E-reputation is the image of a company spread around online by web users. It can be defined as the sum of what is said about you, your brand and your company on the Internet.
At the era of web 2.0 (social networks, blogs, forums and other wikis) and fast-sharing information, a negative e-reputation can be dramatic for corporations that do not take care of it.
What’s the risk of a negative e-reputation? The image of your business is at stakes. Negative content associated to your brand can have terrible consequences. On the Internet like in poetry “the writings, comments and pictures stay” with the difference that they spread around much quicker.
- Build a dialog
First of all, it’s better to prevent. Create a place of exchange between the web community and your label. Creation of profiles on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter etc… seems like an obvious solution. Validate with caution the level of moderation you wish to manage…
- Be aware
Know what is said in your sector of activity. Use free tools like Google Reader or Google Alerts, define a group of keywords linked to your brand and analyze as much information as you can.
Listening to web users is the solution to adopt in the majority of cases.
This proves that the company is open to criticism and takes seriously the problems of consumers. A simple misunderstanding can easily be arranged with facts and proofs. The unhappy consumer may then become a satisfied client who will spread a positive message about a business who made mistakes but wishes to progress.
Twitter is still a must have tool due to its popularity. Additional tools like Twazzup and Tweetdeck lets you isolate in real time all the tweets concerning your company or your products.
In a more general and less automated way, use Backtype that’s a research engine of conversations.
The faster, the better!
Become the direct and accessible interlocutor of your firm.
Reply openly to criticism and explain yourself objectively. It is vital to be identified as a trustworthy source for the internauts.
Choose the most influential platforms to react on. Don’t hesitate, for example, to react on Youtube on the comments of a video. The message must be straightforward and polite to avoid an endless discussion.
A big firm doesn’t have to react to every reproach: beginning a dialog about a small incident makes it important.
- Clean up
If you cannot counter a negative content, ask before all the webmaster to erase of the website the object of your nuisance. Be informal at first and keep in mind that legal options are available if necessary.
Once the negative content has been cleared off, erase the cache (website memory) that Google keeps in its index. For this, use the Google tool URL Removal Tool.
- Drown the content that you can’t erase
In case that the negative content persists, create a firm blog and feed it with pertinent information. Google will soon position you over the negative critics.
Reputation on the Internet isn’t what you say about yourself, but what Google says about you.