Repairing Your Brand When it's Been Damaged Online
There's a saying about activities online - whatever you do will be there forever. If your brand has been damaged through your behavior, staff behavior, or competitor bad mouthing, take heart. There are ways to repair what has been damaged. You'll need to be ready to put work in, because bad press doesn't go away in a few minutes.
If the problem has been caused by your actions or those of your staff, then the first thing to do is apologize. Many people are familiar with the apology statements from businesses on social networks. Take note and write your own.
Plaster it all over your social networks, on your web site's front page - anywhere your customers can see it. Be honest, straightforward, and don't sugarcoat anything. People hate fake apologies, which means that you could do well to use a video apology. Show your customers you really do regret the problem created.
Removal of Negative Remarks
If you can, have the negative remarks removed. This could involve hiring a lawyer if the person making the remarks refuses to remove them. Litigation can be risky if the person is relating personal experience and their allegations are based in truth.
If however, you made the unfortunate remarks or a staff member did, you can probably delete them. This doesn't remove the remarks from Google or other results as they will exist for some time until an update or re-crawling of your site. Keep in mind many people will use screenshots to show others.
Drown It With SEO
SEO is a brand's best friend. Through strategic SEO campaigns, negative information or remarks can be buried. Not many people want to dig through every search result from Google or Bing.
If the negative remarks against your brand only show after 10 or more page results, don't worry too much. It can take a few weeks to a few months to accomplish this, but it is worth it.
Positive SEO strategy can be used by you or by someone you hire. Many brand management companies exist. You can outsource this reputation repair to professionals. It is well worth the cost if your brand is in danger of being severely damaged.
This is similar to SEO - with a twist.. Re-direction can be very useful.
The attention of the internet is fickle and short lived. Some memes last forever because the internet never gives them up, that's only because a few memes never let you down. That's not the case with most negative brand damage.
People tend to forget the bad if the company then does something very good. Hold contests, donate to charity, do something great with your company.
It can be scary to have negative remarks online about your company. Don't feel as if you have lost the war due to a few warning shots from competitors or disgruntled former staff.
You can win this with a little hard work and a lot of determination.
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