Protecting the image
The reputation of a company is its most important asset which, if not maintained, results in drastic consequences such as the company losing customers, employees, stockholders and decline in sales and revenues. Companies need to be aware of their online presence with the Internet emerging as the new communications platform. Brand strategists stress on the companies to develop their online reputation to protect their image. Management experts believe that companies need to be proactive, create consumer-specific content, monitor search results and take immediate action if the company faces a negative situation.
Companies should optimize their website with their company name for search engine optimization which will provide greater visibility in search results. Most companies use the first-person voice on their websites with sentences such as “We are the provider of...” which should replace sentences in third-person voice such as “XYZ provides...” to increase its chances of appearing in top search results. Moreover, companies should diversify their web presence by using social media. Where the website provides information about the company and its services in a formal manner, the social media helps the company remain connected with the public for informal feedback. Companies reach out to various market segments through LinkedIn, Google Plus, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Social media experts propose that companies should use LinkedIn as it ranks higher than other social media networks and is useful for business-to-business companies.
A company should monitor its search results at least once a month while large companies should do it frequently by setting up Google Alerts. The social media manager of the company should check the second and third pages of the search engine for any negative content where chances are that the company will find a website defaming its image. In this case, the company should contact the creator of the website. Bigger companies which enjoy sales in billions of dollars and have a global presence find negative news which is propagated by their competitors or disloyal customers. The Wikipedia is another side of image reputation which remains largely uncontrolled as Internet users can access the page and edit content at will. A company must regularly visit its Wikipedia page to find any incorrect piece of information that can harm its reputation.