How to Manage Your Online Reputation and Why You Must

The advertising executives at Motrin thought it was a good idea. A hip ad featuring a 20-something voice-over and simple graphics. Take a few seconds to watch the ad below:

Problem is, moms didn’t like the ad. The ad was released on the Motrin website on a Saturday morning. By Saturday evening Motrin was the top trending topic on Twitter, with thousands of mothers tweeting their reactions to the ad.  Bloggers called for a boycott. Online moms were outraged by the suggestion that they carry their babies to be “fashionable.”  In response to Twitter and blogger reaction, Motrin pulled the ad on Monday, just two days after launch.

The quick demise of the campaign demonstrates the power of consumers and social media. Today’s consumer is vocal and Internet savvy. When companies offend, outrage or fail to deliver to these powerful consumers, there can be devastating implications for businesses – from a loss of credibility with consumers, to serious market damage to lost customers.

Motrin’s response to the blog and Twitter mom outrage was swift and smart. They listened to the online conversations, took them seriously and pulled the online ad nearly immediately. Companies will be wise to learn from Motrin’s handling of the “Wear Your Baby” campaign and to be more proactive about listening to online conversations about their brands.

Don’t wait for a catastrophe, begin managing and protecting your online reputation now by following three simple steps:

1.  Go where your customers are. Consumers are on social media communities like Twitter, FaceBook, blogs, YouTube, and message boards. You need to be there too. Establish a corporate presence in social media begin participating in online conversations about your brand.

2.  Monitor online conversations.  If online conversations heat up about your brand, you want to be the first to know. Track conversations by using free resources such as Google Blog Search, Google Alerts, and

3.  Get involved in online conversations. Once you establish a social media presence, you’ll need to engage customers. Jump in to resolve problems your customers gripe about, help consumers get more out of your products and services, or simply talk to your consumers.

The bottom line: We are in the era of social media and consumers have the power. Companies must establish a presence in social media, get involved in online conversations, and manage their online reputations. When you do, you will more effectively capture the voice of the customer and be positioned to protect your online reputation and maintain credibility with consumers.

Imagine an angry consumer blasts your brand on Twitter, YouTube and on blogs, and she has so much influence that the Tweets become a trending topic and the YouTube video goes viral.

Are you 100% confident you can handle it?

If not, I have the perfect program for you…a live web  event  (October 5th) “Social Customer Service” designed to position companies to use social media for customer service engagement. Simply click this link to see what it’s all about.  

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