Managing your Online Reputation

How do people reach out to organisations these days? Web, very simple! We talked of managing the brand image, some time ago, now there is more to it – managing your online reputation.

Web is the source of all information for you and me about anything and everything in the universe and organisations, their products and services are no exception to it.

We use internet and internet technologies to search about anything that interests us. Whether it is searching for a product / product reviews, knowing more about a prospective employer, some information about stock or gadget reviews, we rely upon web in a big way.

Now, through all this we are trying to verify the credibility of an organisation.

How do we do it? We use more than the company’s website, as we used to some time back. We check on social media, browse blogs, visit complaint websites, search for hate sites, newspaper archives and review sites.

Organisations cannot afford to ignore this and those who are, are suffering in a big way. For those who still are living in denial, here is the good news – managing your online reputation is but an integral part of brand building / management process; part of the existing marketing process.

Not long ago organisations would focus on creating the right image in the minds of people (customers, shareholders, investors, media, Government) and this process was called as brand building. Online reputation is the new face of it.

Internet is an easy means for people to express their feelings. If they are happy, good for you! But one disgruntled customer who chooses to go online with his complaint can bring your image several notches down. Hence the need for managing your online reputation!

Apart from just the website, an organisation needs to ensure presence on the social media / community based websites. It also needs to check what is being posted where? How to deal with bouquets and brickbats?

Planning your presence on the social media and engaging your customers for positive feedback and brand building is critical. Designing engagement activities and choosing the appropriate media is crucial, many falter here by taking it lightly.

It is also important to be consistent on the all platforms and this is where the role of planning comes in. Although it may not be possible to track every negative comment / review, organisations can still benefit by engaging in nurturing positive relationships with their customers.

In the next post we will discuss some strategies (successful ones) to manage your online reputation.