Your online reputation is what people are saying about you and your brand and you should know that it is one of the most important things to watch for when you are marketing your business. Forums are online communities wherein customers and internet users get together to discuss various topics whether their views are good or bad.
It is very important that you pay close attention to your online reputation so follow my top 5 forum management tips.
1. Regularly “Google” your own company– type in your company name and go through to page 10 to see what comes up. If you haven’t done this before you could be in for a pleasant or nasty shock because you may find that you have been discussed in various places online. Make a note of the sites so that you can check them regularly.
2. Create a profile on the main forum sites linked to your business type so that you are ready to respond if needs be. Ensure that your profile is up to date and relevant because the keywords you use will also help your SEO (search engine optimisation) rankings.
3. Handle negative comments professionally. It can be easy to lose your temper when you see negative things written about your company online especially when you know that they are not true! Don’t forget it is not uncommon for disgruntled ex-employees and competitors to write about you on these forums. In forum management always answer politely and professionally. It is fine to disagree with a negative comment but do it politely, respectfully and with evidence to back up your claims.
4. Don’t slander the competition. Do not post negative comments about competitors even if it seems relevant and do not rate your competitors negatively even if you do it under a false name . Firstly this is unprofessional behaviour and secondly if the forum moderator is paying attention to IP addresses (which they often do) he may identify your brand and publically shame you for posting so called anonymous comments.
5. Use the forums as a way to talk to your customers and find out what they want from you, tell them about your promotions and address any concerns they may have. Honesty is the best policy in forum management so it is better to answer a client’s complaint or question rather than to ignore it and allow it to spiral out of control.
Do you regularly monitor forums for your business? Tweet me @charli_says and let me know!