It’s no secret that the internet age has brought with it an insanely huge amount of benefits to businesses, making it possible to reach far wider audiences than previously dreamed possible. The internet has even enabled small businesses to compete neck and neck with massive corporations in true-life “David and Goliath” smackdowns, leveling the playing field and giving smaller enterprises the tools necessary to become competitive on a global scale. But as you probably already know, anytime you open the door to let the goodness flood in, you’re bound to see a few negatives float to the surface. Like the reputational harm that a single dissatisfied customer can do, armed with nothing more than an internet connection and an axe to grind. This is where Active Internet Marketing consultants can step in and save your company’s hide.
The Best Offense? A Good Defense
We offer reputation management services that are comprehensive. This means we don’t just sit around waiting for someone to trash talk your company before throwing together a damage control plan. We take proactive measures to ensure that when it happens, you have everything in place to turn a bad situation into a positive one.
As a part of building a strong defensive line, we register your company name with all of the available social media platforms out there. We don’t only focus on Facebook and Twitter – we also reach out to the other lesser known channels. Why? Because one of the most effective ways that an individual can do damage to your company’s reputation is by creating social media profiles under your company name, then using them against you maliciously. Although this sounds a bit too nasty to be a common occurrence, trust us – it’s not.
Yet another defensive measure that we use to help protect your company against reputational harm is a constant monitoring of the internet for any mention of your company. Public relations nightmares can be a lot like grass fires: the sooner you put them out, the greater your chances are at keeping your house from burning down. At AIM, we’re constantly in a state of alert and when we smell smoke, we bolt into action.
Addressing Issues Head On
The last thing you want to do if you smell smoke is take your sweet time to react, therefore switching into damage control mode quickly is essential. As soon as we’re notified that someone has posted something negative about your company online – whether that’s directly on your company Facebook wall, on a public forum, or on their own blog – we move fast to diffuse the situation.
We’re proponents of the school of thought that says the best way to deal with a dissatisfied customer is to try to make amends. Doing this can turn a bad situation around, especially if it’s done publicly where other readers can follow along and identify your company as one that’s willing to ensure all customers are satisfied.
Avoiding the Big Mistake
Do you want to know the biggest mistake your company can make when trying to perform preemptive damage control? Removing the ability of your online followers to post comments to your website and social media channels. Think about it: silencing your detractors also means silencing your proponents. If your website only exists as a method of one-way communication, you’re never going to achieve the kind of engagement that’s necessary to really grow. And if you don’t allow your satisfied fans to post their feedback to your Facebook wall, you’re never going to be able to use social media to your full advantage. This is why we encourage you to maintain open lines of communication with your customers, inviting feedback on your website and your various social media profiles.
By failing to have a reputation management plan in place, you’re not only asking for trouble – you’re handing it an engraved invitation to crash your party. Remember, even the most well-intentioned businesses who go out of their way to ensure complete customer satisfaction can come under the attack of one motivated individual. Unless you have someone like Active Internet Marketing in your corner, the damage to your reputation – both online and offline – could be irreparable. Check out our reputation management consultation services to find out how to avoid this particularly nasty fate.