Online reputation management (ORM) is critical to the success of your business, even if you run your business primarily offline. Most businesses have some sort of online presence—and if you don’t, you need to.
ORM helps ensure your customers see you in a positive light, which keeps them lining your pockets with profit. Here are a few tips to help you. Remember though, doing it alone is a huge undertaking. It’s always a good idea to consider hiring a professional ORM company to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Develop a Social Media Policy
Building a formal social media policy will let everyone in the company know what’s acceptable and what is not. Chances are you’ll have an employee or a small group of employees who are in charge of your social media efforts. Everyone needs to be clear on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable when it comes to posting on behalf of the company.
Your business will more than likely receive negative comments at some point or another on at least one of your social media channels. Your social media policy helps employees know how to address the situation, while keeping a positive reputation.
Your social media policy should include:
- Rules against sharing the company’s confidential information.
- Current information about copyright, to avoid issues with infringement.
- Do not engage in negative conversations or debates, especially about the company itself.
- Determine how employees can talk about customer interactions online. Protect your customers.
- Rules about social media etiquette. For instance, do not post in all caps—this is considered shouting online.
- Remind everyone about how once it is on the Internet, you can hide it, but it doesn’t really ever go away.
How to Create an Internal Social Media Policy
Use Social Media Monitoring Services
This will help you keep track of what’s being said about your business, brand, products and services across various social media channels. You can’t keep up with it all manually, or you would never get anything done!
Which social media networks should you monitor? Monitor social media where you are present. If you are not sure where you should be present, think about where your customers are. Typically, a Facebook presence alone is not good enough. Also consider: Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. If your customers don’t use Pinterest or YouTube, then Facebook and Twitter should be good enough.
Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This helps ensure that your official website, press releases, and other things you write about your company will rank better within the search engine results when people search for you, your product, or your service.
If you are not familiar with SEO tactics, you can either hire a firm to help you with those tasks, or ask the professional ORM company to assist you with these tasks as well. SEO is necessary because it can help bury negative results with positive ones when implemented correctly.
Thank those who use social media to connect with you in a positive manner. Have a plan in place to address negative issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Simply ignoring those issues is not going to bode well for your online reputation.
Mistakes are bound to happen to all of us. The worst thing you can do online is to act as though it wasn’t your fault, unless it really wasn’t your fault. You should seek to be as transparent as possible. Remaining honest with your customers is the best way to keep them.
If you make a mistake, admit it. Then follow up to let your customers know what you are going to do to fix the issue, and what you are planning to do to keep it from happening again.