To manage your brand’s online reputation – Tip #1: Make a Plan!

The most critical pieces of managing your brand’s online reputation is having a plan. This may sound obvious, but most Fortune 100 companies and top executives who we meet, have no plan for their online reputation.

What do I mean by a plan?

Think of an online reputation crisis as you would a gopher hole that has appeared in your front garden. Companies reach out to Five Blocks to fill in that hole and plant some new flowers where the hole once was. That’s not what I mean by a plan – that’s a reaction to a problem.

Planning your online reputation means planning the garden start-to-finish. Some of the steps you will want to consider when planning the online presence for your brand or key executives.

  1. Who are the key stakeholders who will be seeing your online presence? (media/reporters, regulatory bodies, prospective clients/partners, your own employees, etc.)
  2. What impression do you want to make on them? (Messaging, What do other people think about you)
  3. How are your key peers and/or competitors seen online? (Do they have multiple sites, images, wikipedia, video, social media presence, in-depth articles, ads, reviews etc.?)
  4. What do your competitors have that could be opportunities for you?
  5. Do you have sufficient content on owned sites, third-party articles, social media, crowd-sourced sites like Wikipedia and CrunchBase?
  6. Is it easy for searchers to find accurate, timely, third-party content about your brand?
  7. What are the important messages, articles, websites, that should be seen – and ones that should not?
  8. If there is negativity appearing in your online reputation, what are the underlying causes? (old story that has not been put to rest? nothing new to talk about? people talking about you rather than your ideas?)
  9. What are the potential threats your reputation could face and how have you prepared for them?

That’s a lot of chew on, but if you are not asking yourselves these questions you are not properly planing the online reputation for your brand or individual needs.