Online reputation management

Does your reputation need a life-line?

Does your reputation need a life-line?

How to make your companies reputation management plan – online version.

Now some of this will depend on your industry and I don’t claim to be an expert in everything, well almost everything ! This post is meant to be a generic plan, a list of ideas or activities that you could consider in making your plan ready, sharing with all that need to be aware of it.

Why you might need a reputation plan?

The scenario you are likely to be in if you need an online reputation plan is normally not a good one. This may be your making (and you may deserve it?) or it may be through no fault of your own. But you should be ready with a plan that you or a number of people can turn on very quickly.

What might you be able to control?

The idea of this plan is to take control of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This will allow you or your company to try and control what people fine who are looking for you. This is definitely not a fall-proof plan by any means. And depending on the topic you may actually want to stay quiet. But if you are informed and have a plan, then you have a choice to act or not to act.

A couple of simple current examples could the recent ash cloud from Iceland that has messed around with people travel and holidays. Through to natural disaster or pandemics e.g. earthquakes and swine flu.

Generic objectives

  • To provide emergency information
  • To surpress bad or damaging online content

The planning

You should take stock of all the digital assets and resources you could have in your arsenal.

These could commonly be:

  • Press Releases ready, with a hungry PR team/agency
  • PPC creatives – maybe to swithc from sales to customer service/advice
  • SEO page(s) with the appropriate key messages
  • Digital assets of images, video and the like

How to flood the SERPs and “own the page”?.

First of all check out the search demand in KW research tools, the autosuggest in Google and trending topics – to see if you the need to do anything. It might be a storm in your own office !! But if people and journalists are going to be searching for you or your company by name/brand you can try to flood the results.

In the modern Google world, with the latest QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) the blended results could contain a variety of media.

Leverage existing assets

  • TV ads online e.g. in YouTube or Vimeo. This could also be interview or TV appearance clips

Social media marketing

  • Facebook page – make updates and spark conversation
  • LinkedIn groups – as above
  • Twitter – get your own accounts working, support your other initiatives and spark others to RT or talk about you. If you trend, these will appear in the one box
  • Wikipedia – always shows on Information searches
  • Forum answering, Q&A – if appropriate, get involved
  • Guest post, get your big guns and names out

Sales and marketing channels

  • Get a lot of mentions on pages and social by releasing coupons and amazing deals

Normal comms and PR

  • If comments are out there – answer them and provide your side of the story (if you are right)
  • Use your PR teams to get you everywhere legitimately
  • Send our old, but ‘evergreen’ PRs, through all levels of distribution services, even through article and SEO ‘pr’ hubs
  • Bait journalists with more juicy stories / “distract them”

Paid activities

  • PPC/SEM with as many ‘sitelinks’ as you can buy to push the results down the page
  • Buy business directories

Leveraging your size & network

  • Get your name on your sister site companies, suppliers and friends. Make them also rank for your company name
  • Get your employees who blog to write

The outcome

The aim is to push the bad press down. This will only work if the opposition don’t go on a big hunt as they may be very motivated and may play nasty.

If you are trying to diseeminate information to help people this too can effective as sometimes if you don’t act, your reputation may suffer too.

If you know your position and you judge you can win, then you can make an informed choice.

About Adrian Land

Adrian has been SEO'ing since '98 and is the Head of Inbound Marketing at My Destination and the Managing Partner of the Inbound & SEO performance agency SeSoMe.
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