A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from the president of an organization who recently realized they were on the receiving end of negative, online sentiment by a former, angry customer who decided to vent his frustrations online.
This former, angry customer had posted a handful of negative, online reviews and had even uploaded & published two separate YouTube videos blasting the organization for what he perceived as poor customer service – not unlike the example of Dave Carroll & United Airlines. Furthermore, when typing the company name into Google, the negative Google reviews and YouTube videos were given prime real estate in the Google Search Results – in essence, dominating the “court of public opinion.”
This example, once again begs the question for ALL organizations: Do you have a strategy in place to manage your online reputation? Are you monitoring what is being said about your company or brand on Google? On Twitter? On YouTube? On Review Sites? Are you monitoring what is being said about the key executives of your organization?
Mitigating the Online Reputation Crisis
As for the strategy to mitigate this “crisis,” I suggested a couple of things:
- Get Google Reviews from your “best” clients
The organization only had a couple of Google Reviews and they were “bad” – attributable solely to this single, disgruntled former customer. Google Reviews play an important role not only in the court of public opinion, but they also play a key role in the arena of local, search engine optimization.
- Push the videos off the first page of Google Results with your own videos
Although the “negative” videos cannot be deleted, they can be pushed off the top real estate of the Google Search Results. This can be done by having the organization develop, upload, better optimize, publish and syndicate their own videos. What were once
occupying top search results may now be pushed to page 2,3 or even further down the Google search results pages.
- Write & Syndicate Press Releases
Writing and syndicating press releases is another opportunity for the organization to rank well in the Google Search results when somebody types their company name into the Google Search box. A press release occupying a top search result means the other bad results get pushed further down the page or to the next page.
These are just three steps that can be immediately implemented to enhance the organization’s online reputation. The goal is to dominate the Google Search results with positive sentiment and push the negative sentiment off the first page – where far fewer people will notice.
For better or worse, this is an example of the dominating influence that any individual can wield in the digital age of social media. Because of this influence, it’s important that organizations respond – and better yet, prepare ahead-of-time by having a dominating presence online. When crisis does occur, such negative reviews/videos won’t be given such top Google real estate in the first place.