Reputation management online primarily encompasses:
Search results, user reviews and social media are now the equivalent of an online newsstand of stories and reviews related to your business. This is what people see about you first. Most people reference 3rd party search results, user reviews and social media over a business website. It’s critical to be proactively engaged and involved with this content on a consistent month in and month out basis.
A good reputation management process works best when all five of these tactics are employed. Think of reputation management in social media as an interactive extension of your overall public relations strategy. Damage control is one aspect of this strategy, but it is important to note that reputation management is most effective as a proactive measure rather than a reactive one. Being heavily connected to the social media landscape is a great way to put your brand in a position of control, as opposed to the ad hoc approach of chasing after and squashing various dissenters. What is most interesting about these platforms isn’t control, it’s the gradual build up and creation of a genuine connection with your customers and with who you are what your doing in a larger context – via authenticity and transparency (and having a little fun) your brand, neighborhood restaurant, hotel, shop, spa or salon or small business turns into something that can’t be bought with advertising: it turns into the people behind the business! It’s no longer a mere business – it’s you and your customers and your employees – its people. It’s what it’s always been – it’s just now you can expose that and create that and craft that using these tools. The pay off is customer loyalty and the creation of a new customer base, if done right.