How to Manage Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Posted by Andy Murray, Program Manager, Paid Search

Blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, reviews.  Your brand is being talked about everywhere online.  How can you monitor and manage your brand’s online reputation?  Here are some tips:

·         Blog Post Monitoring- It’s important to read industry blogs to see what people are saying about your brand.  This will allow you to incorporate feedback from your consumer base, as well as proactively handle issues as they arise. 

·         Writing Reviews- Look over reviews of your products to see what customers are saying about your brand, and then craft something to sway dissatisfied customers (i.e., a customer says the product didn’t look like they thought it would, you may want to get new pictures on the site).  Also encourage satisfied customers to write reviews.

·         Company Representative- Have a company representative respond to negative blog posts and try to resolve issues.  If someone is bad-mouthing your brand on an industry blog, this could really tarnish your brand equity.  Having a representative to give the company’s statement on the matter changes it from a one-sided conversation to a dialogue between the consumer and company representative. 

Also, if you can resolve the issue with the unhappy customer, they’re likely to draft another post about how the issue was resolved.   Companies like Dell, GM and Comcast have company representatives on Twitter that monitor their brand and work to resolve issues with unsatisfied customers.

·         Fan Pages- More people write blog posts or reviews in a negative tone because something occurred that they weren’t expecting.  When everything goes right with a purchase/service, that’s what was expected to happen and thus not as worthy to write about.  With this in mind, you need to be proactive and make sure there are good comments to counteract bad comments.  Facebook fan pages can help do this by identifying and uniting your brand evangelists to start positive conversations about your brand.

·         Paid Search– Did the word get out that your grocery store is selling rotten tomatoes?  People will turn to search for answers.  The quickest way to get a message out (and drown out other negative content/news that may be coming out about your brand) is to run a top sponsored link.  The link should send people directly to your messaging around the issue.  This also shows that you’re being proactive to inform your customers.

·         Natural Search- Natural search reputation management is about trying to control as much real estate on the search engine results page as possible, so that when people search on brand terms, they have a better chance of seeing a page where you control the messaging.  Natural search will only show two results from your native site.  But what if you created and optimized a Facebook fan page, custom YouTube channel, externally hosted blog, or press release hosted on a site like PRWeb?  The first page results, even though not all from your domain, could be influenced by you.

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