Protecting your good name online is key to success
Welcome to another entry in our Crisis Management Tactics series! Today we’re discussing a tactic that many are familiar with, but few have mastered – online reputation management.
Right now, most organizations are still operating with a serious handicap when it comes to crisis management because of one mistake – they have very little presence online.
Most have put together couple of social media accounts that they keep updated, a great start to be sure, but that alone won’t keep negative news stories or angry blog posts about your organization from dominating search results for your key terms once you’re caught in crisis.
The only way to prevent that is to have plenty of content popping up in those search results already, and that means making use of the wide variety of resources available around the web.
Your own blog is a great place to start. You can create a basic one for free, and if you cover subjects in your area of interest then you’ll naturally be using many of the same search terms your stakeholders would use to find information about your organization, meaning they’re more likely to encounter the positive news you’re sharing when they go searching for information about a negative situation.
Other people’s blogs are another great area to create positive search results for yourself. If you’re producing engaging content it’s not difficult to find others in your niche who will accept guest articles, and every one is plastered with your organization’s name, adding even more positive links to search results.
We said above that a couple of social media accounts won’t keep negative news out of results, but creating a presence on all of the major sites can. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram all rank well for search results and are easy to update regularly with news, information of interest, humor, and of course links to all those blogs you’re publishing.
Local news sites, industry pages, anywhere that covers subjects you’re talking about. Don’t just rehash your blog posts, put together some quality articles that stakeholders will actually find useful and informative, then get started creating relationships with the people who control what’s published.
What do these all have in common? They take content! Infographics, articles, blog posts, even lists like this one, you’ll need to produce a good amount of material. Remember not to skimp on quality, either! Search engine programmers are becoming ever-more adept at spotting weak content written purely for results, and they’re actually scrubbing it from search results altogether, so saving a few bucks up front could render your whole investment worthless.
Obviously the steps we shared today are basic, essentially the tip of the iceberg, but they should get you thinking in the right direction. Remember, you can’t delete negative search results from the web, but you can drown them out with positives. Take advantage of the myriad self-publishing opportunities the internet provides, and get started with online reputation management today.
The BCM Blogging Team