Categories

Recent Posts

Six Steps for Managing Your Business’ Online Reputation

St. Petersburg online reputation management

There was once a time when you could have a bad day, justifiably lose patience with a customer, or unavoidably fail to deliver as promised, and those rare transgressions would be little noted nor long remembered. And anyone making it his life’s work to badmouth your business was readily identifiable and had to back up his accusations, meaning the occasional crank was easily recognized as such by the public.

Those days are gone. Now, thanks to Internet, every alleged flaw in your products, services, or business operations can be logged with anonymity and then recalled by everyone—indefinitely besmirching your organization’s reputation.  What can a conscientious business owner do? Here are six relatively easy steps to help protect your brand from online mudslinging:

  • Find out what people are saying. It may turn out that the Internet barely knows your company exists (that’s a different issue) but it could also be that nearly every reference to your business comes with a negative connotation. You really won’t know unless you do occasional web searches using different engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo … etc.) to find your company’s name. Helpful Tip: As you type your business name into Google Search, see how autocomplete tries to anticipate your next few words. If words like ‘rip-off,’ ‘scam,’ or ‘rude’ show up, then you have a big problem!
  • Automate searches and alerts – The Internet never sleeps, but fortunately you have some tools available to keep watch over the Web even when you do. RSS feeds and Google Alerts can be set up to let you know anytime your company gets an online mention.
  • Look out for impostors – Masquerading as someone else online is ridiculously easy to do. A virtual ‘doppelganger’ can call itself by any name it chooses and, by lifting a few online pictures, can present itself as anyone. You can make sure no one is passing himself off as your business by taking a few unique images from your company’s website or social media, and running them through Imageraider.com to see if they appear anywhere they aren’t supposed to be. Also www.knowem.com has a tool to let you know if your social media name is being used without your knowledge.
  • Be the first, best source of your own information – Keeping your website up-to-date and filled with lots of client-pertinent information helps ensure its prominent place in search results. Construct your site to anticipate common inquiries by including pages for careers/jobs, locations, news, headquarters/contact information and coupons/offers/discounts. Also, a company news section or blog—with new content added frequently—will help keep your site at the top of search-engine listings, well above any potentially negative content.
  •  Don’t let negative publicity or complaints fester – When you see something negative about your company—possibly in an online review or even an interactive forum you set up yourself—respond quickly. However, you must take extreme care to be polite (no matter how unreasonable the charge) and make it clear that first-class operation of your business is top priority. You may not always be able to smooth the ruffled feathers of the complainant, but you can still impress others with your thoughtfulness. And if your business did make a mistake, own up to it.
  • Make online reputation management (ORM) someone’s responsibility – Some things just have to be done—like cleaning restrooms or emptying garbage.  The easiest way to make sure the necessary ‘housekeeping’ gets done is make ORM monitoring apart of the ongoing job duties of someone within your organization.

Nobody’s perfect, and where criticisms are justified, take them to heart and make corrections. As always, the best defense of your reputation is to be as good as you can be in all aspects of business operation. As long as you’re doing that, your risk of being widely maligned is relatively minimal. As for unhappy instances that still might arise, just remember: negative information might not ever go away, but it can be overwhelmed by enough good works to make isolated bad reports very insignificant by comparison.

Related Posts:

The Positive Side of Negative Comments

Ginger Reichl Discusses Online Reputation Management with 8 On Your Side 

Tampa Bay public relations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing as a New Year’s Resolution

marketing new year's resolutions tampa bay marketing florida advertising agency

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to grow your business? To do more marketing? To be more strategic? To work smarter, not harder? You’re not alone! Each year, our phones start ringing on January 2nd with clients ready to start off strong.

If you need support to refresh your brand, launch that new web site, generate new content, shoot new videos, design new marketing collateral, build relationships with the media, or just to keep you on track – we’re here for you. Let’s set up a meeting and discuss your resolutions!

Be More Awesome in 2016!

Tips on Using the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress

yoast_newsThe Yoast plugin for WordPress is an incredibly useful tool that helps you improve SEO on your website. If used properly, in conjunction with great writing and relevant content, Yoast will assist in increasing the findability of your website and blog based on your chosen keywords for each page. Below are a few tips to maximize your use of Yoast.

 

  • Nothing can replace excellent writing and content. Google has somehow, incredibly, learned how to distinguish bad writing from decent writing. When you are creating blog posts and content for your website, “keyword stuffing” no longer suffices for Google. Not to mention that you gain potential customers’ trust when you deliver well-written, great content. If you publish nonsense, a well-informed customer will detect your “keyword stuffing” technique, and everyone else will simply think you are not to be taken seriously. Content marketing is no longer an option – it’s a necessity, and creating or curating excellent content is the crux of it.
  • The Yoast fields are found below the body of your blog. The tabs are General, Page Analysis, and Social.
  • The focus keyword serves as a guide only. When you enter the focus keyword, it has no effect on the page you are creating. It simply gives Yoast a way to assess the SEO on your page based on your chosen target keyword. This will assist in your writing process, as Yoast uses this keyword to score your SEO and make recommendations on how to improve it for that page.
  • Check the Yoast Page Analysis periodically. It will keep you on track and urge you to refine your writing according to your focus keyword.
  • Make sure to fill in your meta description at the bottom, and include your focus keyword in that description. This is an easily overlooked field, but Yoast will remind you if the keyword does not appear here.

 

Yoast is not a difficult plugin to use. It can be powerful if applied properly, and it is unparalleled in functionality. We use it for all of our clients’ blogs, and with the help of Yoast, we have created successful content marketing campaigns that drive website traffic, and, more importantly, return on investment.

Tampa Bay public relations

 

The Positive Side of Negative Comments

negative_newsEven the best businesses receive negative comments on social media. Sometimes it’s downright painful to read them, but remember: It isn’t personal. And there IS a bright side!
Just as positive comments help us understand what we’re doing well, negative feedback can offer insights into areas for improvement. Social media platforms provide a forum for us to learn things we may never hear about otherwise, or may not learn until after we’ve lost a customer. For gleaning no-holds-barred information, online commentary can be much more candid than face-to-face conversations and customer surveys.

Here are a few ways NOT to address negative comments:

  • Delete it – The customer is already angry, don’t make them angrier. The moment a comment is deleted, they will tell everyone they know about the experience that prompted the comment plus your horrible (and immature) response.
  • Ignore it – You wouldn’t ignore someone in your store or office, don’t ignore them online.
  • Fight back – We know the customer isn’t always right, but social media isn’t the place to make your point. Responding with the things the customer may have done wrong will only escalate the issue.
  • Be insincere – Nobody likes to receive a hollow apology in an attempt to placate an unhappy client.

To manage negative comments properly, ensure there is a method to address them within your organization. Empower the social media managers to respond and encourage the customer to call or private message to get direct contact. If the issue is something they can resolve on their own, it will go faster and you have the opportunity to gain a raving fan if done correctly. If the issue must be escalated, make the response and resolution a priority and close the loop on the comment.

In this light, look at these comments as valuable consumer research. Make note of all feedback, and use it to your best advantage. You may discover tips and trends that ultimately lead to better outcomes for your customers and your business.

Tampa Bay public relations

Ginger Reichl discusses online reputation management with 8 On Your Side

In my online reputation presentation, I ask participants to Google themselves and see what they find. Google their name. Google their brand. Google the terms they want to be known for.

When a local news anchor wanted to do a story about online reputation, she went to Google to find a subject matter expert to interview. And that’s where she found me. For online reputation in Tampa Bay, my name was associated with nearly every result on the first three pages, so she figured I might know what I was talking about!

The interview covers the basics on reputation monitoring and management. Please contact me if you’d like a complimentary consultation.

Tampa Bay public relations

Page 1 of 212