Picking Your Online Reputation Battles

    October 28, 2009
    Chris Crum

Part of managing your online reputation involves your strategy for handling the negative commentary that you acquire. If you write articles on the Internet, use Facebook, Twitter, or other social media outlets, or simply have a prodcut that people talk about, there is a very good chance you will encounter comments somewhere on the web that are less than favorable.

That’s just the nature of the game. Some people choose to go on the defensive and immediately get caught up in a so-called "flame war." Others just ignore them. You may do a mixture of the two. The right call really depends on the nature of the comment and its potential impact on your brand or product.

Negative commentary has been discussed throughout the industry a lot lately. It was a common theme at the recent BlogWorld Expo. Rebecca Kelley, Director of Social Media for 10e20, has written a humorous post on the subject for Jeremy Schoemaker’s ShoeMoney blog.

"The fact of the matter is that the Internet is like a great big public bathroom stall," she says.  "Sometimes it’s clean, unassuming and well-stocked with supplies, but most of the time there’s piss on the floor, a deuce in the toilet, no toilet paper, and various atrocities scrawled onto the walls."

"Some people avoid them at all costs, electing to hold it until they get home," she adds. "Others put up with them, going in and out to do their business and not letting it affect their day-to-day lives."

Clearly Kelley looks upon the subject with a good deal of amusement. She’s not alone. Have you heard of The Bloggess? She’s a popular blogger and shares this sentiment:

I think it’s safe to say that both of these women have been pretty successful on the Internet, so it may be worth paying attention to the fact that they do not take negative commentary too seriously.

There’s no question that online reputation management is an important aspect of online marketing and keeping a favorable reputation to facilitate future business. That said, it’s generally not worth getting too worked up over somebody’s name calling or differing points of view. Sometimes you just have to choose your battles. Worry about the ones that have the greatest chance of damaging your brand.

Related Articles: 

> Baby Food Recall Shows Reputation Management Done Right

> Killing Bad Search Results with Reputation Management

> Fighting a Bad Online Reputation & Keeping a Good One