Now that great tool for managing your reputation has become adetriment. What to do? Here are a few tips:
To be prepared to mitigate the damage, a company mustfirst be aware ofthe discussion about its brand and products. There area number oftools available to help you listen to the onlineconversation about your company such as Google Alerts, which sendse-mails when your company appears in the news or on blogs. MBuzzspecifically monitors social media and provides daily reports and analyt-ics. Another method is to have your SEO team analyze what sites,forums, etc. bring the most traffic to your Web site and then monitorthem.
Link-building should be a major part ofany SEOstrategy. Think ofit like networking. The more people in your network,the more exposure and recognition you receive. The same is true forconnecting your Web site with other content on the Internet. And, likenetworking, the same rules of“you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”apply. Bad news rises to the top ofthe search engine results becausemany people shared links to the content – you can do the same withgood news. Specifically, build links outside your corporate domain,including news sites, corporate blogs and other pages outside your Website. Make it a practice to ensure that the content on these sites isconstantly updated and fresh.
Another SEO strategy is keywordselection and density. In the case ofnegative press, you want to createmore good than bad by optimizing around select key words. Sincenegative press is likely showing up when consumers search under yourcompany name, you will want to focus your SEO efforts on thosespecific keywords with the goal ofdriving positive hits up, whilepushing the negative ones down. How do you determine the bestkeywords to use? There are many elements that go into keywordselection and there are several services that provide data on what searchterms are being used and how often. Some ofthem charge to provide thisinformation and others, like Google Keywords, offer the information forfree. They have several basic and advanced options to help select relevantkeywords.In this age ofinstant publishing via the Internet, information – bothgood and bad – travels at lightning speed. News is updated so frequentlythat people only pay attention to what is at the top ofthe page, hencethe need to manage your reputation online using the valuabletool ofSEO. This is just a peek at the world ofSEO.~ Lauren DiGeronimo
ocial media has changed the rules ofmarketing and public relations.Through forums like Facebook and Twitter, consumers yield more powerthan ever before; according to a survey by the Opinion ResearchCorporation, 84 percent ofAmericans say online reviews influence theirpurchasing decisions.
Part ofthe value and allure ofpublic relations is the impartial third party;consumers may give more credence to a journalist’s opinion over anadvertisement because that journalist is theoretically unbiased. Social media isa lot like traditional public relations; it involves relinquishing control andmaking yourselfvulnerable, while providing the opportunity for (even betterthan third-party endorsement) end-user endorsement.As with the advent ofthe Internet and e-mail, organizations are nervous aboutcontrolling employees’use ofsocial media – ensuring these mediums are not adistraction, and controlling the content (and the organization’s reputation).
In the 90s, organizations began policing and restricting use ofthe Internet ande-mail by limiting sites employees could access and even monitoring e-mailcontent. While policies like these are sometimes necessary, most organizationshave come to trust employees’judgment. And, it seems most people behaveresponsibly (we haven’t seen the workforce disintegrate due to the potentialdistraction posed by the Internet and e-mail).Recently, organizations have begun instituting policies relating to employeeblogging, and use ofnetworking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.These run the gamut from extensive legalese to simply: “Be professional.”While it’s important to communicate with employees about these mediums,ultimately, organizations should trust their teams. Employees can be anorganization’s greatest asset; ifyou believe in the quality ofyour organization’swork and treat your employees with respect, you shouldn’t need an extensivesocial media policy.A proposed policy: Everything you say should be truthful, kind and necessary.This rule applies in any situation, and social media is no exception. Otherhelpful guidelines to share with your team:
Always take the high road.
Ifyour organization is the subject ofa negative Tweet, for example,advise employees to step back and calm down before responding.Never get into an argument or debate; always take the high road andnaysayers will often change their tune.
Be responsive (timeliness is important, too).
This demonstrates your organization’s commitment to its audiences,and will only positively impact your organization’s reputation.Responsiveness will also help fuel more positive discussion, increasingyour visibility on social networks.
Ethical Guidelines – Truthful, Kind and Necessary
ETHICS AND POLICIES IN SOCIAL MEDIA
The New York Times
, “Managing an Online Reputation,”Kermit Pattison, July 30, 2009