9 Top Tips for your Online Reputation Management Policy
It’s no secret: people tend to be more honest online. The internet provides a screen, both literally and figuratively, for customers to hide behind while they let loose on whatever business they have recently had poor experiences with. This is why it is important to have an Online Reputation Management policy in place.
With so many platforms and sites to watch it is hard to know where to look and what to do when something unfavourable arises. We’ve got 9 Top Tips to help you build a standard policy on managing online reputation.
1. Have a list of things to monitor
It makes things a lot easier to manage if you have a list of things to monitor. This should be kept in a share drive or cloud where all relevant people can contribute to it as new sites and topics arise. Things you should monitor include:
- Your company/brand name
- The products and services you offer
- Names of CEOs, Managing Directors and anyone that has public or business dealings with outside sources
- Your company tagline
- Your competition
- Any trademarks associated with your business
2. Know where to monitor them
Alongside your list of things to monitor should be a list of places to monitor them. This list is essentially the same for all businesses, covering social sites, directories, company review sites and so on. Here are some examples of sites you should be watching:
- Golden Pages
- Tripadvisor if you are a B2C business
- News sites
3. Create search streams
Hootsuite is one of the most useful social media tools you can invest in. Not only does it save time when scheduling and monitoring social posts, it also allows you to keep track of what people are saying about you, even the ones who aren’t tagging your account. All you have to do is create search streams for different phrases that relate to your brand (see our list of things to monitor above) and check it as you check your other social streams. You can even whittle it down to location by using Hootsuites Geo-code option.
4. Set up alerts
Another way of making monitoring easier, and quicker, is setting up alerts. Google Alerts makes it easier than ever to monitor anything you like, with alerts sent straight to your inbox every time something new is shared on the web. Setting up google alerts is easy. Here is a quick step-by-step guide:
- Visit www.google.com/alerts
- Type in the term you want to track
- Input your email address (if you’re not already signed in)
- Click “Create Alert”
From then on you will get updates every time the term you are tracking is mentioned online.
5. Have a policy on how to deal with complaints
Have a written policy on how your company will deal with online complaints and make sure everyone responsible for the company’s online presence has access to it. For tips on how to deal with bad mentions and complaints on Social Media read THIS blog post.
6. Make one person responsible for responding to online reviews
When it comes to reviews on sites like Yelp, one person should be in charge of delivering a response. The response shouldn’t be generic, it should be professional and should offer the reviewer the chance to get in touch with you if they would like to address it further.
7. Include transparency as part of your policy
Online Reputation Management is much more difficult for companies that aren’t transparent with their brand message. If there is something bubbling under the surface that is likely to explode in the coming weeks, be the first to address it. Don’t wait for a social media influencer to blow the lid of it, leaving an even bigger mess for you.
8. Have an employee social media policy
It’s important these days to have a strict policy when it comes to your employees’ usage of social media. Of course you can’t dictate everything they post, however you can when it comes to your brand. Employee activity on Social Media can have terrible implications; if an employee is saying you are a bad company to work for, posting inappropriate pictures in their uniform or in your offices and so on, people’s view of your business is likely to be tainted. Protect yourself by making it clear that there will be repercussions if employees speak ill of or misrepresents the brand online.
9. Make sure everyone knows about your policies
There is no point in having a social media policy and an online reputation management policy if your employees are not aware of them. Make sure that all representatives of your business are aware of these policies by giving them access to them. It doesn’t hurt to have reminders as well. Staff handbooks, noticeboards, shared drives and in-house newsletters are all good ways to let people know, and to remind them, that these policies are in place and that they are being monitored.
If you are in need of help when it comes to developing a reputation management strategy, contact the experts at Emarkable. We can generate an overall online brand strategy for your company, including policies for only rep management. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01) 808 1301.