As the online space continues to change, there are very few online strategies that can stand the test of time. However, when it comes to online reputation management, there is one that has always stuck with me through the years and I still use today with clients. I remember vividly reading one of my first articles on online reputation management from Andy Beal a few years ago. He kept mentioning these three words to live by when it comes to online reputation management:
I have heard many companies express how important their customers and users are. And as much as we would all love to believe that that is true, it may not always be the case. They often times express how they really want to be there for their consumers in any way they need – if they have a problem or just to be an open ear on how improvements can be made. In the past before the Internet existed or even before the massive wave of user-generated content, many companies could hide behind these words because no one truly knew if they were really following up on their company promise.
Today, consumers know. Today, everyone knows.
If you are a company today you have to truly be there for your consumers, not just want to be there. You have to create a positive experience with your company. Whether that is reinforcing a positive consumer experience or converting a bad experience into one that wipes away the previous interaction.
As a company, you have to realize that pretty much everything is going to end up online at some time or another. So being transparent to your consumers is very important to managing your online reputation. Being transparent with your consumers only incites a trustworthy feeling about your company, and as we all know that trust factor does weigh into whether or not they will engage with your company.
Many companies message consumers by way of promising an experience, commitment and a value. If consumers continue to feel as though the company’s message or actions are inconsistent with their promise, many companies are going to lose these vital consumers. I also tend to stress the importance of being consistent when it comes to a company’s presence online. A consumer needs to feel confident that you are continually listening to them and are ready to aid them in any way.
There are no days off in online reputation management.
Always keep in mind the three core values when it comes to online reputation management: Sincerity, Transparency and Consistency.