Online Reputation ManagementWhat do you do when someone posts a negative comment about your firm on the internet?

There are three approaches that you can take which could be termed as the Three F’s:

  1. Fight
  2. Flight
  3. Flood

Fight (Engage and Respond)

Fight means responding to the negative conversation or comments. You should not try to squash the conversation but try and steer the conversation to reflect the best interests of your business. It may be that you correct an error or misconception or make an apology and show how you are trying to better by your consumers. Engaging in a conversation may actually turn those critics into fans.

Flight (Ignore)

In some cases, the best course of action will be just to ignore the negative online conversations and they will die a quick death. In using this approach, it is necessary to determine the source of the negative conversations and it’s potential to spread throughout the internet. The ignore option may be appropriate where the respond to the negative comment may in fact fan the fire, so to speak, bringing the comments back to the front page. It should be considered whether it is

Flood

This is especially relevant if the negative comments are ranking above you in the search engines for keywords that are relevant to your business. This approach means flooding the internet with quality unique content that pushes or buries the negative comments down and off the first page of Google.

Which approach you use will depend upon the type of negative comments and where it is published. In some instances, a combination of Fight and Flood may be required – engaging in online conversations and building relationships and developing quality content that provides builds the positive elements of your brand. In the instance of a negative review on TripAdvisor, the approach may be to respond to the negative comment, with apologies or addressing the misconception and asking your happy guests to post their own reviews on TripAdvisor.

Monitoring your firm or brand online.
One of the easiest and free tools is Google Alerts. Set it up to email you for whenever Google finds a new mention of your business name on web.