Imagine typing your brands name into Google one day and being faced with a negative review of your product prominently displayed on Page One of the search results page! As your blood pressure rises and your pulse quickens, your mind races in attempts to determine how you will combat the negative publicity. What do you do? How do you recover the good name of your brand when you find negative comments or reviews?
Resolve Negative Online Publicity
Take heart! Tried and true methods to manage the online reputation of your brand are available. Online reputation management is quickly gaining in popularity because many companies face this exact scenario on a regular basis. Online reputation management is the practice of minimizing the effects negative posts, comments and online reviews. Because the Internet plays such a crucial role in the marketing of brands, many companies are quickly discovering the value of proper management of their online reputations through proven strategies.
First, attempt to resolve the negative review or comment with perks and considerations from your company. Resolve the issue publicly by directly addressing the commentator’s concern. Explain that you are a brand representative and you would like the opportunity to change their mind about your brand. You might offer the commenter a free offer or some other consideration or incentive to try your brand once again. If the commenter had a bad experience with your customer service department, ask about the issue they were attempting to resolve – and resolve it.
Resolving a negative comment or review publicly shows those who are watching that you care about the way your brand is perceived and you care about your customers. Those who post negative comments about your brand are essentially an opportunity for promotion of your product. You have the opportunity to convert the poster into a brand evangelist with proper management of the situation. The time spent treating the negative poster with kid gloves will be time well spent. Not only will you resolve a true issue, you may also gain some insight about improvements that could be made within your business.
Create Positive Content
Next, create positive, reaffirming content about your brand. Press releases and articles addressing the concerns expressed in the negative post are a great way to counter the negative effects of the issue and let the poster know that you are listening. In addition, the more relevant positive content you publish, the more the negative comment will be marginalized. Additionally, the negative post will be pushed further down in the search engine results page.
Bloggers often possess a great deal of influence over the online reputations of brands. If the blogger is a popular author, or if they post on a popular platform, their posts may be indexed high in the Google search results pages. In this case, you may offer the blogger some incentive to write about your brand in a positive way. Many bloggers accept compensation for promoting brands through their blogs. Consider enlisting the assistance of a popular blogger to generate positive content about your brand.
Monitor Your Online Reputation
Finally, monitor your online reputation with tools that “take the temperature” of conversations about your brand on blogs and social media platforms. Twendz is a tool for Twitter that monitors the reputations of brands. The tool measures negative, positive and neutral Tweets on the social network. Another useful tool is Technorati. This tool searches blogs for conversations about a brand. Because some popular blogs tend to list prominently in Google search results, this tool is useful for identifying areas for damage control in the blogosphere.
Google Alerts is another popular tool for monitoring Google search results that may list your brand’s name. Google Alerts is a free tool distributed by the search engine giant. Configure alerts based on keywords. Use words specific to your brand, or to a competitor’s brand. Each time new content that users your selected keywords is discovered by Google’s spiders, you will receive an email alert.
Other social media monitoring tools are available. Some monitoring applications provide an easy to use dashboard that displays data from a variety of sources at a glance. Some tools are free and others are available for a price. Research your options for tools to help you monitor your online reputation.
Be proactive when dealing with negative publicity on the Web. Most individuals who post negative comments and reviews are easily converted with some strategic attention. Additional tactics of publishing positive content about your brand will make the negative comment or review less noticeable to users in search results.