Online Reputation Management: Mistakes to Avoid in 2018
In a study conducted by Marketing Land and Digitalis UK in 2017, it was found that out of the world’s 50 most successful brands, 14 of the brands had negative results show up on Google’s first or second page.
To take the study a little further, it was found that 20 of those brands did not have their Twitter profiles show up on Google’s first page, while 22 did not even have their Facebook pages present. This caters to a lost opportunity since social media platforms have a substantial domain authority in Google’s eyes.
Sure, companies that earn millions of dollars a year such as your national cable provider may have a popular reputation for bad customer service. Pissed consumers reports and forums concerning the different methods in which consumers were scammed by either company A or B are swarming around Google. It seems as though these companies don’t care much for bad reviews, mainly because they are doing business in an oligopoly market and would rather invest more time and money in their loyal customers. Unfortunately, small to medium-sized businesses cannot afford even one bad result that shows up on the first page of the search. For if they ignore the significant role that Google plays in their future success, they’re going to see diminishing profits in no time.
Search engines expose companies’ vulnerabilitities, and there’s nothing like spring time to get someone moving into the right direction of risk avoidance. Paying your insurance bill every month may not feel sexy, but you do it in case a flash flood destroys your home or someone crashes into your car. The same goes for your reputation: It is much more beneficial to enlist in online reputation management services before the flood hits you and you have no choice but to swim for dear life.
Here are a few simple methods to follow in order to adequately protect your reputation:
- Create a business Facebook page. This should go without saying, but when people hear about a new business they will automatically want to search Facebook and Instagram for photos and customer reviews. Make sure that you update your page at least every week so that Facebook ranks higher on the SERP for your branded keywords.
- Develop a Twitter account for your company. Work on getting Twitter up there as the first or second search result by sending out 3-5 relevant tweets a day. Using a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite takes off the burden on this one. The great thing about this tip is that Google has the tendency to cherry pick one of your most popular Tweets and showcase it straight on the SERP.
- Manage your employee and executives’ reputations. The high-profile employees who run your business aren’t immune to reputation damaging sources. Make sure the executives in your C-suite each has a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn profile set up as well as a YouTube channel where they regularly post videos of press interviews and their appearance at industry banquets. Getting their biography to be featured on Bloomberg and starting a blog with their branded domain name are also important ORM practices.
- Make use of your Google location listing. Validating your business location takes up prime real estate on Google by showcasing your business hours, photos and videos of your company and customer reviews. This is great in terms of SEO since you have the option to list the business categories you operate under, allowing your company to sometimes pop up upon broad category searches. This feature also simplifies the practice of responding to negative Google reviews.
- Encourage your employees to be your best brand ambassadors. Your employees should feel proud and confident in posting photos about the company they work at on social media or updating their LinkedIn with articles and claims about your business’ successes. Having your HR department train your employees on what is ok and not ok to say about your company on social media is key.