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How To Manage Your Brand Online
REPRINTED FROM ORIGINAL Newsletter
Search Engine Strategies (SES) brings together some of the best panelists in online marketing to help people with businesses of all sizes. During a session on online brand and reputation management, Lela Phommasouvanh talked about the key tenets to protecting, growing and managing your brand's online reputation. Ms. Phommasouvanh should know. She works with attorneys as one who tries to translate their offline reputation online.
The most important talking point of her presentation was that all businesses, big and small, should have a comment assessment, evaluation, and response plan. All businesses in the internet era should know what they want their online reputation to look like. "Negative reviews can put a small business out of business," Ms. Phommasouvanh says. It is important to check your Yelp reviews and claim your local searches on sites like Google Local and Yahoo Local. Review sites give customers a voice and when comments made are accurate, these sites are helpful to all. If a comment made is inaccurate, or deemed inappropriate by a reviewed business, the business needs to have a plan on what to do next.
Under the Federal Communications Decency Act, Yelp is not held legally responsible for the content it publishes. This has led to business owners, including a chiropractor and a dentist, taking action directly against reviewers. The question becomes, who would want to work with a business owner who has sued a former client? As a member of the public, some prospective consumers might want the right to all reviews-the good, the bad, and the very bad, and may resent the actions of a business owner to silence public customer complaints.
From the very beginning, a business owner can claim their Google Local
result. It helps you shape your image. ZoomInfo is
another useful tool. It helps you be creative in telling your story in podcasts,
images, and essentially lets you join the conversation about
How to Respond to Negative Posts
When you find a negative post about your business itís important to take a deep breath and evaluate and assess the post. Assess the author. Do they have influence with your stakeholders? Is it written in a venue that slams all kinds of companies, not just yours? Then maybe theyíre not worth a response and not worth a drawn out battle with a blogger who you might otherwise give more ammunition. Is it simply misguided information? If so, maybe you could help them. Obviously if it is completely misguided and negative it can result in a lawsuit. to manage your reputation you may decide to take action. Itís important to do it quickly before it gets out of hand. Some initial steps to consider include directly contacting the blogger or you can make your own public statement.