Online Reputation Management
As consumers and businesses are shifting their research for products and services to the web monitoring for bad press is becoming a growing necessity. What consumers, clients and industry analysts are publishing online about a company, brand, and even company employees, is quickly and easily indexed by search engines and retrieved by the general public that is doing research.
Today it is very easy for anyone to publish information – negative and positive – on blogs, opinion forums and review websites. Therefore companies need to be informed immediately when a negative or untrue post, article or review appears so that they can react in a proactive manner to protect their reputation, brand and revenue stream.
Monitoring and Tracking
By actively monitoring the conversations that are taking place online, companies can get a good sense of what consumers, clients and industry analysts are saying about their products, services, employees, the competition and track all other related content that is published online. Monitoring user generated content online not only informs companies on what people are saying about their brand and company and what is happening in their industry, but it also helps in gathering competitive intelligence.
Monitoring what people are saying online is crucial to protecting a company’s reputation. Search engines, especially, have become dominant reputation aggregators of online forum posts, blog posts, online user reviews and flame sites, because they often give immediate visibility to content that is created with those tools.
Tools for Monitoring and Tracking
Through online web tools, companies today have the means to capture, understand and act on the online “conversations” that are occurring about their brand, products and services. Online monitoring typically includes tracking company name, product names, brand names, employee names, competing brand names, industry terms, as well as general industry news.
There are many free web tools available that can be used to monitor the content that is generated by the general public. There are many free and paid subscription web tools available that can be used to monitor the content that is generated by the general public. Some resources cover all social media platforms such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, forums, and video and photo sharing sites, while others are specific to the social media platform, such as just for blogs or only Twitter. Those tools can be used for:
- Blog, Podcast, Photo and Video Sharing & Website Monitoring
This typically includes monitoring of new entries and comments or changes to existing content at Technorati, Bloglines, Wikipedia, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and blog trend analysis. Nearly all the above social media services offer RSS feeds that alert you to a reputation threat within minutes or hours of their creation.
- Google/Yahoo/Microsoft Bing News Monitoring
Due to their massive reach, monitoring the top 10 to 20 organic search results at Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing News is very important. Google Alerts are extremely efficient at monitoring Google News (stories that appear on Google News), Google Search, Google Blog Search, Google Groups (Google Groups posts and replies) and Google Video for new search results that match the keywords that are tracked. Google, as well as Yahoo and Bing News, offer reporting via email alerts or RSS feeds.
- Message Board Monitoring
Forum posts at a large variety of online message boards and forums can be tracked with specific forum managing tools designed to provide relevant information quickly when important forum threads are posted.
The best course of action against negative criticism is to proactively influence what people are saying about a company and brand. It often pays off to correspond directly with the people that are talking about a brand or company online even if their comments are negative to find out where they are coming from.
Actively participating in the conversation and eliminating the negative buzz by becoming a regular contributor to industry-related blogs and online forums can be an effective way to counter bad publicity. Other actions that can be considered to proactively defy bad publicity or repair a damaged customer image are:
- Establishing a corporate sponsored online forum
- Adding related positive content to a corporate website
- Starting a corporate or business blog
- Establish personal profiles at LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and other social media networks
- Optimizing positive content for top search engine rankings through organic search engine optimization to make sure that the content comes up at the top of the search results pages at the major search engines and above that of compliant sites or blogs
Online Reputation Management Services
Online reputation management is rapidly becoming an important strategy for many organizations, but tracking and reporting on hundreds of industry blogs, search engines, review sites, news groups, online forums and social networking sites can be a challenging task for an individual or business.
webRulon’s experience and expertise in search engine marketing and optimization, online PR and social media marketing can help companies with monitoring, evaluating and responding to consumer feedback and consumer-generated media. Our Online Reputation Management Services are managed by our online marketing specialists who have years of experience in online advertising, PR and search engine marketing. A customized Online Reputation Management program typically includes:
- Consulting and client needs analysis
- A Custom Online Reputation Management Plan including:
- Current online reputation audit
- Strategy with goals and objectives
- Implementation plan development
- Corporate website content
- Organic search engine optimization (SEO), including website content development (text, video, mages), keyword optimization and link building
- Online press release distribution
- Blog marketing (blog posting and commenting)
- Social media marketing (establish profiles at Google, social network sites, social news sites, video photo sharing sites)
- Selection and installation of monitoring tools
- Data mining
- Reporting and optimizing
- Continuing online monitoring and reputation management