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How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz
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How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz

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How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz

How to Protect Your Brand and Your Bottom Line from Negative Buzz

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  • OK, let’s go ahead and get rolling. A couple of logistics to start.I will send you a link to a recording of this presentation, so no need to take intense notes.Also, if you have any questions, please chat them into the box below this presentation and I will address as many as I’m able to at the end. If I don’t get to your specific question, not to worry, someone from my team or I personally will follow up with you to make sure your question gets answered!OK, hello again everybody, thanks for tuning into this webinar, this is {YOURNAME} from {YOURCOMPANY} and today I’ve got the great pleasure to be talking with you about to protect your business from negative buzz—how to manage your online reputation.Let’s go ahead and get started!
  • OK, folks, it’s time to face the harsh reality: people talk online about their experiences with local businesses, and as you can see, they can be unsparing—withering even—in their criticism. On this slide you see a one-star review of a restaurant in Denver, Colorado. This one is actually less hostile than some of the others I was considering showing you … but it’s still pretty bad. Imagine if someone were telling others to avoid *your* business!
  • Here’s another one-star review from a Google Places page, with the classic ALL-CAPS … a good indication that this person was pretty fired up when he wrote this. Also, notice in the bottom of the review—3 out of 3 people found it HELPFUL! That right there, in a nutshell, is why reputation management is so important. I’ll explain further in moment …
  • And here’s the scary part: most small businesses have NO IDEA what people are saying about them online. They aren’t monitoring the important directories and review sites, they aren’t managing the conversation, and they aren’t using new social media platforms to promote their good name. Which means that any and all negative reviews and brand-damaging complaints are going unanswered and unaddressed…
  • OK, here’s a maxim that most of us understand intuitively … “It takes forever to build a good reputation, but only a second to destroy it.” I think this is worth repeating, because, if anything, the stakes have gotten much higher in the Information Age. In our hyperconnected world, news travels fast and far—good news, bad news, and everything in between. And that news doesn’t necessarily vanish into the ether after a few days … No, instead it gets stored on a server someplace, where it’s just a Google search away…
  • When I say the stakes have gotten higher … here’s an illustration of what I’m talking about. Damage to your reputation isn’t an abstract thing—it has real effects on your balance sheet. In November 2011, the Harvard Business Review published a study on the impact of online reviews of local restaurants. The authors of the study found that a difference of one “star” in the average rating of the establishment led to a difference in revenues of 5 to 9 percent!Think about that for a second … that’s a significant impact on a business, no matter what size.
  • So you might be wondering: Why do online complaints matter? How could a star rating have such an outsize impact on my business’s revenue? Here’s the simple answer: people put a lot of trust in their social networks. Ninety percent trust online recommendations from people they know. What’s more, people put a lot of trust in total strangers! Almost three quarters will trust reviews from people they’ve never met.This is the great double-edged sword of the Internet—positive word of mouth can be like rocket fuel for a company, propelling it into the stratosphere, ahead of competitors. But on the flip side, negative word of mouth can be like sugar in your gas tank…
  • And here’s the rub, folks: the web has a long memory. As I mentioned earlier, Google never forgets. Which means that negative reviews can haunt you for a long time if you’re reckless with your reputation.
  • OK, now, this presentation is not about scaring you. Well, it’s partly about that, but it’s mostly about giving you some guidance in terms of how you can protect the delicate and scarce resource that is your online reputation…
  • Not surprisingly, an entirely new field has emerged to deal with reputation issues arising from our wired age. It’s called “online reputation management” and it’s a mixture of old-fashioned PR principles and newfangled Internet marketing techniques like search engine optimization and social media marketing, and it’s as much (or more) about being proactive in protecting your reputation as it is about being reactive when it’s threatened.
  • So, let’s drill down further into this concept. Here are some of the key components that comprise online reputation management, or O-R-M. FIRST, ORM is about creating standard operating procedures that aim to prevent mishaps and minimize them if they do occur. SECOND, a huge part of this process is ongoing promotion and content creation. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that, in the Information Age, every business has become a publisher of sorts. Or perhaps storyteller is a better metaphor. A business is responsible for telling a story about their brand. This story doesn’t end until the business closes it’s doors! So it’s imperative that you to shape and manage your story. Now, it’s not possible to totally control the narrative, but you’ve got to try your best to keep it on the right trajectory. THIRD, part and parcel of telling your story is maintaining an active role on the web, and today that means participating in the social web. I’m talking about Facebook primarily, but also Twitter and YouTube and LinkedIn and other channels that make sense for your industry or niche. FOURTH, building relationships is another important element of online reputation management. It can be as basic as providing good service, but it’s also about maintaining a ongoing dialogue with your market. What’s more, it's absolutely vital to build relationships with key influencers in your niche, not just your customers, but also your suppliers, colleagues, competitors, and local media outlets.The final element of online reputation management is reactive—i.e. how you deal with negative buzz that threatens to derail your brand. You’ll note that it’s a small piece of the overall ORM puzzle. Many people think online reputation management is all about fixing your SEO problem or getting a bad review removed from a directory. In reality, reputation management is about taking PROACTIVE steps so that you avoid these types of issues in the first place.
  • So, here’s a key question to address up front: who needs to engage in ORM? The short answer is: everyone. People are talking about you online. Keeping your head in the sand isn’t a viable strategy—it’s a terrible strategy, actually. Every organization—indeed every individual—has got to pay attention and proactively manage their brand. Of course, there are some businesses that rely on their reputation more than most, like those in the food service and hospitality industries. Likewise, those who provide professional services, such as lawyers and accountants, they live and die by their reputation.
  • OK, now I want to dive into the specifics of online reputation management, which can be classified into three areas: monitoring, managing and promoting … let’s start with monitoring.
  • Monitoring is all about listening to your market—keeping your ear to the ground. That means knowing what’s being said on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, blogs, search engine results pages, message boards and forums, directories like Google Places, Foursquare and Yelp, and lastly, those key influencers present in your niche. Every industry has them, and they command a lot of authority.
  • I want to recommend some great free tools that will help you effectively monitor the online landscape. They should be in every small businesses toolbox.With Google Alerts you can get email updates on the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) on your name, company or industry keywords. Every business should have an alert for their company name! There’s no excuse not to have one or several of these—they take about 2 minutes to set up (at most).Social Mention: this is a neat tool, basically it does what Google Alerts does but for social media. TweetDeck is an enormously helpful tool for keeping tabs on the conversation happening on Twitter.Finally, you should definitely have an RSS reader to keep up on all of the important blogs, forums and media outlets that cover your industry. An RSS reader is a great way to aggregate the content from all of the sites you read on a regular basis in one place, so you don’t have to actually bounce from site to site to get the latest news. I suggest Google Reader—it’s probably the most popular and easiest to use of all RSS readers out there. And it’s free.
  • The second pillar of online reputation management is a little trickier: managing the conversation. This piece encompasses the majority of ORM. There are tons of things that fall under this category, but I’ll just run through a few of them here: One – Claim your listings. What I mean by this is, claim all public listings of your business on local directories, starting with the most important, which is Google Places. By claiming your listing you can exercise more control over what gets published under your name. Two – Respond to complaints. This one seems obvious, right? But here’s the thing: responding to complaints is a bit of an art, and it’s something to practice and get good at. Seriously. Three – Encourage positive reviews. One of the best ways to strengthen your reputation and make it less vulnerable to stray negative comments is to build up a stockpile of evidence that supports your good name. In practice that means cultivating relationships with your customers and encouraging them to say nice things about your company, your staff, and your products.
  • So, some of you might not be sure exactly what the phrase “claim your listings” means, so I’ll take a second to explain. On this slide you’ll see an example of an unclaimed Google Places listing. Google Places is one of many business directories that consumers use to find local merchants and service providers. By claiming your listings across these different directories, not only will your business become more visible, you will have more control over the content and messaging that gets published online.
  • Responding to customer complaints and negative reviews is, not surprisingly, a big part of online reputation management. Sure, tracking and responding to negative reviews is no one’s idea of a good time, but here’s the thing: it’s really effective. In fact, graceful handling of customer complaints can actually boost your standing in your market and help you develop even more customer loyalty. I suggest making it part of your routine to check the important directories on a regular basis and engage the people who have taken the time to write a review about their experience with your company.
  • This is something that a lot of businesses struggle with, but it’s so important to make it standard practice to channel customer enthusiasm and collect testimonials and encourage them to write reviews on directories like Google Places and Yelp and Citysearch. That means conditioning all of your customer-facing employees to collect positive feedback when they hear it, and it means thinking up creative ways to make it easy for your customers to submit feedback. Creating comment cards is one approach that has proven to be effective.
  • OK, the third pillar of online reputation management is promotion. This is the fun part. But here the thing: a lot of businesses are wary of the web, and social media in particular, because they can’t control what’s being said … but I’m here to tell you, the social web is an amazing resource for every business, and you’re crazy if you’re not using it to its fullest potential. Sure, you can’t control what’s said on Facebook or Twitter, but here’s the good news: you can control what YOU say about your company—which means you have the power to influence the conversation. But you’ve got to get out there and make your voice heard on a regular basis. Passivity isn’t an option anymore, and brief spurts of activity won’t do the job either. What does that mean in practice? It means you’ve got to give this whole social media thing a try. It means you’ve got to start thinking of your website as something more than an electronic business card, but as a living and breathing member of your PR team. It means going out of your comfort zone and recording a few YouTube videos so that you rank higher in the search results. It means getting over your reluctance to ask your customers for reviews and testimonials.This may seem like a lot of effort, and I know most small business owners aren’t exactly flush with extra time and cash, to say the least. But keep in mind that virtually everything you do manage and improve your reputation will ALSO help you bring more customers through your door, increase sales activity, solidify your position in the marketplace, and boost your overall profitability.
  • Now that we’ve covered some of the key components of online reputation management, I want to take a few minutes to introduce a handful of best practices and guidelines that’ll benefit every business.
  • So, one thing I want to really stress is that online reputation management is an ONGOING PROCESS that, when done correctly, is woven into every part of your business—but particularly sales, marketing, and customer service. It’s not a one-time thing that you do in response to a crisis. Given the importance of your reputation—and its fragility—reputation management should be baked into everything you do as a company. Trust me, you don’t want to have to come up with a reputation management plan when you’re in the midst of panic. As a well-known public relations expert once said, “Doing PR during a crisis is like eating healthy during a heart attack.”What’s more, if you make ORM a part and parcel of your business, you’ll be in a much better position to avoid crises in the first place. Here’s just one example: let’s say, god forbid, a screed against your company starts to rank high up in the search engines. If you already have a content creation process in place, you’ll be in a much better position to ramp up your publishing efforts and push the hostile comments down the page and out of view. In contrast, if you don’t have a process in place, the process of diluting that negative comment will be MUCH more laborious and time-intensive.
  • When your business starts to think about reputation management, there will be some hard truths you will have to face from time to time. According to reputation expert Daniel Diermeier of the Kellogg School of Management,“Most reputational challenges do not happen because of some external event or misfortune. Rather, they arise as the direct consequence of company actions.”OK, that quote was a little opaque—but here’s the deal: sometimes you’ve got face some unpleasant realities about your products, your delivery, your customer service.. But facing these truths is the difference between a company that’s willing to grow and improve, and a company that’s destined for stagnation and squandered potential. That may sound harsh, but it’s true!
  • Now, I want to take a brief moment to draw a distinction between owning up to mistakes with honesty and grace, versus going through the motions and saying things you don’t mean. Everyone can spot a false apology from a mile away, yet somehow people try to get away with it anyway. So here’s a quick way to test if your apology is genuine: does it contain the word “if”? If your apology contains this word, you’re probably giving a bad apology. Why is it important to know how to apologize? Well, a big part of online reputation management is knowing WHEN and HOW to fall on your sword. This may sound like it’s too simple or too obvious to address in this presentation, but trust me, people and organizations fail at this seemingly simple task every single day. Watch CNN for 20 minutes and I guarantee you’ll see a non-apology.
  • Your business is more than just your livelihood. It’s your baby. Moreover, it can feel like an extension of yourself. That’s why, when someone says something critical online, it can really sting, it can feel like a personal slight. But believe me, bad things happen when you take it personally. I’ve seen too many cases when emotions get involved and things start to get messy in a public and very unflattering way.Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO of Yelp, which is an online directory that maybe some of you have used to find a local restaurant, says, “Hands down, when I’ve seen a conflict, it’s usually because the business owner is enraged, furious or personally hurt. Give yourself some time to cool off and engage in a respectful, courteous manner.” Think of every commenter as an investor in your company. By providing their input, positive and negative, they are investing in the success and growth of your organization. Also, I want to clarify that online reputation management is NOT about engaging every critic, responding to every bad review. Not only is that not a scalable option, doing so can make you look thin-skinned. Not every bad review merits a response, especially the ones that are clearly meant to be inflammatory. Your customers will be able to distinguish legitimate reviewer from the hot-headed comments. In other words, don’t waste your time feeding the trolls, so to speak.
  • OK, my goal with this presentation was to familiarize you with online reputation management and give you some guidance on how to protect your business’s good name. This presentation is by no means exhaustive, but I hope that you have clearer picture now than when you tuned in. Since you all are probably pressed for time, and potentially reaching your saturation point, I’m going to wrap up here and open things up and take your questions.
  • Transcript

    • 1. www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 2. www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 3. Could this happen to you?
    • 4. Ouch. www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 5. Would you even know it?! Is your business getting blasted someplace online without you even knowing?! www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 6. It takes forever to build a good reputation, but only a seconds to destroy it.
    • 7. A difference of one “star” in average rating led to difference in revenues of 5 to 9 percent. -2011 Harvard Business Review Study www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 8. Study: 90% trust online recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust opinions of unknown users they have never met. -Econsultancy (July 2009) www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 9. “Negative reviews can hang an albatross around your neck if they appear prominently in search results.” -Kermitt Pattison, NYTimes.com
    • 10. Protecting Your Reputation
    • 11. The “New PR” • Online reputation management (ORM) • Multidisciplinary approach involving old strategies and new tactics • Proactive and reactive
    • 12. Elements of ORM Policies and procedures Content creation Social media management Relationship building Mitigation / crisis management www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 13. Who needs it? • Organizations of all sizes • Retailers, restaurants + hotels • Lawyers, accountants + other professional services • Physicians, dentists + other healthcare providers • Celebrities, athletes and politicians • Anyone who needs help improving their online reputation
    • 14. Monitor, manage, promote
    • 15. Monitor • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, et. al) • Blogs • SERPS • Message boards/forums • Location-based directories (Foursquare, Yelp, etc.) • Key influencers
    • 16. Free Monitoring Tools • Google Alerts • Social Mention • TweetDeck • RSS readers www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 17. Manage • Claim your listings • Respond to complaints (if necessary) • Encourage positive reviews www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 18. Claim Your Listings
    • 19. Respond to Complaints www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 20. Encourage Positive Reviews www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 21. Promote • Social media promotions • Local directory management (e.g. Google Places) • Company blogging / website management • Press releases • YouTube (SEO!) • Customer outreach • Advertize (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn , et. al) www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 22. Best Practices
    • 23. Make ORM an ongoing part of your business. www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 24. Be willing to face hard truths. www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 25. “A bad apology is worse than no apology.” -Randy Pausch
    • 26. Take complaints seriously, not personally. www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
    • 27. Questions?
    • 28. We’d love to help. • Just get in touch! www.losangeleswebstrategies.com (213) 607-9100

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