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Maximizing Your Online Presence: Reputation Management and Social Media Marketing

Updated: Mar 6

Your company's online reputation is crucial in the digital world as information spreads rapidly. One negative incident can quickly go viral for your social media. So, how can companies effectively manage their reputation and protect their brand? The answer lies in online reputation management and social media marketing.

Online Reputation Management: What is It?

In the simplest terms, online reputation management involves nurturing positive brand perception through careful monitoring, strategic analysis, and action if needed. Its ultimate goal is to be prepared to respond effectively in case of any issues, and have a response plan in place should issues arise.

Reputation Management : A photo of a megaphone
Reputation Management: Managing Your Small Business Online

Why is Reputation Management Important?

The worst-case scenario for a small business would be to be unaware when something goes wrong regarding your reputation online (or offline). A reputation management strategy empowers you to be aware of potential problems and limit or avoid them when possible by providing a playbook for addressing them. The benefits of online reputation management include:

  1. Issues and Crisis Management Strategy: A solid reputation management strategy serves as your first line of defense in mitigating the impact of any adverse events that could affect your brand perception.

  2. Attracting and Retaining Customers: Online reputation management plays a pivotal role in maintaining a positive brand image. This positive perception can be highly appealing to potential customers seeking your solutions, and it can also help in retaining existing ones.

Reputation Management & Social Media Marketing: How to Monitor and Manage Your Company's Online Reputation

Effectively managing your online reputation involves assessing your assets and devising a strategy. Follow these steps:

  1. Review all your online assets. If you aren't using monitoring or other automation software, start a spreadsheet. Use this sheet to log all interactions, including dates, comments, and sentiments. If you are just getting started, go back over the past few months to begin gathering data.

  2. Ensure your online reputation management plan is up to date. Plan your strategy for managing issues and crises, including monitoring schedules or notifications, identifying potential problems, assigning responsibilities, and setting a timeline. In addition, it is helpful to have an if / when playbook on hand to give clear examples of the types of issues and responses that are appropriate considering your brand voice and goals - particularly if others in your organization are responsible for social media management.

  3. Monitor Brand Mentions. Continuously monitor your brand mentions using social listening tools to stay informed about discussions surrounding your brand.

What would a simple reputation management process look like in practice? Let's say you run a b2c small business like a restaurant. Your restaurant frequently gets reviews on Google My Business and Yelp, sometimes several a day, and you want to make sure to stay on top of them. Your reputation management workflow might look something like:

  • Monitor: Set up a monitoring spreadsheet and schedule. Your process might be checking mentions and review sites daily or even more than once a day, depending on the volume of interaction you typicall receive.

  • Record: track reviews and mentions on a spreadsheet, noting positive, neutral, and negative. Note the dates, items mentioned, issues (if any mentioned).

  • Respond: whether positive or negative, timeliness is key.

    • If Negative: First, decide if it's worth a response. If it is, try to respond immediately, this ensures to both the reviewer and your wider audience that you take matters seriously. If it seems a resolution can't be easily reached, try to move the conversation offline.

    • If Positive: Be as timely as possible. Although it's not as urgent as a complaint or negative issue, timely responses to positive interactions are also important and a great way to signal to your audience that you are engaged and building connections with your customers.

In summary, a reputation management strategy entails proactively monitoring and managing your online presence, keeping your social media communications strategy current, and developing a solid crisis management plan.

No time for reputation monitoring? We're ready to help.


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