Your reputation is everything
Your professional and personal reputation is one of the most valuable assets you and your business *own*…except it’s not something you can lock up and protect. As valuable as it is, it can be stolen from you in the blink of an eye by a poor review, a flaming post on social media or by a negative post on a review website. There are many online services which will manage and respond to reviews, mentions, and help monitor to prevent exploits against you and your brand. However, they can be expensive. You can potentially do it yourself if you go about it in the right way.
What are others saying and sharing about your company? About you? Can you manage your reputation online yourself?
In response to a HARO query, we came up with the following action steps you can take to set up a management system to monitor and respond to mentions and activity around you and your business name.
- Develop a crisis communications strategy which allows you to have pre-formatted thoughts and procedures for how to respond to a *wilding* scenario when something flames on socials or forums or blogs.
- Make sure you have purchased all the domains in your company name so that you are not vulnerable to people setting up hate sites.
- Set up Google Alerts for your name, business name, product names, and any variables on your website and company.
- Set up searches on Twitter and other social media around your name and company name.
- Select and choose a social media listening/monitoring service, such as Hootsuite, and set up searches around your company, name, product names.
- Set up a schedule to regularly monitor all the major ranking and evaluation sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades (if you are a physician), AVVO (if you are an attorney), and others. Respond to negative and positive reviews with a balanced and careful strategy. You should have pre-developed messages of response for all types of reviews, e.g. the product was defective, they never delivered what I ordered, they were amazing, etc.
- Claim, update or claim your GoogleMaps and My Business listing. Update your listing with images, posts, and questions and answers. Regularly monitor it for reviews and respond as appropriate.
- Set up social media accounts (if you do not have them) for your business and regularly post there according to a social media strategy which aligns with your brand, goals and consumer personas. If you do not have a social media strategy, create one. You may choose not to post, but it is important that you claim your business name on social channels in order that you not lose control of it. On platforms such as Facebook, respond to reviews and monitor for mentions of your company name.
If you are not currently monitoring your reputation, resolve to take care of this as soon as possible. Don’t wait for a negative situation to damage your brand.