When it all comes down to it, a good portion of online reputation management is about search engine optimization. That is, you need to clear the front page of a Google search of all negative content and let the positive information and links about your company shine. Professional online reputation management companies do this all the time, but it can also be very labor intensive and may a slow process. But you can help your online reputation management company succeed faster by leveraging the people in your organization.
You have a whole company at your disposal, and you can use them to help you do better in the search results, by encouraging them to participate in certain activities that will help positive information about your site rank higher, pushing negative information lower. Here are a few ideas you might want to try.
1) Leverage blogs
If you are a large company, or have a large independent marketing workforce, chances are a number of your employees or marketers have blogs. Each one of those blogs is a potential online advocate for your company. Not only can employee blogs be used to post positive information about your company but they can easily create links to your company site (or other favorable sites) that can help boost your search engine rankings.
For example, create a company website “badge” and offer it to your employees or marketers. They can easily download or copy the badge from your company site and place it on their own. This act creates pride in the company on the part of those who put the badge on their site, it’s free advertising, and it links back to your site, boosting your page rank (or the rank of any page you want the badge to link to).
You could also offer contests for the best and most creative company testimonial posted on a personal blog, or run other contents that encourage members of your organization to post positive information about your company on their personal websites.
2) Social Media
Social factors, like sharing links on Facebook and Twitter, is now an important aspect of online reputation management as well. If you don’t already have a social media strategy, create one. Then encourage the members of your organization to follow or join you.
Again, you can incentivize your employees to share links to your company by holding contents or running specials that are only open to those who are followers or who share certain links. It’s a great way to boost company morale and create a myriad of links to websites you want to perform well at the same time.
There are a bunch of “scam report” and review sites out there, but they are usually dominated by negative content—the kind of thing you don’t want to see in a Google search for your company name. Well, turn that paradigm on its head by encouraging employees to seek out and create reviews of your company. In fact, jump the gun on those “scam report” sites, by asking employees to fill out positive reviews on the site before anything negative gets posted. You can always turn these assignments into games or contests as well in order to encourage more people to participate.
Reputation Management is a Group Activity
Online reputation management doesn’t have to be the job of one person or simply the domain of your PR department. When you get the whole organization involved in online reputation management, you can build relationships, strengthen bonds, and create positive online reputation for your company all at the same time.