Do you know what the web is saying about you?
Do you monitor where your brand is mentioned online? Negative comments and reviews are a sad, but prevalent part of being in business these days. Competitors, customers, prospects, even your own staff; everyone has an opinion and social media allows people to post their opinions in many places online.
From Facebook mentions, tagging you on Twitter, scathing Yelp reviews even press release can be used to target your band and business name. Smart companies try to stay on top of things and find & address these reviews before they can harm their brand. Remember that It takes years to build a good brand name, but it can all vanish in an instant, if negative reviews are targeted and you can’t address them or defend yourself.
The following are three of the most effective tools for monitoring your online presence:
Monitor, not Stalk, Your Employees.
Employees can be the best company brand advocates, but they can also be responsible for bad customer experiences. In some cases, the CEO is the guilty party. An example that occurred this week was the exchange between a hostel owner in Glasgow and a dissatisfied customer. Reading the exchange on Facebook is a master-class in how not to communicate with customers. The hostel owner insulted the customer instead of addressing her concerns. The drama played out on Facebook and the ‘conversation’ quickly ran into over 700 comments. The hostel’s Yelp ratings plummeted within hours.
Social media can be hit and miss. Try to stay calm even when dealing with demanding customers.
Any Press is good press right? It’s even better if it comes from influencers in your industry, right? But what happens if your mention on that platform is in a negative light? How do you even keep abreast of all possible mentions? One invaluable method is to scan the web and picking up on mentions, by creating a ‘recipe’ using the IFTTT platform.
You can create a recipe that scans RSS feeds of influencers in your industry and sends you an email alert, if your company name is mentioned. You can reach out to them and address the comments or reviews if its in a negative light.
IceRocket from the MeltWater Group is a tool that helps search blogs, Facebook and Twitter to search for specific mentions. It allows filtering to help personalize the results you get. Putting keywords and terms that describe your brand can help search through posts, tweets, hashtags that mention you.
Managing your reputation can be hit and miss on the Internet, but there are many practices you can use to address reputation management. They range from ethical white-hat methods to grey-hat methods. Here are some of the common ones:
- Using SEO, companies can create and rank web properties that help push down the rankings of the negative reviews. Building properties, such as YouTube videos, Slideshare presentations, press releases, web 2.0 blogs, that mention the company name in a more favourable light, can be used to alter rankings.
- Submitting take-down requests or DMCA request if you think you have been unfairly targeted, falsely represented or libelled.
- At Search and More, we advice clients to respond to customer complaints. Reach out to the customer or reviewer and attempt to rectify any issues they may have with the product.
- A borderline tactic is offering free products to prominent reviewers on your sales platform of choice. An example is if you sell physical products on Amazon, you can offer freebies to the top 20 members of the Amazon Vine Program.
In this day and age, the ethics of actively monitoring your name to manage reputation raises different considerations.
Some business owners do their best to get rid of negative reviews, others choose to leave the reviews, others don’t even know how to monitor for them. It is basic human nature to focus on the negatives, therefore monitoring your reputation in a bid to gain as many positives as possible is crucial for long term business success.
Search and More help you attract customers through a combination of SEO, optimised design, social media marketing. Call us today and lets find who is talking about you online.