As more businesses and individuals begin to carve a presence for themselves online, the question about reputation management arises. “How do we manage our brand online? How do we control what people are saying about us, especially if it is negative?” I like to share this quote from a past CEO of my former company, Procter & Gamble:
“Consumers are beginning in a very real sense to own our brands and participate in their creation. We need to learn to begin to let go.” ~ A.G. Lafley.
What Lafley is trying to convey here is that we are living in a WOM environment today, not word-of-mouth, but World-of Mouth. Consumers will share their opinions and experiences about our brands with EVERYONE- add in the ability for virality fostered by social networks and we can clearly see the reality in his statement.
So how do we, as caretakers of the Brand (company, products, services, personal brand, etc.), manage this? Here are a few things that you can do:
- Create simple and FREE Google Alerts to comb the web for any mention of your name
- Set up searches on Twitter (hashtags) to capture any chatter on your Brand
- If budget allows, hire a 3rd party monitoring service
- Address negative press right away
- Employ a positive SEO strategy by creating online sites and content that you control that will boost your Brand in Search (Google, Bing, etc.) and help to bury some of the negative content that can’t be removed.
Some examples include:
“ We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.”