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Reputation Management: My new favourite phrase… sort of.

Alex Christie

7 October 2008

For the last five days it has been incredibly hard for me to get away from
hearing about Reputation Management – whether that be examples of those
in need of it
, tips
on how to fix it
, or internally within the Tamar office. Maybe it’s time to
give my two cents?

The idea of Online Reputation Management isn’t new, in fact it’s been around for quite some
time, yet it seems that some brands are shall we say, slightly slow on the
uptake and are paying
for it massively
. Nevertheless there are some brands that are all over it
like tramp on chips so for them I’ve decided I’d throw in a few basic tips and
tools to help make their job easier – my good deed for the day!

Why you need Reputation Management.

Just like any set of search results, searching for a brand term usually shows 10
organic positions where typically only up to 20% can be controlled with any one
site, that’s 2 positions out of 10 by the way I’ll spare you the math. This clearly
leaves 80% of the results left up for grabs for potentially odious individuals to
proliferate their vituperative tittle-tattle about you and your
products/services (I love Object Graph!)

Oh and for the record nobody should be able to bid on your brand term with PPC, not even affiliates!

What can you do about it?

Answer: Knock the other 80% out of the search results and replace them with other
internet real estate that you have created or have influence over. How do you
do it? Read on sir.

Use your Network

Have any sister sites? Sit within a corporate network? Run an affiliate program? These
should be your first port of call. A simple ‘one-pager’ about your brand on a
well indexed trusted site will often be quick and easy method to taking up a
spot in the results – even affiliate sales are better that negative press!

Use Sub-domains

Have additional content such as industry news, corporate profile or corporate blog?
Try putting them on a sub-domain (www.subdomain.maindomain.com). Sub-domains
are, let’s say for ease of explanation, viewed as separate websites by search
engines. Use them intelligently and you could be taking up valuable positions just like Ebay does.

Create Micro Sites

Run offers and promotions? Have a company mascot? Try putting compelling information about
your products/services on a separate URL. Construct the site on a brand keyword
based URL, keep the content in line with your offering but make it completely
unique and fresh, optimise for your brand term and promote with links – you are
one the way to taking up another spot.

Get Social

Third Party sites can be a relatively easy way to rank for your brand term. Join third
party sites that have some kind of social element that allow you to make a
profile page and/or create information pages. Create your content and participate, this is paramount, without contributing your results will not be as positive.
Start with mainstream trusted sites then explore your niche.

Respond to Negative Press

In order to fully suppress the effect that negative press has upon your brand, all negative comments should be answered. As the internet ever becomes a social forum web users are losing the ability to identify with a
faceless corporation – pretending that it doesn’t exist is a no no. You should always, where possible, offer a response – angry customers often club together.

Reputation Monitoring Tools.

If you’re in the business of managing your reputation then you’ll need a method of monitoring it. Most resources offer RSS feeds of your search so you can keep track within your favourite feed reader.
Be sure to add these to your arsenal…

 

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