How Brands Should Manage Their Online Reputation

    October 15, 2009

Managing your online reputation whether you are a major brand or a small business owner is a critical component to success.

(Coverage of the BlogWorld conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

In the session "Social Secure-it? Reputation Management," the panel offered their insight on reputation management.

Amber Naslund, Radian6, Director of Community
Amber Naslund, Radian6
Director of Community

On the issue of responding to negative comments, Amber Naslund, Director of Community for Radian6, recommended responding to as many comments as you can. Tell the commenter to email you to help diffuse the situation. "Social media didn’t invent criticism," said Naslund.

Brands should have plans for emergency situations. Naslund said companies should have emergency plans in place but sometimes they overreact. Melyssa Plunkett-Gomez, Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Crimson Hexagon, said not immediately reacting is key and avoid making hasty decisions.  Listen to the community and customers first.

Plunkett-Gomez said companies should not give up on social media, instead of focusing on the negative they should provide people with valuable content and information. Naslund said if there is a big response from an online community it indicates there’s a following and an interest.

Connie Bensen, Director of Community Strategy, Techrigy, said brands should look at what competitors are doing right and wrong. Customers will be looking at the competition and brands should be too.

To grow an online brand authentically, Naslund said to choose bloggers carefully, post guidelines and follow your own rules. Bensen said brands have to have trust in their employees.

On the issue of handling defamation, Plunkett-Gomez, said some cases are opportunities and others are from people who will never like a certain brand. Social media is just another channel and should be handled they way you would other channels. Bensen said companies need to work out the internal culture of social media before they can fully embrace it.

WebProNews Video reporter Abby Johnson contributed to this report.