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Online Reputation Management Beyond 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
At the end of the day the only thing that you have is your word and your reputation. This is true in the vastness of the online universe as well. Every site owner should be concerned about their online reputation. Reputation management is critical for all businesses. Even the most customer-friendly companies have most likely upset some of their clients at some point. You simply cannot please all of the people all of the time. We have discussed a number of reputation management tips and reputation management tools for ensuring that your online reputation management strategy is a proactive one as opposed to being reactive to negative listings in the search results.

So what can one do to protect their online reputation as we move beyond 2007? One thing that cannot be emphasized enough is the importance of providing exceptional service to help ensure that you don't give people fuel to post negative stories about your brand online. As simple as it sounds, to protect your online reputation you need to first and foremost:
  • Be ethical in your business dealings
  • Understand and address the needs of your consumer
  • Be aware of what the competition is saying about you and your brand
  • Be aware of what employees are saying about your brand
  • Be aware of any "negative press" about your brand and key employees
  • Provide great customer service
  • Make the world a better place
If you can satisfy all of these points mentioned above then the need for a complex online reputation management strategy diminishes. If you are confident in your brand, your service and continue to listen to your consumers/target market you will experience success. Once you reach the top you can bet that people will be gunning for you. They say that getting to the top is easy compared to staying there. People will do what it takes to get to the top. The Internet is no different and it means that developing an online reputation management strategy will become that more important in the future. There are nearly 100 million blogs out there... surely all of them will not always have positive reviews or positive things to say. Effective online reputation management can significantly reduce the chance that a reputation crisis will develop into a major disaster. Mom always said keep your nose clean and she said this for good reason. Your reputation means everything.

Think of all of the fallen musicians, politicians, artists, athletes and corporate brands that have suffered as a result of reputation damage. Do these names ring a bell? Michael Jackson, Michael Vick, Martha Stewart, Wal-Mart, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Enron, Ford, Kobe Bryant and the list could go on. There are entire sites dedicated to political and celebrity scandals. Year in and year out there are reports on the best and worst brands, surveys on top brands, and consumer review sites and blogs that feature opinion (whether right or wrong) about some of the world's top brands.

Online reputation management's growth and importance will continue for a long time. The Web is far from finished sorting the good from the bad. Perception of your brand will continue to evolve. You want to make sure that the mass perception of your brand is that of a positive one and not the opposite. Online reputation management beyond 2007 means more dedication to the positive promotion of your brand and further understanding of what you consumers' needs are.


posted by Jody @ Wednesday, September 05, 2007  
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