Everyone has two sides to their public image. They have the positive side, which helps make good first impressions and gains positive media and “word-of-mouth” in the community. But everyone also has a part of their reputation they would like to diminish – poor public opinions, news about their involvement in certain events, or talk from influencers who don’t have the best things to say. Whether it’s your personal or brand reputation on the line, everyone needs to closely monitor what others are saying about them, online and in the media.
There are two ways you can influence public opinion online. The first is through your own messaging, or the communication you have with different media and social outlets. Some examples include:
Efforts to create positive content on these platforms is called proactive reputation management. When you write a blog about company news or update your social media with a positive message to your customers, you are actively contributing to the impression consumers receive when they read about your brand. The informative, as well as persuasive content you provide, can increase the level of trust you have with potential customers, and most importantly, it’s directly controlled by you.
Proactive reputation management goes a long way, but you can’t control everything that’s said about you online. You can’t stop an unhappy customer leaving a bad review, or an online news source writing a negative article about your company. The practice of suppressing negative URLs with positive content is called reactive reputation management.
You can suppress negative content by improving SEO for your branded content, or by trying to remove or change negative content posted by others. Some websites will remove content about your brand if it is proven to be inaccurate, but otherwise, you have to suppress it by outranking it in the search engines.
It’s difficult to suppress negative content like reviews on third party sites, so the best practice is to respond to it in a positive manner. You can often change the opinion of an unhappy customer simply by acknowledging their issue and showing you’re willing to make changes to make them happy.
Rank K.O. uses both proactive and reactive reputation management to help our clients gain better reviews and ranking online. For more info on online reputation management techniques, click here.