Last updated on November 10th, 2012 at 04:53 pm
Social media is a key player to your online reputation management. Good things and bad things are posted everyday. Some get noticed and some get left behind. Extremely good things and controversially bad things get popular – and go viral. Social Media Reputation management is a fluid and critical platform of your online reputation management.
Social media has the ability to make good things even better and bad things even worse. It has the power to supersize information and share them to the world. It puts things in a micrscope and stretches the specimen to the size that the microscope sees. And if your brand is under its supersizing mercy because of ‘something gone wrong’ – your reputation will be greatly affected.
So here’s a simple online reputation management guide to help you in your Social Media Reputation:
Inside the ring
This pertains to your reputation inside the social network. How you deal with news and events and happenings that will tarnish your company’s reputation inside the social network’s ring of influence will be discussed under this category.
Creating and publishing great content
Coca Cola’s ‘Content 2020’ video is an example of great content that helped boost their company’s online branding.
This increase in online branding will help drown out any other searches that are happening around in the social network for any other content connected to their brand – including derogatory ones.
Make sure your social account ranks in that social network’s search engine
For example: Make sure your Facebook page is optimized to appear as top result in Facebook’s search engine results when your brand is searched for. There are other ‘hate pages’ that you wouldn’t want ranking above you. There are a lot of social network account optimization tips and strategies available out there.
Here’s one by Kristi Hines: How to Optimize 7 Popular Social Media Profiles for SEO
And here’s another one by your favorite SEO blogger: Google Plus Optimization
A lot of things can happen inside the ring. Usually these things are sparked by a disgruntled employee or one of the representatives of your brand doing something stupid – and it is caught or leaked on photo, video, or news.
If the bad news happened to pierce your prevention strategies, the first step to clearance is to verify the truthfulness of the content. If it is indeed from your company then the best thing you can do is to publish a public apology about it. If the apology is true, chances are, it will also be shared alongside the derogatory content. If the public apology is creative, chances are it will also go viral.
If the content happens to be untrue, you can publish a statement that the company has verified the truthfulness of the content and has concluded that it is misinformation. Again, publishing creative content about the verification of the derogatory content’s truthfulness increases the virality of your innocence.
Any derogatory content published inside the ring gives you no control over it. Chances are, people may keep on sharing that content if it feeds their curiosity and popularity as curators of content. What you can do is create content alongside that derogatory content – and try to make it as viral.
Remember, in online reputation management – when you reach the clearance stage, it means you’ve already lost. Your prevention strategy is always key.
Outside the ring
Social media can still help influence your reputation outside the social network – particularly in the search engines.
As mentioned in the first Online Reputation Management tutorial, social network accounts can help your Online reputation management prevention strategy. Getting into all the authoritative social networks, and establishing and optimizing your social network accounts can be a solid foundation for your online reputation outside the ring.
Search engines love real social network accounts. And they usually show up in the search engine results page. Just take a look at Oreo’s example:
Facebook, Twitter and Youtube easily shows up in the top 10 search results. Protecting your top 10 results in the Search engine results page is very important – powerful social network accounts make it so much easier.
There are a lot of ways you can increase the authority and trust of your social network accounts – the best ones are to:
- Link to them
- Optimize them
- Update them frequently by posting in them
Clearance – Contact all those who took your username and ask if they can stop posting bad reputation about you. Contact the social network about it. Build an account and make it rank higher. Brand accounts in Google SERP rarely come by if they are not genuine. That is why prevention is key.
Clearance in the SERP outside the ring deals a lot with SEO. If the derogatory content has pierced through your prevention strategy outside the ring (in the search engines), you can use your key social network accounts to outrank them. It’s much like using your chess pieces to make strategic moves. Social network accounts are your best pieces in the search engine playing field. Knowing how to use these to your advantage in the search engines will make clearance a lot easier for you.
If there are other people who took hold of your brand username before you and are ranking higher in the search engines, contact the social network about it. Twitter does a good job at returning brand name accounts to the proper owners. Allianceinteractive does a great job of walking us through this.
Here are some options you have of regaining control of your brand on twitter:
Your existing username, the username you want, along with an explanation your brand name being taken, detail if you are looking to start a new account or switch your account from your existing username to the new account name.
– After 9months of inactivity, Twitter will generally release the account back to its proper owner.
Policy: Twitter is not currently releasing inactive user names. Unless your user name issue involves Terms of Service violations, you’ll have to wait until all inactive user names are released. We’re working on a better long term solution for this, and we should have more news soon.
– Advise Twitter about abuse or misrepresentation, Twitter will shut down the account based on fraudulent activity.
Policy: If your user name request concerns impersonation, trademark infringement, copyright, or another Terms of Service violation, please submit a request to the Terms of Service group via the web form. Be sure to pick the right item from the drop down box for expedited help. Keep in mind that if there is no content and no intent to mislead, there is most likely no infringement.
– Twitter has instituted Twitter Verified Account, read more about Twitter Verified Accounts at http://twitter.com/help/verified.
– Post a complaint on Twitter’s getstatisfaction.com/twitter website.
– Secure legal counsel and have your counsel draft an action letter.
Big Brands know the value of using Twitter, take advantage of Twitters incredible growth and make sure to secure your brand name today. Protect your brand (even if you have no intent of using Twitter) make sure to take your name and secure it to prevent someone from hijacking your brand.
Social Media Reputation Management is tricky. The only real way you can have a good chance of clearance is if your prevention strategy is solid.
Tips for Keeps: Grab your brand’s most strategic and powerful social network accounts and optimize them as soon as you can.