In business, mistakes happen. Thanks to the digitally social world we live in, negative news that may be better held within private company walls can now be shared in seconds for the world to see. Sometimes old, misleading information or negative news can come up before great reviews or even your company blog in search results. Especially if:
- If an employee Tweets the wrong thing
- A customer complaint goes viral
- A negative Facebook post is shared with millions
- Your YouTube channel is unmonitored or outdated
All of these things can affect your company’s reputation and make or break whether people do business with you. That’s why reputation management should be a part of your content marketing strategy.
Online reputation management is the practice of helping businesses (and people) look their best online. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to help manage your company’s reputation and stand up to unfavorable search results.
1. Monitor Your Brand
Monitoring your brand allows you to quickly respond to important customer questions about products, services, ingredients, and availability. It also lets you quickly respond to any negative comments or misleading information. Even positive comments that sit unacknowledged can make you look bad.
Set up free instant monitoring tools through sites such as Google Alerts, Tweetdeck and Social Mention to keep track of any mention of your company name, competitors or key employees. You can also periodically search on Flickr, YouTube, Google+ and Facebook to instantly know who is saying what about you. Be aware of what is said about your company online.
2. Govern Your Content
Does your company have a handle on all of the content you have out there, including what it says and where it lives? If you create content, you have to stay on top of it. For content to stay timely, accurate, relevant and, most importantly, useful, it’s essential that you have content governance guidelines in place. Make sure someone is in charge of reviewing you content (e-books, newsletters, blog posts, etc.), updating the information or removing the inaccurate content entirely.
3. Acknowledge Negative News
If someone posts a negative review of your products or services, makes a complaint about you through social media, or publishes a less than flattering news story, you must acknowledge it… NOT ignore it. Not responding to negative comments, posts, reviews, or news items can come across like an admission of guilt, or certainly a lack of care or concern on your part. Keep your reputation in control and in a positive light by:
- Answering questions
- Offering advice or further customer service help
- Directly and honestly address any negative information
4. Assign Ownership to your Content
To be a successful content marketer, someone must “own” the content you create. Make someone responsible for accurately and timely replies to customer service questions or complaints on your Facebook page, (the same day, if not the same hour if possible). Designate a person to respond to questions, chat with bloggers and stay on top of any social media mentions after you distribute a press release. Stay in control of your reputation and the performance of your content by owning your creations.
5. Create Positive Content
Negative information is often hard to avoid. Literally anyone has the ability to share their views, opinions, issues and experiences with a company, online. Creating positive content can help negate any negative news.
We recently worked with a services company who didn’t even have a website. But, when you searched their name, one of the first results was a negative post from a former employee about unfair work hours. Now that they’re creating a website, and other positive content like a blog, that negative information will be pushed down in search results.
If you do have negative commentary about your company, and many businesses do, give people something positive to learn about you too.
Stay on top of your content assets and implement reputation management tactics as an essential element to your content marketing success. Remember, don’t post and forget it. Content lives on and can always be found online unless you take control of it.
If you are having trouble creating enough content or managing what you have, let us know if we can help!