Martin Zwilling, founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, Inc., as well as the author of the blog Startup Professionals Musings, talks about the importance of tracking and managing their reputation online. He was genuinely surprised that most of the entrepreneurs do not even know how to track what is said about their company, users of the global network.
He shares six basic principles of reputation management online:
- Your reputation is your responsibility. Therefore, the first step to managing it is to realize that you bear full responsibility for how they perceive you or your company to other people. If you sit idly by, in the best case, you learn nothing. At worst you will know is not what you would like.
- Actively monitor what people are saying about you. There are many tools like Google Alerts, which will help to quickly obtain information about all mentions about you online.
- Work on the creation of a positive reputation. You need to establish a positive reputation in a proactive manner. In other words, it is not necessary to hope that your customers will do it for you. Of course, their commitment might be “launcher”, which will take your company to the top of the reputation pyramid. But only proactive work in this area will allow you to truly manage the process of creating a good reputation.
- Quickly and correctly react to a negative mention. Most of the negative reviews from your customers can become positive and further increase the reputation of your company. All that you need – quickly and without unnecessary emotions to recognize and to solve a user’s problem, thus showing that you really care about. It is very important not to allow the negativity to spread network.
- Displace negative content out of sight. People by nature are very lazy creatures. They rarely look deeper than the first page of search results in Google. Therefore, your task – not to allow to appear on this page negative review, or to oust them as quickly as possible with properly organized SEO.
- Try to remove negative content where possible. Your task is to leave as little trace of negative content about you or your company. But the task to remove all the negativity is not easy. Sometimes you may need special companies like Reputation Defender, which are a set of tools to remove unwanted content.
The main thing to remember when reputation management – in any case it is impossible to ignore their customers or try to justify yourself if you are really to blame. And God forbid you at least think about removing the negative content, if you really were wrong. The only way to fix this situation is to admit your mistake, apologize to the customer and try to solve the problem.