You cannot afford to ignore the basics of online reputation management because the speed and extent at which one’s reputation can get impaired is often mindboggling. Even a malicious campaign or untrue information can spread like wildfire.
The multiplier effect of such propaganda is often beyond your control or comprehension. And before you realize it, the damage has already been done.
This makes it absolutely necessary to take timely steps in order to not only protect your image but also guard yourself against probable legal action for defamation and libel. As we’ve discussed in the previous post, a certain amount of bias or vested interest is bound to creep in the people’s assessment of you but that is inevitable, something which you have to treat as a professional hazard.
But the fact remains that the nuisance value of new media channels cannot be ignored. Here are some useful tips to manage your online reputation effectively:
- You first need to do a fair and honest assessment as where exactly it stands. This is essential before you implement strategies to enhance your brand’s reputation on the Web. If the content is malicious or damaging in nature, take immediate corrective steps.
- Study the information gathered for an honest assessment of your brand image portrayed in the eyes of strangers or those who may know you. See whether it matches the manner in which you wish to project it and represent yourself on the Web. If not, try and find out the areas in which your brand equity is suffering.
- Effective SEO techniques help to nullify the impact of adverse search results by pushing them down. Analyze the Web resources making it to the top of keyword specific search results. Try to improve your Page Rank by studying them. Focus your efforts on ‘long tail’ keywords. Try and counter negative posts by populating your blog with quality content. Avoid anything sneaky or ‘black hat’. If you are caught, it can only cause further damage to your business image.
- Check credibility of the person posting critical posts. If the criticism is valid, open up a channel of communication to discuss the issues of concern and try to address the problem. Treat even your worse critics with respect. Do not be arrogant and snobbish. Try to be flexible and not pushy. Do not discredit the person in the public domain. This will give the perception you are adamant and have something to hide.
- Try to build a rapport with influencers on social network, domain specific writers, industry groups, consumer forums and the blogging community. Constantly feed them with regular updates about your business. Inform them about your new launches, ethical business practices, and user-friendly initiatives.
We shall check a few more ideas to protect and enhance your online reputation in the next post.