Last week, someone posted a rumor on Reddit alleging that Microsoft is making fake positive posts about the Xbox One. The writer called that process “Reputation Management,” and here’s how he defined it:
… [Reputation Management (RM)] is basically what it sounds like. Social media managers doing RM focus on providing positive posts, likes and shares to promote the brand on social media sites and forums – usually posing as the ‘happy customer’ archetype through a multitude of accounts.
While I can’t comment on how social media managers such as the ones mentioned in that post perform reputation management, these kind of black hat techniques are most certainly not what you’d learn if you listened in on VendAsta’s own product demos or training sessions.
The bottom line is simple: paying someone to pose as a ‘happy customer’ is basically paying someone to spark a scandal — and it’s not a very smart move.
The best kind of reputation management focuses on three critical things:
1. Monitoring your visibility and reputation through the accuracy of your listings, the reviews you get, the mentions you get, and your share of voice vs. your competition
2. Managing your reputation — and this is important — by responding to as many positive and negative reviews as you can. That’s right, we encourage dealing with negative chatter and taking measures to placate those people who have legitimate reasons to be upset with you. We are not talking about sweeping things under the rug; rather, it’s about effectively addressing serious business concerns. This way, whenever a negative review about you comes up, so does your genuine effort to address it.
3. Building your reputation by being present on all key social networks and websites where your audience is, and then interacting with your audience to build successful relationships. Other measures involve sharing good reviews with your audience so they see how you’re making your customers happy, ensuring your listings are accurate on all important websites and directories, and generating leads in real-time on social media.
In short, in developing our reputation management platform we thought of de-corporatizing the traditional process and making it more human and authentic. When you can follow this straightforward process, why would you want to attempt anything questionable and potentially harmful? I admit that just like black hat SEO, there may be short-cut reputation management techniques that provide quick results in the short term; however, search engines and social networks are getting smarter every day. The very techniques that give you instant results right now could end up damaging your reputation quite seriously in the long run.
So if you think of reputation management as a way of manipulating your online brand, we would advise that you rethink your strategy. In the long run, nothing can benefit your business more than genuinely happy customers.
P.S. The post about Microsoft has since been deleted and sparked a couple more threads, one as a reposting of the key allegation, and one of Reddit’s moderator’s efforts at finding the truth. These threads are available here: