Monday, September 19, 2011

Online Reputation Management: a Lot Depends on the Strategy

Internet is open to be used for maligning the reputation of any person, organisation or brand. There is no fool-proof way to ensure that internet is not used for these mischievous acts. The competitors can play the dirty game and start saying all sort of negative things about you through the internet medium which can adversely affect your reputation. There could be some disgruntled customers or even the employees who can take a dig at your reputation. The net surfers are most likely to take the feedback or comments on face value and, without much reasoning or going into the details, might be inclined to believe these. The companies, which care about their image and brand value, take the necessary steps to stem the rot in time. The online reputation management is all about doing all the necessary activities which can stop these malicious and mischievous attacks on the reputation of a person or organisation. The methods of SEO can be used quite effectively for this purpose, which is quite an uphill task and a lot depends on the strategy used for the same. This article discusses some of these strategies, which could be the following:

  1. Keep Mum: Sometimes, doing something to prevent the reputation might be feeding the readers with wrong notions. Your actions might, in fact, be proving counter productive. The issues on which it is better to maintain silence are the ones which are not material, or significant enough to be considered worthy of comments. As the time will go by, these trivial issues might be forgotten. However, it is important that the company knows which issues need to be responded back and where response can be avoided. At the same time, the company shall not get complacent about taking some material issues as trivial ones since taking no action then prove to be very costly.
  2. Be neutral: The SEO services providers also take up the strategy of neutral marketing of a person or product if there has been an attack on his reputation. This is done by way of not providing positive content but rather being neutral in overall tone and tenor. Here again, it is important to understand what is the nature of attacks. Generally, this strategy is used when the nature of attacks is quite serious and therefore, there is need to push down the negative comments using the SEO methods. Why are positive things not said? If positive things are said, there is a chance that the readers will believe that there must be something negative being said about the person which is prompting a positive response. Therefore, it is better to be neutral in tone and tenor of the language while adopting this strategy
  3. Defend: When there are issues which are quite glaring but have arisen due to miscommunication or misunderstanding, then the company or the individual under attack might feel important to defend the same. This defense could be done by posting the clarifications with sound conviction in the very same forums which have been used for attacking.
  4. Counter attack: This is a strategy which is not normally used. This is so for two reasons. At first, the identity of the person who has posted the adverse comments or remarks is not clear, so the counter attack can not be done. Secondly, using counter attack might actually mean walking into the trap laid by the other, when the identity of the person or organisation behind the mischievous act is known.
Before using the SEO services for reputation management, the company must thoroughly investigate whether the nature of complaint or the remarks are true and to what extent. If these are true, then it is far better to admit the lapses and assure the readers of the steps being taken to correct these. SEO services providers make use of the internet forums for managing the reputation effectively using the right strategy in coordination with client. In a way, it is SEO providers doing the PR work. 


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