone) are talking about you. They are tweeting about your latest product, leaving a comment on your blog, posting a Facebook update about their customer experience, and much more.
If you think you can skip this, or if you think you can make it without taking into account people’s voices, opinions, and reviews, think again.
One of the most recent business commandments is “Be transparent.” Opening up to criticism and feedback seems to be beneficial for companies that embrace this new communication mode with their audience.
What does being “transparent” mean? Here are some examples:
1. Allowing employees to talk about products and services publicly
2. Establishing a 1-to-1 communication channel
3. Asking for feedback
4. Not hiding criticism, and addressing it publicly
Easier said than done! Most small and medium sized companies do not invest much on communication, and they struggle with this concept. As a result, their efforts usually are incorrect or inconsistent.
Being transparent is risky. But in the long run, not being transparent is riskier.