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How to manage your business’ online reputation

A company with strong ethics and that does business in an honorable and above-board way will find it has a much easier time managing its reputation online, while a company that covers up mistakes, lies, or posts fake reviews will eventually find the opposite.

These tips and best practices will help you take back control and maintain it, writes Brook Zimmatore, CEO of Massive Alliance. 

Online reputation management (ORM) is, at its core, a reflection of a company’s ethical standards. A company with strong ethics and that does business in an honorable and above-board way will find it has a much easier time managing its reputation online, while a company that covers up mistakes, lies, or posts fake reviews will eventually find the opposite. In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s only a matter of time before an old misdeed is dug up and exposed. 

Being ethical and learning from the mistakes of others can give a company a massive head start in defending its online reputation. However, there are still times when reputation management requires more than just providing good customer service and admitting to mistakes when they happen. The Internet is a breeding ground for false information, libel and defamation, and the cost of a bad reputation should never be underestimated. Any organization needs to make sure it’s monitoring for such online misconduct, whether that’s done in house or through a professional firm. Here are some tips and best practices to help you take control of your online reputation.

Reputation management strategies

Although ethics plays a large part, it is not the whole picture. There are many reputation management case studies that involve proactive action, which comes down to good communication. On the internet there is a mantra we can put in as general law:

If you don’t communicate, you don’t exist.

Forward-thinking executives implement reputation strategies that address all consumer touchpoints. If their consumer goes there, then the brand has a presence. I have seen a little, unknown forum grow and fester into a full-blown brand crisis before anyone had even heard of it. 

Monitor all communication channels. Control them. Respond, engage, resolve, support.