With the advent of social media came the development of online reputation management. People are talking about your brand, both positively and negatively. Your reputation, where it was once at stake with several hundred clients a day, is now subject to the world’s viewing and feedback. There are multiple platforms where your company might be discussed, going far beyond Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. An online reputation management company monitors and responds to any messages directed at your company, soothing public relations nightmares before they begin.
In the brick and mortar days, the fallout from a bad customer encounter went to the town and perhaps the neighboring city. That bad experience with Bill,. one of your employees, would be talked about among the person that Bill ‘helped’ and maybe some of the friends of that customer. Normally, the ripples from a bad experience ends there, with only a few people affected. Social media allows that disgruntled customer, we’ll call him Andy, to say something negative about Bill and your company to the entire world.
Where Andy might have spoken to a couple of his friends over the course of dinner, Andy now has the possibility of talking with a thousand Twitter followers, every friend that he ever had from high school, and potential clients all at once through the miracle of social networking. As a business owner, you could react to those few friends, but it becomes exponentially harder when you have to assuage thousands of people’s fears over the quality and service of your company.
This is where online reputation management comes into play.
Someone who is monitoring your online reputation can immediately respond to any questions or concerns which are raised by Andy. They can speak directly to Andy, offering him discounts, assuring him that Bill has been fired, and otherwise turn that negative customer service experience into a neutral, if not positive experience. Business owners usually do not have time for their own online reputation management, mostly because it is a full time job. Business owners need to pay attention to their core businesses, rather than watching the internet for any hits on their name.
An online reputation management company has the experience to make sense of all of the mentions which your company is receiving. They monitor the threads within forums, as well as the blog posts and other social media platforms and filter that information into an easily digestible format. They can also keep an eye on your competition, using that same experience to uncover any opportunities which may arise as a result of your competition’s dropping the ball. That experience comes only with time, time which your company might not have invested.