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Basics of Online Reputation Management

“Online reputation management.” Even if you’ve never heard this phrase before, you probably have a good sense of what it means. The first part (“online reputation”) is easier than ever for you or anyone else to find — just search for your camp’s name in Google.

Finding your online reputation is easy due to two main factors:

  1. Google is smarter than ever before. It features search results based on local factors, can autocomplete user’s searches while they type (called “Google Instant”), and tirelessly crawls the massive number of social networking sites now available.
  2. Local review pages and social networking sites have made it easier than ever for customers and staff (current or former) to rant or rave about your camp online.

The second part of that phrase (“management”) can seem overwhelming. “Management” poses a lot of questions: How can you manage what other people say about you online? Should you respond to negative comments you find? What do you do if these negative comments rank high in the search results for your camp’s name?

Establish and Own Your Online Reputation

Control your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) with best practices in SEO.

  • Maintain as much property as possible on the first page for all your keywords. This is where we find having a comprehensive online strategy in place can be the most helpful.  This can include press releases, your own site pages, your blog, and potentially other extensions to your online brand.
  • Keep your eyes focused on great online communication while also staying abreast of ever-changing search engine algorithms. We have learned that time and again the strategies that work the best are just solid marketing communications versus trying to leverage the latest tactic. The long-term strategies are the ones that always win out.
  • Monitor your analytics and search engine reporting daily for upturns, downturns and identify long-term trends. We are in love with the tools from gShiftLabs especially after reviewing scores of other tools gShiftLabs continually is reviewed at the top of the list.  They are also just a fantastic team to work with.

Stay Socially Active Online.  Engagement is key. Promote your brand with a constant and constantly growing online presence. Use a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and press releases to engage consumers with regular updates and timely responses to your followers on all social media platforms.

Be creative in your approach for maximum engagement.  This is probably the most difficult part of the entire strategy because you really have to dig deep to determine what is going to work best for you and your brand.  What works for a retail business is probably not going to work for a B2B focused business.  There are some common themes that you may want to consider.  Host contests. Encourage followers to share videos or photos that demonstrate how they used your product and how it worked for them. Consider event sponsorship and partnerships worth promoting. Most importantly, an active blog does wonders to perk up a static website.

The blog’s domain name should reflect your brand. Content should provide professional, brand consistent information about your company and its products, trends in the industry, success stories and available support. Incorporate videos and images into your website and social media, and make your topics relevant to trending news whenever possible.

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