10 Steps to Honing Your Online Rep

Last Updated Apr 7, 2010 10:57 AM EDT

The most effective viral marketing tool in this era is the internet. What you put out about your company will get noticed ten times more online, others' criticism of your company will attract the same kind of attention.

So, the post by Patricio Robles on the 10 most common mistakes is a timely and valuable guide to online reputation management.

Here's a summary of the points:

  1. Don't turn a deaf ear to others' comments: Companies can get obsessed about comments on the social media profiles they create, but they often forget that a company's internet reputation stems not only from company-owned pages but also from those such as review sites. Comments, especially -- negative ones, on review sites have a way of getting around and so should not be ignored at any cost.
  2. Take on negative comments: If a company gets one negative review out of ten and that it's glaringly deviant from the general view, it may not be worth your while to address the negative criticism.
  3. Never fake it: It is never a good idea to assume that a fake review will go unspotted. You will get caught out and it can have disastrous effects on your online profile.
  4. Any feedback won't do: It's a common opinion that all feedback is good but a horde of anonymous comments are worthless compared to a single comment from a well-regarded source.
  5. Attack the comment not the commentator: Particularly harsh or unjust criticism may evoke a desire to fight dirty. Such impulses should be strongly resisted. Targeting the person in place of the unfair claim will make your company look vindictive.
  6. Think Twice before going to court: Threatening to sue over libel or defamatory comments is a bad idea unless you're on solid legal ground and you are prepared to bear the costs of going to court on the issue.
  7. It's not a fight to death: It is best to let an online debate over a negative comment go. If you are struggling to convince the person making negative claims, maybe you should move on.
  8. Don't build a mountain of negativity from a molehill of comment: While it is essential to address negative comments it is also essential to not get affected by the negativity and exaggerate so much so that it obscures all the positive aspects of having a presence on the web.
  9. There is no 'virtual' world: You shouldn't assume that your online image will stay distinct from other company brands. A company's offline image will definitely be affected by its online one and the two are not seperate from one another.
  10. Let your actions speak: You shouldn't create an online image of your products that they can't live up to. Create good products or services and the reputation will follow.
(Pic: webtreats cc2.0)