A hard truth about operating a business is that there will always be negative feedback from customers. While this can be an opportunity for businesses to improve their services, some types of feedback can be damaging. Worse, businesses are likely to be the victims of misinformation, which can be detrimental not only to their online and offline reputation, but to their overall sales as well.
The popularity of social media can be considered a double-edged sword for businesses, all dependent upon how it’s used. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide users the opportunity to share online either positive or negative comments about a company’s product or service. Businesses should consider a negative to be an opportunity to create a positive, which depends on how the company responds.
Businesses hit with reputation-damaging feedback can take advantage of various online platforms as a means for crisis management.
Businesses that create and maintain a blog – whether it’s a traditional, written blog or a video blog – give people the opportunity to learn about their products and services, as well as establish a credible image online. Moreover, businesses that create their own online content are likely to have better search results than those who don’t; blog sites like Blogger and WordPress often appear at the top of a search engine results page, thus driving down negative feedback in the rankings.
Because most consumers are registered to at least one major social networking site – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, etc. – businesses can also sign up on these sites in order to expand their online presence and directly reach their customers. However, businesses should make the effort to regularly update their accounts. These site updates work well in driving down negative content in search rankings. Engaging in conversations with those who follow these social media pages also boosts the social presence and trust factor for businesses.
In line with creating their own content, businesses can also submit press releases to syndication networks such as PRWeb and Business Wire. These press releases, which are sometimes picked up by news outlets, establish a company’s credibility while reaching audiences that visit these news sites, but who wouldn’t normally browse their website or Facebook page.
Whatever approach businesses decide to use for their online reputation management, the important thing to remember is that the content they create and publish must be high quality and engaging.
TAGS: damaged online reputation, credibility, search rankings