5 Common Online Reputation Management Mistakes

Posted on October 9th 2012

5 Common Online Reputation Management Mistakes

Customer reviews, feedback, metions and comments are crucial for yoru overal Web reputation. Before you know it, they can either build your online reputation or break it to pieces.

In fact, when you think about it, what your customer says about you online can already be considered as digital "word of mouth advertisement." Priceless, right? However, as much as you need to exert effort to please your online audience, you need to focus on the potential threats as well. Prevention is better than cure, so be careful and watch out for these 5 common online reputation management mistakes:

1) Neglecting Your Online Presence

No matter how hectic your schedule is, you really need to make time to check all your online accounts (social media, offical email, website comments etc). All of them. Take note that people do not just post reviews or comments on one site. They will post to any of your “recognized” official accounts, expecting response in a timely manner. Make sure to check your official pages and profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. at least twice a day for any concerns about your product. Be where your customers are online.

Having an online presence is not enough because there are many other sites where your customers can talk to you or about you. While it is not necessary to have accounts on all social networking sites or to find out all blog site that might be mentioning you, there are ways to monitor conversations about your company across the web. An efficient monitoring tool you can use is the Google Alerts.

2) Passing on Your Personal Opinion

Talks about religion, politics or any controversial topics should always be separated with your business pages and profiles unless it touches on the nature of your business. As tempting as it may get, don’t let your emotions get in the way with these 3 sensitive topics. While you may feel strongly about a certain issue and share the same sentiments with some of your customers and stakeholders, there will be other stakeholders who do not. Personal insights should remain personal to avoid isolating and turning off people who may be important to your business. The goal is to appeal to everyone. Maintain your business to be always neutral.

3) Failue to Apply Social Media Policy for Employees

Your employees directly represent your company. What they do online might have a big impact on how your customers view your business. Imagine a circulating photo of employees of a restaurant playing with ingredients inside the kitchen area. Wouldn't that have a bad reflection of the restaurant?

While you are not imposing what they should do online just because they work for you, having a social media policy for your employees will help you manage what kind of online “publicity”your business should get from them. A social media policy will also help make your employees understand the value of professionalism and will set your legal responsibilities over their behavior online as well.

4) Engaging Customers in Anger

Negative reviews happen, and while not all are valid, a raised legitimate concern should always be addressed in an objective and open-minded way. Remember with the online community, one complaint can be seen by multiple people. In the same way that one well-thought of response can be witnessed by a lot of people. Engaging an irate customer head-on could never lead to anything good. Instead, keep your cool, acknowledge the complaint with politeness and state an action point to appease the customer. Never take the defensive approach to a negative feedback even if you suspect that the feedback is a dirty trick from the competitor or a troll. How you respond to angry customers will have an impact on all those who will witness. So the next time you encounter one, take a deep breath before composing your message.

5) Snubbing Customer Comments and Reviews

One of the biggest benefits of going digital is the ability to create and nurture a relationship with your customers. Ignoring comments and reviews made by your customers gives your business an unwelcoming impression. Who wants to have a relationship with someone who is giving you the cold shoulder anyway? While attending to your online presence does not only apply to negative feedbacks, it is equally important to acknowledge postive posts by thanking customers who took the time to say something nice about your business. Issues that cannot be resolved immediately should be replied with a turnaround time or with a suggestion for a solution that they need.

The key here is to make the customer feel valued by responding to their comments, whether postive or negative, in a timely and tactful manner.

Because the Internet has empowered every customer to voice out an opinion about your business and broadcast it to millions of people in realtime, online brand reputation management has become an integral part of any digital marketing campaign. Getting it right early on can save you from experiencing an online brand reputation nightmare.

Karen Cabochan

Karen Cabochan

"No task is too small" - this is a principle that Karen firmly believes in and lives to exemplify establishing her digital marketing career. Starting her digital career with an intensive online campaign for a Vice Presidential candidate for the Philippine election in 2010, Karen believes that a successful online presence is built on a solid campaign that elicits strong interaction and engagement with the target community. This relationship building task could only be achieved when everything, even the smallest details of a campaign, are carried out smartly and strategically. An advocate of digital marketing in the Philippines, Karen is also a wife and a mother to an adorable baby boy. 

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Comments

Rahul S
Posted on October 10th 2012 at 9:54AM

Now that almost every brand has a Facebook page, people find it an easy task to address their complaint about products/services. The hassle of calling a 1800 number & waiting for the right personnel to attend to your complaint, has become a tedious task for many customers. Also, in many cases, customers need to make repeated calls for the error to get rectified. Thus customers find it easy to post their complaint as comments to a post in the brand's FB page. Such complaint comments may be posted on every post on the brand's FB wall. The customer intention is to address their problem in a public area and garner sympathy or support from the audience. This works out very well for the customer, because online profiles of people tend to be very supportive to one another, even though they are not in real life. As it becomes a conversation topic in the page, page admins have to regulate it and notify the issue to the concerned personnal of the firm.

Some fans are kind enough to post their grievences as messages. But when they see inaction, they too resort to wall comments.   

Karen Cabochan
Posted on October 10th 2012 at 10:43AM

Yes, sadly that is the case. However it can also be a good thing because one issue posted on a public space (such as facebook wall), IF answered appropriately and be viewed by multiple people can easily turn a negative feedback into a postive affirmation for the company. Thus the emphasis on a timely repsonse time as well as the need to be level-headed when answering comments from irate customers. 

Kent Ong
Posted on October 11th 2012 at 12:11AM

Two things you can do to spoil your reputation is not judging information well and abusing social media.

On Facebook, there are a lot of people called themselves social media marketing experts but they don't have maturity to judge. What I mean that, they don't go finding out if the information they share is true or no true, really stories or rumours. This is especially important when comes to share some issues related to politics.

When see a lot of so called social media marketers simple click share and comment without judging the information. It shows how immature the social media marketers.

Another point is abuse freedom. We do have freedom to post anything, yes anything but those social media marketers will advice you in order to suceed online, you need to "publish like hell". Publish like hell??? I thought social media is about relationship and conversation??

They spam other people's facebook wall, twitter, linkedin, etc. They abuse freedom.

These two things can kill your reputation faster than people attack you.

 

NetClarify
Posted on October 15th 2012 at 10:30AM

To me, an extremely important point that Karen mentioned is to have a social media policy for employees. Working for a company that focuses on the online reputation management of college students and recent graduates, we know that the people who we hire have lives and want to share them in public. However, we feel that how they interact with NetClarify as a brand is of extreme importance.

In a space where we sell services and not a material product, our employees are our customers' first interaction with NetClarify as a company, and we want to show them a model of online reputation. Obviously this point is more important in some industries than others, but I think making it clear to employees that they represent the brand and should respect it is beneficial to all businesses.