Managing Online Presence: Awareness and Diligence

by Chris Wendel

We’ve talked at length on this web site about both traditional and online methods of marketing one’s business. What is evident from the organization’s we talk to is the lack of awareness of the part of many business owners, on the internet presence their business has, especially with content that someone else has created.

If you haven’t done a Google search of your business name and product offerings of late, it might be wise to do so. This would include where your own web site shows up in the search and where else your company, products, or persona is mentioned by others.

The challenge is controlling or combating any negative spin that misinformed blogger or journalists (is there a difference from the consumer’s perspective these days?) puts on your branding message. It’s acceptable to correct or even refute misinformation, as long as it is done in a polite, well-grounded manner. Getting too defensive can compound any negative press even further.

Also worth monitoring is the reputation your company has on web sites (and corresponding mobile phone applications) such as Yelp or Angie’s List. Guiding the discussion to tactfully refute or correct piling on from negative comments can go a long way towards an establishing a long-term positive reputation. It is said that people that have a positive customer experience will tell approximately five other people, where as those with a negative customer experience will inform 12 others.

Like it or not, it’s human nature to compare and complain about those bad experiences. The key is to be aware of the negative information when it appears and confront in a way that works in your favor.

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