As a busy marketer or business owner in the Washington DC area with too much already on your plate, you need one more thing to worry about, right? Reputation management has emerged as a standard practice among marketing teams in both the federal and general marketplace.
What is reputation management and why is it important to you? According to Wikipedia, reputation management is:
The understanding or influencing of an individual's or business's reputation. It was originally coined as a public relations term, but advancement in computing, the internet and social media made it primarily an issue of search results. Some parts of reputation management are often associated with ethical grey areas, such as astroturfing review sites, censoring negative complaints or using SEO tactics to game the system and influence results. There are also ethical forms of reputation management, which are frequently used, such as responding to customer complaints, asking sites to take down incorrect information and using online feedback to influence product development.
To help you manage your business’s reputation, here is a helpful checklist to follow:
- Set up a Google Alert with every way your company can be mentioned online. Make sure you include all possible acronyms.
- This is a very simple process that you can do for free through Google. If you are not already using Google Alerts, do this today!
- Don’t forget to also set up a Google Alert for your executives. You will want to know when they are in the press, for better or worse.
- Ensure social media compliance with your employees. Make sure if they are engaging in social media they are separating personal from professional. Make sure they know their responsibility and exposure through social media.
- Schedule a meeting and showcase the danger of social media and the employee’s personal reputation management and responsibility.
- Demand consistency with hash tags, what to post, and how your company is mentioned.
- Create a “content calendar” to schedule social media distribution so not everyone is distributing the same content at the same time.
- Participate in the conversation that is happening online. Not only are you going to monitor your company’s presence online through Google Alerts, you also must engage. Don’t let the conversation go on without your company’s input. Look at negative comments as opportunities and turn them into something positive exposure for your business.
Remember that consumer behavior has evolved and your target audience is looking for you online. Reputation management is a key component to marketing and is a must-do in today’s marketplace.
If you still aren’t convinced or would like to read more on this topic, check out this article from Forbes that delves deeper into reputation management: 10 Things You Need to Know About Online Reputation Management.
Reputation management is now simply part of our marketing responsibility. There is plenty of information available to help guide you towards best practices in reputation management. The dangers of not having a reputation management practice in place could be catastrophic.