Reputation management is a very dicey area in the online world. There are no official rules of reputation management and no central governing body to declare fair or foul. Therefore, it’s up to each individual company to decide where the lines is. Having trouble deciding how to handle your own business’ reputation? Then check out our list of Do’s and Don’ts of reputation management:
DO emphasize your positive reviews
One of the best ways to boost your reputation is to “control the message,” as publicists might say. Basically, control the information about your company by putting out some positive stuff. Encourage satisfied customers to leave a review on Yelp or a positive comment on one of your company social media pages. And if certain customers seem very happy with your service, ask them if you can use their comments for a customer testimonials. These are always nice additions to company websites, because they allow an outsider to say something positive about your company.
DON’T plant fake reviews or solicit disingenuous comments
Does planting a fake review sound preposterously shady? You’d be surprised. Unscrupulous companies have done things like pay strangers for fake positive reviews on Amazon on a regular basis. While this can improve your reputation, it’s very unethical, and imagine the ramifications if someone found out about your underhanded actions? Not to mention the fact you’re outright deceiving your potential customers.
If you’re that worried about the quality of your products, then improve them! That’s a much better use of your time then trying to bamboozle the public with fake reviews.
DON’T worry too much about negative comments
Look, you can’t please everyone all the time, and if you try to, you’ll please no one. Do you have faith in your products/services? Are you making every effort to provide quality customer service? Then don’t sweat the bad reviews. There’s nothing you can do about them, besides responding in a friendly and helpful matter. Offer up a solution, or maybe even a refund. You would be surprised how responding in a timely manner could actually make your company look even better. Even the greatest products had some detractors. Would you say the iPhone is a successful product? Considering we’re on the sixth version of it, I think so. But even this remarkably profitable product had plenty of negative reaction when it was first announced. Some people are never happy.
DO make an effort to address those comments
Like I said above, we highly recommend this here at Rhino. Negative comments should be viewed as an opportunity for excellent customer service. Reach out to that person and try to address their concerns – this is especially productive if done on a public medium (such as Facebook). That way, not only can you appease the customer, you can do it in front of your other followers. That helps them see your dedication to customer satisfaction.
DO use smart SEO strategies to boost your traffic
Another great way to improve your reputation is to dominate search results. For instance, if someone Googles your company, wouldn’t you like your site to be the top result? And if your online footprint becomes large enough, you may be able to control multiple top spots in search results. And since we know users overwhelmingly click on the top few results, that’s great news for you.
DON’T try to game the SEO system
This is one of the fastest ways to destroy your online reputation. SEO is tough, and like any tough business, there are plenty of folks selling ways to artificially boost your SEO. One popular trick is to nonsensically use keywords on a site page in order to rank highly in search results. Google recognizes the keywords and is fooled into thinking the site is worth your time – but then you click the link and find a bunch of gibberish.
How will this destroy your reputation? Because Google is getting hip to these SEO tricks. If your site is suspected of underhanded SEO tactics, Google will mark it as spam or decrease its relevance within their search formula. And that would be devastating to your future search results.