Reputation management – Pubcon South.

This is a live blog so it will have some errors and is what I got from the session.

Tony Wright.

Why do people come to this session?  Because you have problems in reputation management.

Why do people complain online?

There are two leading reasons people contribute content to social shopping sites are the need to feel part of a community 31% and recognition from peers 28%.  (IBM institute for business value 2009.)

  • Google Suggest
  • RipoffReport – If you have a legal document, you sue Jon Doe or Jane Doe Google will remove the listing.
  • Complaints Board

Why do people listen?

Users put trust in their social networks.  One-half of Beresford respondents said that they considered information shared on their networks when making a decision.  and the proportion was higher among users from 18 – 24 at 65%.  (eMarketer, October 2009).

Does this stuff go viral?

The avergae cnsumer mentions specific brands over 90 times per week in conversations with friends, family and co-workers.  (John moore, WOMMA, 2010).  People mention Coke when they want a soda.  Xerox when they want to make a copy.

Why should you care?

Because people will mention your brand whether or not you want them to.  You need to jump in and steer the customers and participate in the conversations to keep the conversation under control.  You need to keep watching these and keep participating so that you can keep yourself and your story in front of your customers.

Understand the Landscape of reputation management.

  • Blogs
  • SERPs
  • Reviews
  • Message Boards
  • Hate Websites – You cannot buy all the urls like yourdomainsucks.com.  There are to many of them and this is not a good strategy.
  • Twitter
  • Location Based Sites (Forsquare, GoWalla, etc…)
  • Social Bookmarking Sites.

Years ago it was do not engage the consumer in the battlefield.  Now you need to be there to tell your side of the story.  If you don’t then they can keep coming after you without you telling your side of the story.   (Go to the post I did on bringing them to your site and your forums.)

Monitoring the Landscape.

Tracker is a great tool.  (Created by Andy Beal). There is not perfect tool.  “I use 5 different tools to monitor each account.”

Monitoring technology has not kept up with CGC.

  • Different tools to monitor different things.
  • Twitter
  • Blogs
  • Overall Web
  • Reviews
  • SERPs

No one tool gets it all!

Doing PR during a crisis is like eating healthy during a heart attack.  Unkown twitter tweet.

Most companies do no reputation management.

If a Crisis is a blank slate, the crisis wins.

Companies with unmanaged reputations will most likely lose infinitely more in a crisis than those with managed reputations.  What is the ROI?  You don’t actually know until a crisis happens and you lose your sales and customers.

How to manage a Brand’s Repuration Policy.

  • Social Media Policies – You have to have this so your employees don’t start a fight.
  • Employee Education -Creating a policy without educating your employees is pointless.  Marketing and HR needs to educate and let them know what to do.  Teach your employees to not engage angry customers but to share good things, news releases, etc…
  • Proactive Reviews Strategies – Ask your happy customers to go out and review you on those sites.
  • Influencer identification and outreach – Find them before a crisis happens.  Use Klout and other services.  Take them out for a beer and make them a friend.  Because they get to know you and you are a person they may come to you and help you if you are in a crisis situation.
  • Be part of the conversation – Don’t just jump in the minute a crisis happens.  People are not stupid and they know you are only active now because of the issue.
  • Crisis planning -Plan ahead of time and have HR know how to respond and get your employees to react in a proper way.  What is and is not appropriate.  What they should say and what they should not say.  What they should respond to and what they are not allowed to respond to.

Employee Education.

  • Everyone from the CEO to the Janitor needs to know they influence online reputation.  If the Janitor in a restaurant doesn’t wash his hands or the chef and a customer sees that.  They can mention it online.
  • Hold annual seminars for all employees.  Show them positive and negative reviews.  Teach them how to help people want to give positive reviews when they interact with customers.
  • Give bonuses for when an employee is given a positive review by a customer.

Positive reviews strategy.

  • Your online reviews don’t need to be perfect.  Go for a 70 – 30 ratio.
  • Deal with negative reviews offline when you can.  You don’t want it to blow up even worse online.
  • Find out who the person complaining is.  It might be disgruntled employees, competitors and other people that aren’t posting legit reviews and are just trying to bash you.  When you know who they are you have a better chance of knowing how to deal with the negative reviews.

Proactive review strategy.

  • ASK YOUR SATISFIED CUSTOMERS FOR REVIEWS! – Just don’t be pushy.
  • Understand your review landscape and try to sculpt reviews to affect SERPs.
  • Forward facing employees should go through the review process on relevant sites once a month so that they know how to walk customers through them.

Influencer Identification

  • Invest in good tools.  Klout, Technorati, IceRocket.
  • Create ongoing relationships with influencers and keep them as friends.  Don’t always pitch yourself.  Mention complimentary services that they may think is cool.  Do not spam them or over pitch them.  Consider donating money to their charitable causes.

Be Part of the Conversation.

  • Encourage employees to be subject matter experts in relevant online places.  This will help people realize you know your stuff.
  • Offer value throughout your entire web presence.
  • be prepared to offer customer service in a public forum.

Create a plan.

  • Have everyone involved from the C levels to the Unions.  IT, HR, Marketing, Customer Service, etc…  Everyone needs to know and know what to do so that you can have everyone on board and being proactive.
  • Monitor your brand at all times.
  • Talk about who will be responding.
  • Set up fake scenarios and have your employees practice responding and reacting.
  • Watch your brand and monitor it each day!

The most important thing I learned from this presentation is to be prepared.  Plan ahead of time.  Evaluate a crisis and determine if it is an actual crisis.  One negative review is not a crisis.  Become friends with influencers and get them to become your ally.  Practice how you will act if a crisis comes up and give feedback to get everyone ready to act.  Keep notes on what happened with the crisis.  Keep a document about it and then make sure you learn from it.  Remember to be prepared.

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