5 online reputation threats to be aware of
STAFF BEHAVING BADLY
Remember those Domino’s Pizza employees who were inappropriately handling food then posting the video on YouTube? This was majorly damaging for Domino’s globally and has made themselves and other companies put stricter online reputation management measures in place to avoid similar PR disasters. Issuing a guideline of appropriate behaviour on social media sites (esp. in the case where you are representing in an official capacity) are a must and need to be enforced.
NEGATIVE SENTIMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Just search Twitter and Facebook and you’ll find all sorts of comments about products, services, brands, celebrities in a negative light. There’s every chance you’ll get a mention somewhere and sometimes these can be quite damaging, especially if it’s from a person of influence (eg. loads of friends or followers). Confront the issue and offer to make things right if possible. Show that even if someone has had a bad experience, that it’s isolated and you’re at least doing your bit to help fix things.
Forums are another source of feedback about your brand/company/product. It ranges from absolutely marvelous to downright obscene but you need to be aware of these forums that you get mentioned on. In particular, forums that are dedicated to your niche. There are even some unrelated forums that have ‘General’ discussion sections which cater for off-topic chats – you could very well be mentioned here too! Join these forums, state your official capacity and deal with the issues politely.
There are no shortages of review sites and people willing to let it all out about their bad experience with a product/service/company so keep an eye out for these sites. You may be able to publicly comment and present an official statement online to at least confront the issue, show that you’re clued up with the situation and willing to rectify it where possible. Bad reviews get more publicity than good reviews so pay close attention to these.
Sometimes you’ll be on the receiving end of a scathing article written by a journo who picked up some bad vibes on Twitter and some forums. Sometimes it’s not as big a deal as it’s made out to be but with the famouse media adage of ‘if it bleeds, it leads’, you will likely get some bad raps in the news. Keep up with the news and avoid a potential PR nightmare.
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