Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Business Reputation and Social Media Management (Part 2)

Social Media Lawyers: Business Reputation and Social Media Management (Part 2)


You would think that the widely-publicised cautionary tale of Dell would have left its mark. Yet even with the example of Dell before them, managers in many companies remain complacent about using social networking and have no clue how to deal with internet-driven public relations crisis.

A client, a woman who ran a small international book publishing company, woke up one morning to discover that she had no reputation or business left. A competitor in what was already a tough market had been conducting a negative campaign about her personally and about her company for a few months with the aim of driving her out of business.
Unhappy customers, on the other hand, will tell between five and ten people about their bad experience—which means that bad news travels much faster than good news.
There are clever techniques you can use to enhance your online reputation

This particular case ended up in the High Court, where the lady won an injunction to stop further publication of defamatory material about her on the internet. Still, she was left with a tarnished reputation, mainly because of the large amount of material which had been posted and then re-posted on various websites. It is possible to clean up online reputation but only to a degree and this takes time and costs money. But does this mean that all of us in business are in effect being held to ransom by disgruntled customers and/or by ruthless competitors?

Not necessarily so. But as a business owner you do however need to watch your back, get yourself familiar with social media, understand how it works and how it might affect your ability to trade.

On average, one in five happy customers will put forth a good word about you to one friend or relative, perhaps earning the company new business. Unhappy customers, on the other hand, will tell between five and ten people about their bad experience - which means that bad news travels much faster than good news.

That’s what people do in person. Today, you can multiply this number almost infinitely, because internet blogs and forums make dissemination of information much more effective.

Can you do anything about this? Sure!

As a starting point, follow these three simple steps. They will reduce the risk of online damage to your reputation. They are general good business practices, and you can implement them right now if you aren’t doing so already.

Step 1: Preventing
Step 2: Listening
Step 3: Influencing

In the third part of this series of Business Reputation Management and Social Media we will look at each step in the practical context of internet reputation management.

Read part 3 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 4 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 5 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 1 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 2 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series. 

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