Offensive and Defensive Moves for Online Reputation -


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Promote and protect your brand with these offensive and defensive tips.

For more online reputation tips and tricks, download the entire eguide here:

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Offensive and Defensive Moves for Online Reputation -

  1. 1. Page 14 . For more ideas on how to market your business, visit Offensive and Defensive Moves to Promote and Protect your Brand Now that we’ve armed you with the basics of how the game is played, now you must actually play. So huddle up, practice, incorporate some moves into your playbook to score points, win over the fans and avoid dropping the ball or throwing an interception. In this game, it’s very important to communicate openly. Find out how your image is faring by listening and, more importantly, responding to what the public is saying on social sites, review sites, Google searches and blogs. It’s also paramount to be proactive. After all, how are you going to play offense without fielding your fans for some winning reviews. Think of online reviews as “Testimonials 2.0” 8 . Continue to ask for referrals, but ask satisfied customers post a review about their experience on your business profile in the directories to mentioned earlier like Yelp and CitySearch. Promote those links on your business cards, email signatures and other marketing materials. Offer incentives like cash or discounts for submitting an online review as well. Sources: 8 National Association of Realtors 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Even more crucial to the game than playing offense and scoring points, is your defensive strategy and responding to unsportsmanlike conduct - or handling negative reviews in this case. Carefully crafting the appropriate response is key to maintaining relationships and acquiring potential clients. Reputation Management Defensive Playbook Offensive and Defensive Moves to Promote and Protect your Brand
  2. 2. Page 15 . For more ideas on how to market your business, visit Offensive and Defensive Moves to Promote and Protect your Brand Sources: 9 Marketing Pilgrim, “Motrin Faces Twitter Headache Over New Video Campaign” 10 Hubspot, “Important Lessons in Online Reputation Management From @AndyBeal [@InboundNow #24]” 11 Remove Negative Review with Reputation Management, Local Gold Mine Blog 2 RULE Always use empathy and be authentic! Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they feel the way they do. If you come across as unsympathetic or dismissive you will either look bad to other clients/consumers or encourage the person to take further action. Being genuine and open about your brand—good and bad—is always the right way to go as it lends to your credibility and authenticity. 3 RULE Don’t blame the customer or another teammate! Take responsibility for the situation and confront it head on. According to Marketing Pilgrim, when applicable, you should quickly apologize and then do some damage control before a situation gets even more widespread (i.e. Subway’s “Footwrong” debacle above) 9 . Consumers don’t care whose fault it is. They just want it fixed. If you start pointing fingers at the customer they will go on the defensive and the situation will escalate. 4 RULE Never get into an online comment battle! Always keep it professional and respond quickly to unfavorable reviews. Your number one goal is to attempt to rectify the situation. Advise the reviewer to meet or call you to discuss the matter further to show that you are concerned about their experience. Andy Beal, founder of Marking Pilgrim, says, “Oftentimes, you have the opportunity to turn a detractor into an evangelist by fixing situations 10 .” Turn your brand enemies into brand champions! 5 RULE Keep it timely and never ignore bad reviews! Always acknowledge the review and respond quickly to set things right.To recoup their trust, follow through immediately or they may not trust you or remove the negative review 11 . 1 RULE Never write a response while angry! Your harsh words will come back to haunt you. Often customers just want to be heard. By responding you are giving them the satisfaction that their complaint was acknowledged. Plus, your potential clients can see that you addressed the issue.
  3. 3. Page 16 . For more ideas on how to market your business, visit Offensive and Defensive Moves to Promote and Protect your Brand Reputation is an asset and must be managed like other assets. Employees are a company’s best advocate and become your protectors (defense) and promoters (offense). We recommend setting up a team of key players representing several departments that have ownership of the brand, social media, reputation and risk management, legal and human resources. The team should champion the cause for social media and Online Reputation management. This group’s goal is to ensure that ownership and management of the brand is carried out at the corporate level. Most brands typically have multiple departments that range from sales, marketing, public relations, legal and human resources, IT, third-party vendors and customer service. The team should have a variety of players with different roles and include one to take ownership of the company’s image – your quarterback or team leader. This player makes the calls, rallies the team, knows the plays backwards and forwards and is your “go to” and is responsible for day-to-day management. The team leader within this group should be responsible for championing resources, identifying internal and external brand advocates and safeguarding the brand. The team is critical in establishing governance and best practices, policymaking and conducting company-wide training. Here are steps to help you get started in creating your team: Identify the key players to become a part of the team and engage each of them in the creation of the guidelines. Set routine meetings for the team to share best practices, new trends, emerging platforms and technology. Establish goals, objectives and tactics to support them. Conduct a reputation and social media audit. Craft a risk management plan along with response protocol to become a strategic guide for units of the organization to follow. Set up listening tools and formal mechanisms to actively monitor, measure and manage reputation. Develop internal training material and deliver it to the organization as often as possible. Evaluate effectiveness of actions taken. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Create a Reputation Management Team
  4. 4. Page 17 . For more ideas on how to market your business, visit Offensive and Defensive Moves to Promote and Protect your Brand Creating a Policy Comment and Review Guidelines Development of corporate policies, with particular emphasis on those relating to social media participation and managing your online reputation is important. You should define the rules of to help guide your organization’s response to threats. By building in a defined set of response procedures, it is possible to minimize the amount of damage that a social media crisis can inflict. engagement to be followed Comment guidelines set the boundaries for acceptable behavior on the company’s social media profiles and across the web on review sites, local directories and search engines. Know what the media, competitors, employees and consumers are saying about you and track the content of the conversation to gauge success. It’s good to respond to the three inevitable types of conversation - questions, complaints and compliments. Questions that need to be addressed: • When are your employees “your” employees? • Are you responsible for their actions when they are “on the clock”? • Are you responsible for their actions when they are on their own time? • Consider your audience and be authentic. • Remember to protect proprietary and confidential information. Questions Complaints Compliments
  5. 5. Page 18 . For more ideas on how to market your business, visit Offensive and Defensive Moves to Promote and Protect your Brand According to Business News Daily, by following these tips, you’ll maintain a solid reputation on the web: • Focus on a simple, clear and compelling narrative that will stick in the mind. It’s the main thing about your business. This is what you always want people to know about you. • Be authentic. Talk in a language that is real for you and your brand. Avoid the jargon of corporate speak and marketing theory. The more genuine and human you are in the way you talk, the more you will engage people. Don’t be afraid to use humor where possible. • Talk about the “dramatically different’’ things you do. People want good stories, so find the things that are exciting to talk about and amplify them. • Encourage conversations with your customers and even your investors, employees and the press. Social media allows you to do this via Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs and LinkedIn. You need to have people monitoring and actively encouraging conversations. • Make it as easy as possible for consumers to talk about you. Empower your team to talk directly with consumers and build rapport, recruit consumers to be fans and when anything goes wrong, deal with it at lightning speed. Lastly, to ensure you’ve not left any stone unturned, print out our “Reputation Management Checklist” on page 23. This handy list will guide you through getting setup online by publishing your contact information in every corner so you’ll be seen on search engines, review sites, directories and social sites. It will remind you what to monitor, where and how often. And finally, it will ensure that you are making keyword adjustments as necessary so that consumers can find you when using related terms in their search. Review the “Comment & Review Guidelines” on page 22 to help develop your brand’s guidelines.