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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Regular Online Reputation Protection and Management – An Insight View


Companies & marketers put in so much of effort to make their visibility in the search results appreciable. Reputation is a vital factor for every organization. It may even cost you millions of dollars. With the vast usage of Internet, blogs products and brands reach the customers at the faster rate never as before. Henceforth, online reputation has become a basic necessity.

With so much of attention being given to reputation and steps taken to bring it up, yet it so happens that sometimes the page rankings given by search engines (SERPs) become unsatisfactory. With the massive increase in the companies in the market, their websites and customer expectations, you are always on the urge to have a cutting edge over your competitors and win over your potential customers.
Gossips, Unnecessary rumors, dissatisfied customers can highly damage your company reputation. Many companies see that poor brand building are a public relation issue, while its actually held up with the PR firms. They form the basic cause for such brand issues.

Online reputation management has indeed become a great problem for most of the companies in the market. When you try to displace the negative search results, it becomes a only a temporary solution, not a complete cure. We need to understand that such negative search results not only come from commonly used search engines, but also occur from blog searches, video sites, news searches, etc.

One needs to understand that even negative comments can have immense affect over the brand image that companies have created over the years. They are forced to pay in protecting the brands as the customers interact with these brands.

So what so we do on for this online reputation protection?

When it comes to search engines and reputation management, we can look into some basic concepts that would help us to safeguard our online reputation. Monitoring, Analyze, Optimization and Engagement

We need to monitor the brands, products, company on the whole and its key executives. We are forced to keep track of all search results, blog searches, news searches, forums, tags, etc. You need to first be aware of what and hoe your brand is being said online. This would help you to optimize your brand accordingly to be on the top of the search results. Keep track of every alert: Google alerts, yahoo alerts; RSS feeds subscriptions, Search engine news (Google and Yahoo), Blogs, Feedster, Feed burner, technorati, tags cloud so on.

You are required to analyze and grasp things that happen around your search engines and your key competitors. Search index keep updating their indexes regularly.A negative article about your company and product seen in the first page of the search result could drastically bring down your reputation

Optimization remains the most effective method and infact acts as a preventive measure too. Most firms focus on reactive optimization to handle negative searches. It has the companies go after the brand / reputation dissenters. Companies need to optimize their website, brand, brand content and other online properties effectively in order to have their online reputation safe and high. Every means of communication, like the Public Relations, marketing, SEO, human resource, investor relations and other related means like the texts, images used, video and audio created for the brand and products all contribute to the SERP. You need to optimize your main corporate site, micro sites, blogs, forums, press releases, articles, newsletters and even the partner sites to get hold of your reputation.Also make use of free online SEO tools to optimze your site.

Active Engagement & Participation: When you have successfully identified the cause for the negatives search results, you need to deal with a few other things. You need to research on them, start thinking on the facts and the possible rectifying actions for the same. Start discussing over them and start being honest and transparent, and above all be ready to listen. Results can turn out to be anything. But continue to follow the concepts with sincerity, keeping track of the business and market trends.

Be a continuous participator in major industry networks, social events, opinion polls, social networks, blog updation and follow-ups. This should help you to gather your company image outside with the consumers and help you to act accordingly. You start being proactive and start analyzing your audiences and your brand and their interactions. Focus on the brand content. More you focus on them, lesser your negative search results.

But remember, all these steps is a ongoing process. Continuously track your reputation and consumer perception over you company and brands. And act quickly and clearly. Regular online reputation management, the secret behind your brand and organization success.

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