Category Archives: Reputation Management

Online Marketing Blog: Fired Over a Tweet – Would You Do Differently?

The tweet was innocent enough, nothing like the recent fiasco of Congressman Anthony Weiner. All Vanessa Williams typed into her 140 characters is "We start summer hours today. That means most of the staff leave at noon, many to hit the links. Do you observe summer hours? What do you do?"

However, it was this tweet that resulted in Ms. Williams loosing her job. What gets to people the most about the situation is how severely it was handled. Instead of reprimanding Ms. Williams, they fired her, and people are yelling foul!
But was it?

There is a reason why the term “reputation management” is around. The damage that can be done to a brand online is the worst kind. It often turns viral, and the result is instantaneous. But there are ways to minimize this damage or eliminate it entirely, making a flipside to the argument. As in, if the company knew more about social media, then they wouldn’t have been so hard on Ms. Williams.

So, what should have they done?

I, personally, wouldn’t have fired her. According to the news report, Ms. Williams was newly employed. And, I don’t know how you feel about new hires, but I never expect them to know right away how to manage their job.

To correct this particular situation, all I would require her to do is a digital clean up. She needed to inform the online community other details, such as explaining that the only time employees leave early is after they complete forty hours. This solves the problem without costing Ms. Williams her job, and it also saves me, as the employer, the hassle of finding someone new.

But if anything is to be learned here, a situation like this demonstrates the need of social media training. Perhaps Ms. Williams wouldn’t have written as she did if she had been taught otherwise. Simple steps, such as developing a code of rules for one’s employees, can often be the preventive measure.

In any case, it is unfortunate that the lack of such costs people like Ms. Williams their jobs. Hopefully, in the future, we will see less of stories like hers as people get smarter about what to say and what not to say on social media channels.

(Of course, you can always call us to set up a training session to teach this etiquette to your employees – 🙂 )

Online Marketing Blog: Reputation Management

Marketing products and services online requires you to know how to connect with the target market. You need to employ strategies and tactics in order to survive. There are several ways to get your business known online. These involve development of your image and maintaining a good relationship with your customers. For any business, however, guarding that relationship is equally important.
Reputation management is all about having and maintaining a good name in the internet. Your reputation is of utmost importance. When you have a good reputation, your customers will trust you and your products. It will also attract other potential customers to you. It is unavoidable that false claims from competitors or situations with dissatisfied customers can lead to negativity surrounding your brand. This can lead to loss of business if your reputation is not managed proactively.
Reputation management means online brand management. Reputation management doesn’t just happen. It requires proactive tracking and monitoring of your name, your company’s name, and even tongue-in-cheek comments about your brand that may not necessarily be negative but also not be complimentary.
So how can you go about doing this?

Take preventive measures to protect you brand. If you see a negative comment about something related to your company, company’s products or services, or its employees, take proactive action by contacting the source. If you are unable to reach the source or the source is anonymous, post a response offering to speak with the source and offering an explanation or resolution plan.
Viewers or customers can be easily influenced by what they read about you no matter how true or false. So it is very valuable that you keep your response professional. Even if the accusations had validity, you should apologize and handle the feedback in a way that demonstrates your professionalism. Gracefully do offer a refund or replacement or a resolution that can make the source of the complainer satisfied with the resolution. Do not retaliate by angrily responding to the bad comments. Use the negative reviews as a means for you to improve and innovate in order to satisfy customers.
Not going online or networking online because you are afraid of negative consequences or of dissatisfied customers is not really a choice. It’s like saying, “if I don’t hear what my customers are saying, I won’t have a problem”. But that’s not how it works. First of all read the newest preview of Water Damage SEO and check some statistics.
Customers are going to complain even if you have done nothing wrong because of how they personally felt with you, your company, or your products/services. Perception is reality in many cases and so even if they perceive that you have a quality or brand issue, they will share their dissatisfaction with all who will listen.
Proactively identifying and resolving each individual situation to manage your brand should be your number one priority. Taking the complaints to heart and making changes within your company or product or service line should be the second number one priority.
Leveraging social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to share positive changes, testimonials from satisfied customers, successful resolutions from past dissatisfied customers, are all ways to manage your brand and enhance it slowly but surely.
Don’t avoid or underestimate the need to manage your reputation online. It is critical that you don’t just stop at brand management by enhancing your brand with positive messaging. It is even more important to first proactively fix your reputation which may have already been compromised due to a past situation or a past customer.
Contact us today to learn about our online marketing solutions including reputation management. Visit: to contact us today!

Search Engine Optimization Blog: What You Say Online, Stays Online!

Baring all in public is becoming more and more prevalent what with Facebook, Twitter, and other tools being accessible from everywhere including mobile phones and wifi connections that are freely and readily available.
Makes you wonder if anyone cares about online privacy anymore, doesn't it? Well, it's important, so here goes:
Remember, if you say it online, it's public!
You think it's hidden behind your privacy settings. But know that websites get hacked into and your privately shared information can become publicly visible. An agreement between Twitter and the search engines means that tweets are visible in search engine results. And copying and pasting a screen shot for the world to see, by a fictional friend whom you've never met, is a piece of cake. So if it is online, it can just as easily be featured on the front page of the NY Times. 
The Internet doesn't forget.
Yep, it is permanent. You may not realize how what you say today will affect you in the future. But fast forward in your mind 20 years from today and think how you’ll feel if you read something that you posted today. So before you post anything, think if your tweet or Facebook post could potentially cause embarrassment for you or your loved one in the future.
What you say has consequences for others too.

We've read news stories about cyber bullying causing suicides and harassment or potential lawsuits cropping up because someone said something that could harm another.  So think about that before you post how terrible your experience with xyz restaurant was. Or think of the potential for getting sued if you malign someone online. Last but not the least, think about the consequence of you or your loved one getting fired or sued because you said something in the "heat of the moment".

Online Marketing Blog: Conversations are Happening – Are you Participating?

Social networking means "public conversations" about you, your company, your brand or your products and services. Public conversations are great when they are positive. Negative conversations; not so great!

However, not going online is not the way to avoid negative conversations. Remember, they're happening; whether you are online or not. So why not proactively monitor those conversations, participate in them, and ensure that you influence how they continue?

The first step towards Reputation Management is knowing that someone's talking about yourself. So first keep track of the conversations around you. To do so,  go to Google Alerts today and sign-up to receive alerts about your name, your company name, or your products and services. Google Alerts delivers emails with alert results to you or you can go to Google Reader to read them.

I personally prefer getting emails once a day because that way I can quickly scan through them and know if something jumps out at me.

Google Alerts can be setup for other reasons too. You can monitor Request for Quotes (RFP's) in your industry or you can create a Google Alert to stay abreast of a favorite topic or person. Perhaps you are a Lady Gaga fan or perhaps you just want to see all the conferences that are happening in 2010 so that you can plan to participate; whatever your interest, Google  Alerts allows you to keep stay abreast of things that are important to you. And that's called Conversation Monitoring.

(Disclaimer: Google didn't pay me to write this promotion about Google Alerts)