15 Mar Your Online Reputation and Your Blog
Blogs are the gateway to online interaction. They can be opinionated and chock-full of useful information about a particular industry. While social networks offer a quick way to communicate in small snippets, a company blog can add another layer into the mix. Those links are important, but blog traffic is a more important and easier way to track popularity and searchability.
A blog offers a way for a company to establish a strong online presence, as well as a brand image. You get to control how past, current, and potential clients perceive your brand. Any negative comments, issues, or feedback can deeply cut into your company.
Word-of-mouth marketing and online reviews are exponentially more important than any television, print, or radio advertisement. Those types of marketing are viewed as one-sided, since it’s the company that is footing the bill.
However, a positive review or comment about the product, service, or customer service speaks volumes. A person is more likely to listen to the recommendation of a peer, friend, or relative than a random ad. That personal connection is what your company needs to achieve with your customers.
By constantly monitoring your online reputation, you are already setting yourself up for success. Knowing is half the battle. Only when you’re aware of a potential problem can you begin to remedy the situation. A blog offers information that reflects positively upon your company and can combat any negative feedback floating around the marketplace.
This does not preclude you from fixing the negative comments, however. By publicly acknowledging the comments, it shows your attentiveness and willingness to fix a problem. Don’t continue to engage a negative poster if it appears he or she is looking for a fight. That online word fight reflects poorly on both parties, and your company is the one who stands to lose the most. When engaged in a dispute, acknowledge the facts and offer to alleviate the pain in any way possible without having to give away the farm. If necessary, continue the conversation offline in a private manner, whether via email, direct message, or over the phone.
Any negativity drives traffic away from your blog because the public could perceive your brand as unreliable. A drop in blog traffic equals a drop in sales because without clicks, there is no business.
There are ways to manage your reputation:
1) Google Alerts enables you to monitor the latest information on the Web about you or the company. By programming search terms or keywords, Google scrubs the Web for any of those particular mentions. Then, those results are emailed directly to you. It allows you to get the latest on your competitors or find out the latest that is written about the brand or industry.
2) BrandsEye monitors media type, brand relevancy, country, reputation score, and more. The software helps to manage online conversations, picks up any mentions of your company, and can create competitive analysis.
3) SocialMention scours more than 100 social media platforms for your name or company. Sites include blogs, news items, videos, and comments.
4) Reputation.com helps to remove negative comments about a company, as well as increase online credibility, spyware attacks, or inaccurate information about the company.
5) KnowEm offers a way to check the Internet for ways your name, company, or products are used on more than 500 social networks.
Laura Burkey is a freelance writer who contributes to numerous blogs, including Reputation.com.