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Neil Glassman says it is.

There are two sides to reputation management. There’s the reactive side and the proactive side. Social media can be used for both, but it’s most effective when used proactively.

Reactive reputation management is the practice of using social media, SEO, and other online marketing tools to combat negative information about your company. Most companies that engage in online reputation management are being reactive, but if they had a proactive approach to begin with then the reactive approach might not be necessary.

Why wait until your company’s reputation has come under attack before you start trying to improve your company image? It should be an ongoing thing.

The proactive approach to reputation management is an ongoing strategy of highlighting what is good about your company. Do you support a particular charity? Do you give to local community organizations on a regular basis? Do your products help the environment? These are all social responsibility positives for you and your brand. You can use social media to bring attention to these initiatives at any time in your company’s life.

Online reputation management is not a zero-sum game. Your reputation in the marketplace is based on a number of factors that lead to an aggregate perception of your brand without regard for what your competition is doing. Manage it well and it doesn’t matter what negatives there are – the positives will outweigh them.

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