“You can’t build a reputation on what your going to do.” – Henry Ford
It is crucial for organizations, such as B2B companies to maintain a solid online presence with a little reputation management behind it. Especially for B2C industries were the motto is often “the customer comes first” and maintaining a quality online reputation can make or break the company’s success wave.
Part of being a entrepreneur or business manager is dealing with the roller coaster of navigating through it all. Even traditional public relation specialist will tell you that their is no bulletproof method to preventing negative comments or bad publicity. When it comes to negative comments like Floyd Mayweather you have to roll with the punches, but their are methods of lessening their damage.
Although its nearly impossible to keep up with every negative comment made online about your business you can use tools like Google alert to notify you, whenever specific keywords are mentioned in the worldwide web.
When you do find a negative or false accusation online, take a minute to analyze the situation so that you can give yourself time to develop the proper response that will not come across as defensive or reactive. The key is to be transparent and professional in your approach. Depending on the tone and intentions of the comment their are some cases where they can be considered libel, where you will need to issue a cease and desist order against the commenter(s).
In May 2008, digital advisor Baratunde Thurston almost ruined the popular news site The Onion’s reputation by accidentally sending a spam gratitude thank you message publicly on Twitter to each of its followers rather than privately. A year earlier before launching @TheOnion he tested the service on myself then finally decided to go live on the micro blogging platform that was growing rapidly fast among smartphone users. Twitter added @TheOnion to its Suggested User List and its follower count exploded immediately. Quickly Baratunde enabled a feature called Tweetlater that automates certain posts and thanks new followers, this particular day he didn’t change the setting to private and instead spam thousands of users timelines who didn’t waste any time to voice their anger. By the time he realized his mistake his phone had shut off, so he made a 45-minute dash home only to find out it was too late. The news hit the blog sphere and The Onion fiasco turned into a social media joke. “Since then the stakes have gotten much higher. For organizations, brands, and individuals, social media has become mainstream with a multitude of platforms, assumptions, and expectations”, said Thurston the New York Times best seller author of How to Be Black.
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