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Reputation Management

Chris Hambly's picture
Submitted by Chris Hambly on 27 April 2010 - 3:45pm

In the good old days a company could rely on billboards, magazine ads, and commercials to build its brand. It wasn't hard to stand out against maybe one or two competitors if you gave good customer service and had a decent product. However as the internet continually evolves at a rapid fire pace the stakes are higher. Companies are fighting harder to maintain their customer base and stand out among hundreds of competitors. It's not enough now to just provide a decent product when one blogger with thousands of followers can bring you down with a negative post. These days a single tweet can cause mayhem that can take a company months to recover from. 

There's now the need for nearly up to the minute feedback. This has spawned the industry of reputation management to step in to monitor, maintain, and even provide damage control for a company's public image. It becomes the social networking PR machine to help a new business build its presence or an already known company maintain its standing. By employing blogs, reviews, online publicity, and social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace along with the directory listings combined with SEO, the reputation management service can tailor the company's image to its target audience. Aside from building a company's brand it can also come in handy to salvage it when it's under a negative light. Although the ethics of it maybe questionable a reputation management service can manipulate search engine results in order to counter negative press or misinformation. 
A small business or individual can do reputation management themselves but if you're actually running your business you will probably not have the time. There is a myriad of blog, tweet, and link monitoring tools available but if you're trying to repair damage it can be overwhelming. You will probably want to leave it to the professionals. The price tag of a few thousand pounds can be invaluable to ferret out attacks from a competitor or a dissatisfied customer.
No company can ignore the power of the internet. Managing your online presence can be as important as your product or service itself. It used to be said that even bad publicity is better than no publicity at all but when word can spread in a matter of hours, it's to your advantage to have some control over what publicity you generate. 
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