Even unfounded rumors can mean the downfall of a reputation carefully built over a long time. Not even the strongest of companies are immune to this. All it takes is a bad story, a lie, even just a joke, and you might lose customers, even those who have been with you for years.
So what can you do to maintain and manage your reputation? Here are some tips:
Dominate the Search Engines
People turn to search engines to look for products or services. Unless they don’t find what they’re looking for, they never usually go beyond the first pages of the search results list. Imagine how much attention and business the first entries get? You should be among the first entries they see, if not on top of that list.
Monitor What’s Being Said About Your Brand
People could be talking about your company or your brand online, whether via Twitter, Facebook, open forums or other social media. Find out about what is being said about your brand. This way you can respond and clarify any nasty stories or rumors being told about your company or talk to an aggrieved customer directly.
There are now a lot of tools to help you to monitor these conversation without being intrusive; these include Google Alerts, Social Mention, Technorati and Hootsuite.
Have a Social Media PR Strategy
This is one way to prevent any nasty stories and rumors from surfacing in the first place. Social media provides an excellent platform to project a positive business image and let you develop a good public personality.
Use Websites to Your Advantage
Your company most likely has a website where you offer your products or services. It would not hurt to add a section featuring articles that deal with the business you engage in. Positioning your company as an authority in your field of business will do your reputation well.
Have a Crisis Management Strategy
What happens when your company gets negative PR? Do you stay silent and hope it goes away or do you immediately come out and deny everything? Both moves are mistakes. Keeping silent about something bad will only give rise to speculation that you are indeed in the wrong. Denying everything outright will show you are a company that refuses to take responsibility even if it is at fault.
A crisis management strategy should dictate how you will approach the problem logically and how to address it, all under the public’s eye.
Post the Online Profiles of your Key Staff
Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn offer a great opportunity for you to show the public the people behind your company and what they specialize, their educational background and even their skills.
Protect Your Brand Reputation
This seems like a lot of things to do, but our reputation and brand management personnel can help you. You’ve spent a long time building the reputation of your company and you won’t let it be torn down by a crisis, a blunder or a bad joke. At OrangeSpike.com we can make sure this doesn’t happen.