If you care about your personal brand, you probably make an effort to not put your brand’s hypothetical foot in its mouth. Even without formal training, this awareness is known as reputation management. Oftentimes news breaks of a tone-deaf or in-poor-taste advertisement that rubs audiences the wrong way. That is the focal point of our article today; how to identify a mistake in record time and also rectify it like a pro.

Reputation management is essential if you want to deepen your relationship with your clients and followers, while also building longevity in the marketplace and with your community.

Negative hits to a personal brand can pop up in a variety of ways:

  • Angry social media comments
  • Websites intended to damage one’s character
  • Online review site posts targeting the business owner
  • Memes (they can actually be used against you)

Just like your social image, how your business is depicted online can influence potential clients and business partners. Here’s how to take control of your personal brand reputation management when it’s less than stellar online.

Consistently Audit the Field

How do you audit? The same way you measure your competition. A Google search is a great place to start. Also, look at sites and platforms where you have a presence, to see what others are saying about you and your brand. These could include social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as online review sites like Yelp.

With a small investment you can even set up listening streams on social media management platforms like Hootsuite, which helps automate the manual labor of scanning digital chatter.

Another way is to set up Google Alerts for your name and other keywords associated with your personal brand, like your business name. This way you can see news as soon as it pops up and deal with it sooner, so it doesn’t rack up page views and climb into higher results.

Remember: reputation management is about consistently keeping your eye on these different domains as a way of staying ahead of the security and cultural trends directly impacting thought leaders and personal brands.

Correct Mistakes as They Happen

If you read something that is untrue and posted about you online, we suggest immediately reaching out to have it taken down. The key here is to be gracious, yet firm, and explain your side of what’s being covered. Ask if they’d be willing to remove the article, or edit it to include a note about your input.

Now, if you cannot get a hold of them or they choose not to respond, be ready to take the defensive. This can mean publishing a piece that corrects hear-say, or correcting facts on social media. If there is true defamation circulating, then a libel or slander lawsuit may be worth your company’s while. 

Grassroots Responses

On social media sites or review sites where users attack your business (which is a reflection of your personal brand), take control by responding to reviewers. This means directly responding to comments asking to continue a conversation over email or other means, or correcting any falsifications. 

Before moving forward, though, make sure you can tell the difference between the critics and haters. Here’s how to parse this out, and strategically communicate with people once you have that clarity! Sometimes people just like to talk back. Othertimes, their criticism has merit. Try to not take things too personally if there are no serious allegations, as this can often come across as nit-picky. Directly communicating with people can deepen your relationship with your community and their perception of your brand. As a result, this shows you are trustworthy and care about the feelings of your audience. 

Reputation management is aligned with demonstrations of courage, and the willingness to connect and be publicly vulnerable in these types of situations. At some point or another, there is bound to be a situation that does not reflect well on your business. With these tips, we can assure you that your team will be back on their feet in no-time. For a more indepth assessment and strategy, My Social Biz excels in creating strong brand identities that are less susceptible to attacks such as these. To have a free consultation, reach out to olivia@mysocialbiz.net

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