Use PR to ensure your image remains intact
Ben Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Just look at some Google searches as proof. It seems the worst news always rises to the top. When it comes to online reputation, the stakes are high.
Even so, there are many companies that still don’t get it (or don’t get it right). With help from public relations professionals, you can avoid the most common reputation management mistakes.
Mistake #1: Getting into a long, drawn-out argument with customers on online review sites. While it is important to respond promptly to complaints, you should avoid lengthy, back-and-forth dialog online.
Instead, let the customer know that you will work to solve her issue and offer to take the conversation offline. Once you have resolved the issue satisfactorily, you can encourage the customer to post the end result.
Mistake #2: Not giving proper instruction to employees. The number of people who can access your social media accounts and what they do with that power is very important. They must understand that what they say and do on social media on behalf of your company reflects on everyone. In addition, other employees who gripe about your company on social media should realize that bad-mouthing the organization could affect your bottom line (and potentially, their paycheck).
You can handle this by having the proper tools in place to help combat mistakes. For example, you may want to put a social media policy in place to control permissions and establish rules for reviewing social media posts. Also, establish a culture of openness at your company so that there is a clear, fair process for handling grievances. Then, employees may be less likely to turn to social media in order to be heard.
Mistake #3: Not participating on social media. These days, if customers want to find you (or find out more about you) they do so on social media. If your company is not actively, consistently managing your online profile, it is the equivalent of letting others tell your story and manipulate your reputation.
Conversely, you must know all the places on the Internet where people may be talking about your company and ensure that what customers find showcases your organization in the best possible light. After all, know one knows your company like you.
Mistake #4: Choosing the wrong PR firm to handle your online reputation management. There are many dangers in selecting unknown or unproven companies to fix your online reputation. Some are basically scam artists who will make your problem worse.
To be sure you are dealing with a reputable company, ask for a list of previous clients and recommendations. You can also trust the experts at Axia Public Relations.
Axia will work to push negative information to the bottom of search results to let your company’s good reputation shine for increased customer engagement, brand recognition and profitability. Contact us today or download our e-book Online Reputation Management for more information.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has been with Axia since December 2013. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com