Chapter 8. Professional Presence and Damage Control

This chapter is about reputation management—the art of looking good online. In the pre–social media era, all you needed to do was worry about search engine results based on a relatively small number of sites. Now, though, there are many social media sites that offer upset customers or competitors the ability to post negative reviews or rants, as Figure 8-1 points out.

A clever meme that illustrates the point of this chapter
Figure 8-1. A clever meme that illustrates the point of this chapter

So let’s be proactive. First, we’ll identify all of the user-controlled social networks that play a major part in online reputation. Then we’ll explain how to enhance your strategy to include responding to negative feedback in a positive way before it can drive people away from your business.

Throughout this chapter, keep one fundamental principle in mind: reputation management is not just about avoiding looking evil; it’s about being good and doing the right thing always, not just when people are looking.

Finding Problems

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ve got to survey the virtual landscape and identify your biggest reputation problems. You could run around to every site that you can think of and search for names associated with your business, product, and brand, but that would take a lot of time and you can’t necessarily guess which sites are going to have the most damaging content.

Instead, use ...

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