Are you taking a proactive approach to actively listen to what is being said about your business in the online world?
As consumer-generated media continues to grow, business leaders must be in-tune with the messages that are being generated in the online world when it comes to their business – positve or negative. The most successful businesses continue to flourish because their brand name is trusted and respected by their consumers. They are aware of the importance of reputation.
We all know that rumours spread like wild fire, and this is compounded by the speed of the internet. Once negative news about your business is posted on the internet, either about your products or service – then the world has access to it. The effect of this can lead to a decrease in consumer confidence – which will then have a negative on future profits.
So who’s spreading this negative news? It can be anyone from a disgruntled ex-employee to your competitors who make up lies about your company in an effort of diminishing your brand’s credibility. Type your company’s name into Google – what do the search engine results say about your brand? Hopefully all the news about your company will be positive – but this in a perfect world. People looking for your company in the search engines results will scan all this information and use it to help them make the their final decision about your brand.
There are three simple steps that you can take to manage your business’ reputation:
Observe - Be proactive in investigating the online industry and be in the know about what others are saying about you. Knowledge is power, so once you know whether any press is out there about you – you are then in a position to make an informed decision about what to do next. A simple way to monitor manually for your brand is to set up a Google Alert to catch the use of your brands in the news.
Investigate - How will this negative news affect your brand and its reputation? Where is this negative news coming from – blog posts, forums…..
Many organisations are unaware of the large number of sites that they have direct influence over. They often think only in terms of their corporate site.
Explore all opportunities.
Persuade - Participate in the conversation! Contribute to blogs and forums and be “hands -on.” If you consider yourself as an industry leader, do exactly that – lead the discussion about your brand. This will give you the opportunity to improve the awareness of what your brand with the ultimate judge and jury – the consumer who will decide whether to purchase the product or service your offering.