Introduction to Online Reputation Management
You may have heard of reputation management before, but what about online reputation management?
For those of you that might not know, online reputation management is basically the practice of monitoring what people are saying about your brand on the internet and reacting in a way to get rid of or make less visible the negative sentiment of your brand.
Negative reviews, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. can be a blessing and a curse. The curse is obvious, but the blessing comes from having people talk about your brand and thus increasing its visibility. Harnessing that extra visibility and turning it into something positive is the end goal of reputation management.
Finding Negative Reviews in Search Engines
There aren’t many businesses more polarizing than auto dealers; so let’s look at a bit of what a simple Google search for “auto dealers” in my hometown of Nashville, TN looks like:
Two searches to find the most visible negative sentiment are “i hate [brand/product]” & “[brand/product] sucks”. Let’s look at what people who hate AT&T have to say:
People are so passionate that they’ve made Facebook pages, videos, and even websites devoted to venting their frustration.
This Sounds Like a Lot of Work, Can I Live Without Reputation Management?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
According to a recent Nielsen study:
“76 percent of US internet consumers said they most trusted recommendations from personal acquaintances, while 49 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.”
– Nielsen: State of the Media | Advertising Spend and Effectiveness (06/2011)
Nearly half of your potential customers trust the opinions of total strangers; they may not even give you a chance if the first thing they see is a bad review. Monitoring and reacting appropriately to your reputation online is essential to the success of your business.
We’ll look at some examples of reputation management gone awry.