The crux of online reputation management is to build a positive reputation for your brand and keep it that way for as long as your business exists. However, there is no way you can stop people from giving negative comments or feedback even when your company does its best to serve them well. Additionally, you cannot swipe off all these nasty stuff about your brand in a single purge. Instead of metaphorically banging your head against a wall, your best bet is an active reputation management strategy that involves a lot of positive online content. But wait, don’t blow your horn just yet. The ravenous act of self-promotion can make your brand appear quixotic and ruin the golden rule of transparency.
In this hyper-connected world, there are more ways to promote your brand, and just as many ways to ruin it. A good online reputation management strategy won’t let you fall into the temptation and can protect your brand from being a real clunker. The key here is to ensure consistency between the persona you’re trying to create and the actual work you’re doing. You can never substitute style over substance. Your stellar tweets or Facebook posts cannot compensate for or cover the fact that you’re not delivering what you promise. As what Steve Cannon, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA puts it, “The brand is your promise that represents real things that you deliver.”
Avoid inflating your brand’s profile with dubious copy or too much sugarcoating as it’s easy to check things out these days. A better strategy is to speak when you really have something worth saying. This includes a recent development in your company’s products and services or the promotion or distinction that you have received. But this doesn’t mean that you have to stay quiet for long. You have to wade into the world of social media cautiously to increase your chances of getting the kind of response that you’re expecting. Self-promotion is about timing and making sure that the whole world knows about the actual work you’re doing. The potential to overly self-promote could lead to the slippery slope of narcissism, even for business owners and brand marketers. These people may misconstrue the real value of social media connection as they have the tendency to base the brand’s progress solely on the bases of likes, hits, and retweets. While this is certainly crucial, you need to understand that what you see in social media is a part and parcel of what’s happening offline. You need to combine your online reputation management strategy with real world opportunities in which people can see beyond your image and appreciate your brand for what it’s worth.