Just as online content is growing rapidly, so is the intensifying ability for users to control and customize what they see, read and absorb on the web. It’s increasingly popular for consumers to post or blog comments reflecting their feelings on a company or organization, and more people rely on these first-hand testimonials to gather information before making decisions on where to shop, dine and even go to school. With all the user-generated feedback out there, it’s important to manage your online reputation.
Here are some tips for doing so:
Don’t hide – respond. Treat all reviews as an opportunity to reach a potential student. As your organization grows, appoint “brand ambassadors” who can act as your surrogate. Encourage students and faculty who have a good experience, to respond in your place. Your response to one person’s meager experience can turn another person’s opinion around completely! A spirited online dialogue can often be a good dissipater of a bad review.
Manage your brand in search. Online reputation management and repair is closely tied to Search Engine Optimization. Objectives include pushing the bad search results down by moving the good results up. Techniques include on-page optimization of chosen material, backlink strategies, photo and image optimization and suppression, article writing, website construction and design, and more.
Manage social links. When a user queries your ‘brand name’, it is advisable to take control of the first page of results. This means moving your official site to the top of the results and having your social media links (Official Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) fill in the rest of the results page. This strategy of online brand management leaves you in control of your brand’s reputation.
With all the user-written content out there, staying on top of the buzz and incorporating reputation management as part of your SEO best practices is imperative to maintaining a positive online presence. Choose a firm with expertise in web development, content creation and Search Engine Optimization to help guide you through the ever-changing process.