All publicity is not created equal! Despite your best efforts to please each and every one of your customers, there may come a time when someone is disappointed or disgruntled or irritated, or worse, with your company. Try to relax, this is not the end of your business as you know it—as long as you handle it properly. There are ways that you can manage your online reputation with internet marketing solutions and repair your status as a trusted company. How you handle negative press can affect how much it can harm—or help—your company.
Here are 5 ways to manage your online reputation:
1. Don’t ignore the comments: First and foremost, you have to address the situation. It is unlikely to go away on its own. In fact, ignoring the problem can actually fan the flames and make it worse. You are giving power to the negative comment, instead of diffusing it. Consider the negative press as an opportunity to really shine and show the world what you are made of. As you do respond, include links to your site, and this will help your responses be indexed by the search engines.
2. Generate positive content: In response to a negative comment or complaint, you can generate some positive content that will help to present your company in a more flattering light. You can use testimonials from other satisfied customers, statistics that show good ratings, etc. Each time you create positive content, be sure that you are using your keywords and the links to your site so that the content becomes associated with your company. When there is a great deal of positive content, the negative content will effectively be pushed down in the search engine results, and be more difficult to find.
3. Use your social media networks: Again, responding to a comment in a professional and understanding manner is important. If you are being bashed in the social media networks, this is a great time to really strut your stuff. A thoughtful and compassionate response, along with an apology (if necessary) and a suggestion for remediation (e.g., exchange, future discount, refund, etc.) will be publicly noted.
4. Hire an online marketing agency: When all else fails, you may need the professional help that is available through many of the online marketing agencies that can provide reputation management services. This often involves a short term campaign that generates positive content for you, and doing the SEO necessary to make that content appear higher in the SERPs than the negative content.
Your reputation is important when it comes to establishing trust and satisfying customers. Making sure that you handle any negative press or customer problems is a priority. You can’t please everyone all the time, but sometimes negative comments can be turned into constructive criticism—perhaps there are changes that you need to make that will help all of your customers be more satisfied. Truly inflammatory and slanderous information may be hard to combat in a simple way, but you will find that most negative press can be handled easily, as long as you don’t take it personally.