Online reputation management is now a big reality for all professionals, even for the most cubicle ensconced employee. Despite the great progress that has been made in establishing online reputation as a credible discipline, I find that most individuals and organizations continue to manage their online presence without assuming key principles.
That is why I have compiled this list of the six biggest mistakes that can be made and must be seriously avoided, if we want to grow a proud list of clients, and avoid the wrath of the blogosphere, and other networks.
# 1: Inappropriate postings.
Every action we take and everything we publish online – either a photo, a video, a post or a simple comment – helps to build, configure and strengthen our personal or corporate branding. Every human being is their own brand, imbedded within one large classless virtual network. (Is this a Marxist Utopia, or a Anarchic nightmare?…who knows yet.) It is ironic that many have not thought out, before embarking on social media networks, on what they themselves are trying to convey.
The lack of a strategy – or, even worse, not being true to oneself, is arguably the first and most serious mistake. Cognitive congruency is a virtue nowadays, and so is Internet Congruency, heeding the well know Seth Godin remark. that “All marketing is lying .” It’s important to keep things real. What’s your company, product or brand? What is your Modus Operandi. These are questions that must be answered convincingly before getting into the web. Summarizing our branding in a sentence is an excellent start
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A typical reputation crisis follows established guidelines that have been studied both in social psychology and corporate communications, standards by which we should understand, in order to adapt our response to get the best possible outcomes.
We have previously warned of the dangers of “goody-two-shoes-ism” and of not offering a proactive and vigorous defense of our brand when we are attacked unfairly and maliciously, or we become the spotlight by factors that have little or nothing to do with possible errors and / or deficiencies by the company in carrying out its functions within the public, political and media pressures, etc.. Most companies (especially in some sectors such as biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, etc..) are subjected to these problems from time to time.
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“It’s the buzz; We have to jump onto the bandwagon; All my friends are in it; Our competitors have this brilliant Facebook page; It’s free advertising …”
These are some of the most recurrent reasons why we professionals are called to the rescue of many a decent-sized company eager not to be left behind and ready to implement some kind of half-assed social media strategy in record time – which usually entails having a modicum of a presence in the social networks to begin with.
Happy as we are to be of assistance, the reasons above denote a lack of understanding of the new realities the company or organization will be facing as it joins the social side of the Web 2.0 that should set our alarm bells ringing. ‘We want to join the social networks to have a better communication channel with our workers, customers and the community’ or ‘We want to be able to offer information of true value to my customers’ are reasons I have never come across in pre-sales meetings, and trust me, I have been to many, (too many.) Little surprise if events take a disheartening but expected course after a while.
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