You Too Can Prevent Reputation Management Nightmares

With all that money you’re investing in your website’s search engine optimization strategy, you don’t want to botch it all up with poor customer service that crushes your branding efforts and disintegrates consumer trust, do you? Of course, you don’t.

Reputation management is a lot like dating when you think about it. Your customers don’t want you to buy them an expensive gift or take them on exotic vacations; they just want your attention. All it takes to look like a hero in their eyes is to spend a little time being mindful and addressing their needs for once. You may be all into the conversion and closing the deal, but your customers and significant other are looking for some nurturing and understanding.

Good customer service establishes you as a thoughtful authority who will still be there in the morning to help solve problems and extinguish fires. It’s the fastest way to make friends and one of the most effective in establishing trust, loyalty, and total warmth and fuzzies. I’ll give you some examples.

Good Customer Service

Despite all my initial knocking way back when I eventually picked up X.com (back when it was called Twitter). But thanks to the Marketing Pilgrim list of search engine optimization folks using it at the time, most of you already knew that. I say that because I had 101 Follower Requests on my account while, waiting for approval. Look:

The problem is I can’t approve them because there seems to be a bug in Twitter’s system preventing me from getting to the Accept/Reject page. It’s somewhat problematic because I’m likely coming off as entirely antisocial to the swarms of people who attempted to follow me once Marketing Pilgrim let the cat out of the bag.

At the time, I contacted Twitter about the bug many times, and each time I did, I got a personal email from support explaining the issue and assuring me that they were working on it and offering workarounds. Now, it has been two weeks since I was able to accept a Follower Request. Was I getting a little restless? Of course. But was also content with the communication that has gone on between Twitter’s support staff and myself. I wasn’t blown off. They were listening. And they were very understanding of all my rage. As a result, I stuck around back then, and I did not make any death threats.

While X.com couldn’t solve my problem (yet), they were forming trust. When I received non-templated emails, I knew that they were working on my issue and were genuinely trying to help me. And really, that was all I was looking for when I voiced a complaint. It is a signal that they heard me and will do their best to help.

Here is where our example can take a turn for the worst for your brand: When you ignore your customers’ concerns, you get into problems and undermine your entire search engine optimization investment with a reputation management nightmare.

Very Bad Customer Service

I signed a new lease on my apartment recently, which will keep me there until July. However, I still continue to pretend apartment hunt on Craigslist. It’s like a tic with me. I can’t go a week without checking the apartment rentals to see what’s available. I know I’m not in the market for a new pad, but I want to see what everyone else has waiting and whether or not I’m missing out on some amazingly underpriced condo. While I was perusing this weekend, I came across this listing:


Wow. A 2 bedroom for $1,000 in Ventura? That’s $400 less than the one bedroom I’m currently living in and it’s located in the town that I lived in and loved for 3 years. I demanded more information:


Ah. See, there is no 2 bedroom at that amazing price. Instead, it’s an enraged warning from a disgruntled renter who feels like management has not done enough to improve the safety conditions in the complex. Coincidentally, I lived in that complex for a year and a half and had my car broken into. It seems they haven’t solved the security issue. I searched for that complex on several other apartment listing sites and found similar complaints from different users. That’s inexcusable.

What’s the point of promoting your company and paying all that money to optimize your website if you’re going to let it go to waste because listings like these are warning potential renters to stay far, far away from your overpriced apartment complex? There’s none. There’s no reason for it, and it means all those search engine optimization dollars you’re spending have just been thrown away.

Think of the goodwill and positive branding the apartment managers could have created by taking steps to fix the problem. How difficult is to get local security agencies to drive around? To install security cameras? To enact some type of neighborhood watch program? The complex is literally a block away from the police department; you’d think they’d be able to work out something. Perhaps take one black and white and have it drive by the apartments on its way to sitting outside the bar all night. I’m not trying to be flip but there are plenty of ways this situation could been handled in a way that wouldn’t have sent residents to air their dirty laundry on Craigslist. But when you ignore your customers and their needs, this is exactly the kind of situation you become vulnerable to.

Don’t risk your brand and devalue your search engine optimization efforts by letting fires spread out all over the Internet. The best way to manage your online reputation is to not develop a reputation management problem in the first place. And the best way to do that is through superior customer service.

Ensure your SEO investment thrives: Protect your brand, build trust, and secure your online reputation with superior customer service – the cornerstone of lasting success. Contact us.

FAQ: How can I prevent reputation management nightmares?

Online reputation management is increasingly crucial in an age when information can be spread quickly, potentially having devastating repercussions for businesses and individuals alike. Reputation management is not simply a fad; it’s essential for success today – let’s examine some expert strategies for dealing with online reputation management to help navigate its complexities.

  1. Monitoring is Key

The first step in preventing reputation management nightmares is continuous monitoring. Be mindful of what’s being said online about your brand or business. Utilize tools that monitor mentions, news articles, and reviews related to it. By staying informed, you can address issues before they escalate.

  1. Proactive Online Engagement

Don’t just wait for problems to arise. Actively engage with your audience online. Respond to comments, reviews, and messages promptly and professionally. Address criticism constructively, and thank your satisfied customers. This proactive approach builds a positive online presence and mitigates the impact of negative feedback.

  1. Create High-Quality Content

Publishing high-quality, informative, and relevant content can help you gain authority and trust online. Regularly update your website and social media profiles with valuable information your audience finds useful. This enhances your reputation and pushes down negative search results in favor of positive ones.

  1. Develop a Crisis Response Plan

No matter how diligent you are, reputation crises can still occur. Have a well-defined crisis response plan in place. Identify key stakeholders and establish communication protocols. Knowing how to respond to a crisis can make the difference between minimizing damage and allowing it to spiral out of control.

  1. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, reputation management can be overwhelming. Enlist the help of professionals with expertise in online reputation management. They can employ advanced strategies to enhance your online image and handle complex reputation issues.

Protecting Your Online Reputation

Preventing reputation management nightmares requires a proactive and strategic approach. Regular monitoring, proactive engagement, high-quality content, crisis planning, and professional assistance are essential to safeguarding your online reputation. Remember, your online reputation is invaluable and can significantly impact your personal or business success. By taking the right steps, you can ensure a positive and enduring online image.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Prevent Reputation Management Nightmares:

  1. Continuous Monitoring: Use online tools to set up alerts for brand mentions and reviews.
  2. Proactive Engagement: Actively engage with your online audience by responding to comments and messages.
  3. Content Creation: Regularly publish relevant content on your website and social media profiles.
  4. Crisis Response Plan: Develop a crisis response plan, identify key stakeholders, and establish communication protocols.
  5. Professional Assistance: Consider seeking the help of reputation management professionals to navigate complex issues.

Following these steps can effectively prevent reputation management nightmares and maintain a positive online image. Remember, online reputation management is an ongoing process, and staying proactive and vigilant is crucial.

This article was updated on December 7, 2023. 

Lisa Barone is a writer, content marketer & VP of strategy at Overit Media. She's also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (1)
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One Reply to “You Too Can Prevent Reputation Management Nightmares”

Lisa, this is a prime example of how being oblivious to social media has a monumental impact on branding. I’m effectively 3,000 miles away from these folks, but these apartments will have an indelible mark in my mind. Considering that we’ve discussed moving to California for so long, that’s saying a lot.

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