Online Reputation sounds like a high falutin phrase, after all, you may think that very people judge brands and companies by their web offerings. But that is exactly where corporates go wrong.
Most companies are satisfied with putting up a perfunctory site, offering the usual: company mission and vision, staff profiles and that’s it. There is nor regard for promoting the company or brand, they leave that to the ad agencies which are themselves internet-phobic.
With the growth of digital and new media, and of course web usage, the online reputation of a company is an important matter. Web users are very sensitive consumers, I dare say more than your regular consumer. Once a company is blacklisted by an individual, due to various reasons, it follows that most certainly the individual will inform or communicate the same to his contemporaries i.e. in the various online communities that he is in; he will write the same in his blog if he has one. This is what has borne out viral marketing; if a consumer likes a product or service he will mail his friends information on the same obviously if he dislikes or is disappointed by the product the same will happen. Now if you get, two friends of his emailing the same to their friends then more and more people are informed, thus the viral part of it.
The web being what it is, a record of the same is archived, thus anytime a person uses a search engine to find that particular company a reference to this will be made. Here a prospective customer will most definitely avoid the company or its products. The lost potential sales will slowly pile up. Online reputation management is something that companies should take very seriously.
Companies and individual should take proactive ways of managing the online reputations. I mean, is you facebook page littered with pornographic images when it shouldn’t? Are there any blog posts that are negative to your brand or company and what have you done to redress this? Is your customer service up to standard or is it a back-room operation, one that you are thinking to do away with?
One tool of monitoring you online reputation is Brandeye from Quirk. This tool collates the number of times your brand has been mentioned online and sorts this out coherently. This information can be useful in determining what steps to take to repair the damage done on what practices to build on to maintain the same.
Reputations, both online and offline, are fragile and should be guarded jealously.