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Participation - Online Reputation Management in 2007 Part Three
Saturday, July 21, 2007
In the first two parts of our series on online reputation management in 2007, we have discussed the importance of the need for active participation as part of your online reputation management strategy. In part one we discussed the fact that we are starting to see more organizations becoming more active with online reputation management. The second installment saw us review a number of effective resources that can be used for online reputation management.

Participation in Online Reputation Management

In our piece entitled, "Online Reputation Management: What You Need To Know", we mentioned that participation is one of the keys and arguably the most important component of online reputation management. In fact we stated that you can actually control your online destiny with participation.
Control Your Online Destiny with Participation - Be active in industry forms, social networks, consumer review/opinion sites and the like. If your online reputation is suffering, participation within these areas can help change the negative perception that you may be incurring. Blogs are extremely popular for consumers and are often the first place they will go to find information. As a result commenting on blogs can help communicate your stance and promote your company in a positive light.
Whether you are in the B2C space or B2B arena, participating in online forums and social networks should be a regular occurrence as part of your online reputation management strategy. I've heard it from numerous organizations that they do not need to frequent social networking sites or other online community environments. While these organizations choose not to participate, many are not even aware that these social networks and industry forums even exist and can be an effetive tool for gathering information about what is being said about their brand. Take Pepsi for example. Do you think that they are aware of this MySpace page entitled "Pepsi Sucks"? Just to show that we're all about equal opportunity there is also a MySpace "Coke Sucks" page as well.

So where should this participation happen? Well chances are you have identified your target market and created personas for your target consumer. As a result you should have some idea as to their habits, and hopefully an idea of their online habits. For example, ask yourself do they frequent industry related blogs? Do they visit comparison shopping and product review sites? Are they users of You Tube, MySpace, FaceBook and other online communities? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then these are all great place to start.

Participate in:
  1. Blogs - this include key industry blogs, consumer blogs, and any related blog that you are aware about in which your target consumer may frequent.
  2. Social Networks - a good place to start would be MySpace. Create a MySpace account for your organization and use it to see if there are any MySpace pages that are anti. Consider creating a Facebook page and search for past and current employee names who may have been disgruntled. Don't forget about popular sites such as YouTube or Second Life.
  3. Industry Forums and other Consumer Feedback Sites
  4. Consumer Comparison Sites - such as sites like Price Grabber and Smart Shopper
  5. Your Own Company Blogs - be sure to participate and monitor your own company blogs.
Online reputation management in 2007, means being actively enagaged in the same online environment that your employees, consumers and competitors frequent. Actively participating helps you be proactive in dealing with any negative publicity that enters the vast world that is online. Controlling your online destiny through participation will continue to be key in growing your online reputation management strategy. Think of it like this, just because you don't participate doesn't mean that your competition and dissatisfied consumers are not participating. Know what people are saying about you. Respond to it if it indeed illicits a response. Respect your reputation and protect it.

Online Reputation Management in 2007 - Part One
Online Reputation Management in 2007 - Part Two

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posted by Jody @ Saturday, July 21, 2007  
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