Tagged: Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management

Status Labs Interview with Online Reputation Management Expert Alexa Martin 0

“Your reputation precedes you.” These words, in the past probably overheard in tongue-in-cheek cocktail party introductions, now serve as a stone-faced signal of the digital age. From an employer passing on a potential candidate because of a single misguided social media post, to your average consumer weighing the merits of a business or product based upon online reviews, a person and/or company’s online reputation has become a crucial element in everyday decision making.

In ever-increasing aspects of life where a decision is to be made, more people are turning towards online reviews and the first page of Google to influence their choices over personal suggestions and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Online reputation management helps control what people see when it comes time for other people to make a decision about your merits- business or otherwise. But it’s also so much more. What is reputation management really? Does everyone need it? Where do I even begin?

With 2018 and beyond in mind, we sat down with Reputation Management expert Alexa Martin from our very own Status Labs to discuss the most frequently asked questions and what’s on the horizon for reputation management.

How would you define online reputation management?

Online reputation management, (ORM to industry junkies) is about taking a proactive stance in how yourself or your business is presented online to the average person. 94% of people don’t look past page 1 of search results, so reputation management really starts with the front page of Google.

In what way has social media changed the landscape for businesses and individuals?

Social media, when talking about reputation management, provides everyone (business and individuals alike) more owned web assets that can be controlled and curated. They also tend to rank really well in search results, and owning your share-of-voice on page 1 is what it’s all about. Social media is another way to put yourself out there, and if done so tactfully, can lead to increased discovery of you and/or your business/products, services etc. Instagram currently is really where it’s at for any product or even service businesses. Instagram’s owned by Facebook, and the marketing capabilities that each platform has cultivated is truly incredible and affects everyone’s lives much more than we probably realize.

What is the biggest misconception about online reputation management?

Some may think reputation management is confined to fixing your online image after a public facing crisis has already hit (i.e., suppressing unfavorable results), but it’s really so much more. It’s also about appearing in search results where you want to, not necessarily just what your name or company looks like on page 1 of Google. It’s not limited to CEO’s and public companies; the average executive, and even John Doe looking for a Tinder-date turned bride can benefit from it. (Online reputation management is also extremely possible when you hire a specialized agency. There are definitely old-school SEO experts out there that don’t believe it’s a thing.)

How long does it take to fix a damaged reputation?

Ah, yes. In a society that feeds off fast food, fast fashion and quick ROI, the idea of repairing a reputation overnight is appealing, but not possible. While every situation is unique and depends on the severity of damage done, most online reputations can improve over a 6-12 month timeline.

What about companies that claim to remove completely negative press or reviews?

This is known as ‘de-indexing’ i.e., removing a result completely from existing in search results. Companies do this by attaining a court order that says the information (search result) you want removed is libel (libel by definition is “a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation”.) In most instances, the information people want removed from the internet is not libel, but truth (such as an arrest, an investigation, etc.) So having an ‘attorney’ (turned de-indexing specialist) tell a judge that an article about your arrest is libel, and then a judge granting that court order for the information to be de-indexed, usually means there’s an inappropriate relationship between the judge and said ‘de-indexing specialist.’

The ‘specialist’ then brings the court order to Google who, by court-order, is made to de-index the result. The issues stem in that most information is not properly classified as libel, the relationships between judges and ‘lawyers’ is typically unlawful, and doing such is a legal offense. When you’re trying to clean up your reputation, same as if you were on probation, I wouldn’t exactly recommend bribing a judge to attain your desired results.

Here’s a couple articles you can read in Law360 and Washington Post, if I’ve peaked your interest.

How should businesses respond to negative reviews?

Cordially, respectfully, and in-full. Responding is the best thing a business owner can take the time to do (or hire someone to manage) on a regular basis. Unsatisfied patrons for the most part just want to have their voice heard (though I personally think some Yelpers out there are just freeloaders with leverage – speaking from a professional viewpoint, of course). I recommend responding publicly, and then taking it to a direct message to work out the details.

If you can offer them a free round or a discount in exchange for an adjusted rating, even better. Bright Local put out a 2017 Local Consumer Reviews Survey which contains some riveting statistics about the impact of online reviews for local businesses. My favorite: 85% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. “Thank dog for Phyllis’ detailed review on activated charcoal teeth whitening powder! I love this stuff!” Lol, but for real.

What’s the biggest mistake that people make when trying to manage their own online reputations?

Tough question. I think it’d be very difficult and time consuming for someone who’s unfamiliar with SEO to do a good job at managing their online reputation. I can’t quite see how the time it would eat on a daily basis (writing contributor artiles, learning which platforms you have access to, etc.), wouldn’t just warrant hiring professionals to help.

Where do you see the reputation management industry headed into the future?

Reputation management is trending alongside SEO; they’re nearly one in the same. So that points toward meaningful, long-form content as Google’s RankBrain machine learning algorithm becomes more and more sophisticated. Honestly, Status Labs’ COO Jesse Boskoff was interviewed and contributed to a great article on IBM’s ThinkLeader’s blog. I’d give this one a read if you can spare a few more minutes. (PS – Link-building isn’t dead!)

What is the first piece of advice that you would give someone when beginning to consider their online reputation?

Before jumping to advise someone, it’s basic and important that people understand that most things when it comes to your digital presence, are possible. Whether it’s an article that’s been plaguing your personal front page of search results, or lack of representation for your business in organic search, just know, firms (like ours) specialize in helping you curate your online image.

Advice, I’d say – if you’re considering looking to professionals, do your research. There’s a lot of reputation management agencies out there that have honestly colored this industry with a shade of unflattering gray, and made the average person (including those old-timey SEO specialists) skeptical of our work.

Be on the look-out for firms with cookie cutter solutions, SEO or PR firms that claim they can also do ‘reputation management’, and those that offer to de-index i.e., completely remove your results. Get a few quotes, ask a lot of questions, and compare what each package actually incorporates. It should be completely custom and even informative. You want a comprehensive solution, not a pack of web profiles… that you could actually do yourself without too much time invested. (Check out Status Labs’ ORM Investment Guide for a little more information.)

How can a business or individual benefit from working with an ORM specialist?

Given the heightened scrutiny of absolutely everything these days (thanks, internet!) and the immense amount of information available at our fingertips, a business – or individual – should be concerned with how they’re presented online. An ORM specialist will be able to learn your goals and put you on a path to achieve them.

Do you want to become a thought leader in the financial sector? There’s a way to do it. Do you want your charcoal-activated tooth whitener to come up as the top result in Google, or even Amazon search? There’s a way to do it. Do you want people to stop asking you about that forced public resignation from 2013 that solidified itself as a top result for your name? There’s a way to do it, (and in most cases, you should!) Whether you’re looking to promote yourself, protect yourself, or rebrand yourself, an online reputation management specialist can help.

 

Status Labs is the premier digital reputation management firm, with offices in Austin, New York, Los Angeles, London and São Paulo. For more information visit StatusLabs.com or sign up for a Free Consultation.


Source: Status Labs

Reputation Management FAQ: Interview with ORM Expert Alexa Martin 0

“Your reputation precedes you.” These words, in the past probably overheard in tongue-in-cheek cocktail party introductions, now serve as a stone-faced signal of the digital age. From an employer passing on a potential candidate because of a single misguided social media post, to your average consumer weighing the merits of a business or product based upon online reviews, a person and/or company’s online reputation has become a crucial element in everyday decision making.

In ever-increasing aspects of life where a decision is to be made, more people are turning towards online reviews and the first page of Google to influence their choices over personal suggestions and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Online reputation management helps control what people see when it comes time for other people to make a decision about your merits- business or otherwise. But it’s also so much more. What is reputation management really? Does everyone need it? Where do I even begin?

With 2018 and beyond in mind, we sat down with Reputation Management expert Alexa Martin from our very own Status Labs to discuss the most frequently asked questions and what’s on the horizon for reputation management.

How would you define online reputation management?

Online reputation management, (ORM to industry junkies) is about taking a proactive stance in how yourself or your business is presented online to the average person. 94% of people don’t look past page 1 of search results, so reputation management really starts with the front page of Google.

In what way has social media changed the landscape for businesses and individuals?

Social media, when talking about reputation management, provides everyone (business and individuals alike) more owned web assets that can be controlled and curated. They also tend to rank really well in search results, and owning your share-of-voice on page 1 is what it’s all about. Social media is another way to put yourself out there, and if done so tactfully, can lead to increased discovery of you and/or your business/products, services etc. Instagram currently is really where it’s at for any product or even service businesses. Instagram’s owned by Facebook, and the marketing capabilities that each platform has cultivated is truly incredible and affects everyone’s lives much more than we probably realize.

What is the biggest misconception about online reputation management?

Some may think reputation management is confined to fixing your online image after a public facing crisis has already hit (i.e., suppressing unfavorable results), but it’s really so much more. It’s also about appearing in search results where you want to, not necessarily just what your name or company looks like on page 1 of Google. It’s not limited to CEO’s and public companies; the average executive, and even John Doe looking for a Tinder-date turned bride can benefit from it. (Online reputation management is also extremely possible when you hire a specialized agency. There are definitely old-school SEO experts out there that don’t believe it’s a thing.)

How long does it take to fix a damaged reputation?

Ah, yes. In a society that feeds off fast food, fast fashion and quick ROI, the idea of repairing a reputation overnight is appealing, but not possible. While every situation is unique and depends on the severity of damage done, most online reputations can improve over a 6-12 month timeline.

What about companies that claim to remove completely negative press or reviews?

This is known as ‘de-indexing’ i.e., removing a result completely from existing in search results. Companies do this by attaining a court order that says the information (search result) you want removed is libel (libel by definition is “a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation”.) In most instances, the information people want removed from the internet is not libel, but truth (such as an arrest, an investigation, etc.) So having an ‘attorney’ (turned de-indexing specialist) tell a judge that an article about your arrest is libel, and then a judge granting that court order for the information to be de-indexed, usually means there’s an inappropriate relationship between the judge and said ‘de-indexing specialist.’

The ‘specialist’ then brings the court order to Google who, by court-order, is made to de-index the result. The issues stem in that most information is not properly classified as libel, the relationships between judges and ‘lawyers’ is typically unlawful, and doing such is a legal offense. When you’re trying to clean up your reputation, same as if you were on probation, I wouldn’t exactly recommend bribing a judge to attain your desired results.

Here’s a couple articles you can read in Law360 and Washington Post, if I’ve peaked your interest.

How should businesses respond to negative reviews?

Cordially, respectfully, and in-full. Responding is the best thing a business owner can take the time to do (or hire someone to manage) on a regular basis. Unsatisfied patrons for the most part just want to have their voice heard (though I personally think some Yelpers out there are just freeloaders with leverage – speaking from a professional viewpoint, of course). I recommend responding publicly, and then taking it to a direct message to work out the details.

If you can offer them a free round or a discount in exchange for an adjusted rating, even better. Bright Local put out a 2017 Local Consumer Reviews Survey which contains some riveting statistics about the impact of online reviews for local businesses. My favorite: 85% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. “Thank dog for Phyllis’ detailed review on activated charcoal teeth whitening powder! I love this stuff!” Lol, but for real.

What’s the biggest mistake that people make when trying to manage their own online reputations?

Tough question. I think it’d be very difficult and time consuming for someone who’s unfamiliar with SEO to do a good job at managing their online reputation. I can’t quite see how the time it would eat on a daily basis (writing contributor articles, learning which platforms you have access to, etc.), wouldn’t just warrant hiring professionals to help.

Where do you see the reputation management industry headed into the future?

Reputation management is trending alongside SEO; they’re nearly one in the same. So that points toward meaningful, long-form content as Google’s RankBrain machine learning algorithm becomes more and more sophisticated. Honestly, Status Labs’ COO Jesse Boskoff was interviewed and contributed to a great article on IBM’s ThinkLeader’s blog. I’d give this one a read if you can spare a few more minutes.

What is the first piece of advice that you would give someone when beginning to consider their online reputation?

Before jumping to advise someone, it’s basic and important that people understand that most things when it comes to your digital presence, are possible. Whether it’s an article that’s been plaguing your personal front page of search results, or lack of representation for your business in organic search, just know, firms (like ours) specialize in helping you curate your online image.

Advice, I’d say – if you’re considering looking to professionals, do your research. There’s a lot of reputation management agencies out there that have honestly colored this industry with a shade of unflattering gray, and made the average person (including those old-timey SEO specialists) skeptical of our work.

Be on the look-out for firms with cookie cutter solutions, SEO or PR firms that claim they can also do ‘reputation management’, and those that offer to de-index i.e., completely remove your results. Get a few quotes, ask a lot of questions, and compare what each package actually incorporates. It should be completely custom and even informative. You want a comprehensive solution, not a pack of web profiles… that you could actually do yourself without too much time invested. (Check out Status Labs’ ORM Investment Guide for a little more information.)

How can a business or individual benefit from working with an ORM specialist?

Given the heightened scrutiny of absolutely everything these days (thanks, internet!) and the immense amount of information available at our fingertips, a business – or individual – should be concerned with how they’re presented online. An ORM specialist will be able to learn your goals and put you on a path to achieve them.

Do you want to become a thought leader in the financial sector? There’s a way to do it. Do you want your charcoal-activated tooth whitener to come up as the top result in Google, or even Amazon search? There’s a way to do it. Do you want people to stop asking you about that forced public resignation from 2013 that solidified itself as a top result for your name? There’s a way to do it, (and in most cases, you should!) Whether you’re looking to promote yourself, protect yourself, or rebrand yourself, an online reputation management specialist can help.

 

Status Labs is the premier digital reputation management firm, with offices in Austin, New York, Los Angeles, London and São Paulo. For more information visit StatusLabs.com or sign up for a Free Consultation.


Source: Status Labs

#41 – Our 6 reputation management predictions for 2018 0


Subscribe: Google Play | iTunes | RSS

We break out the crystal ball and make some bold predictions for ORM in 2018.

Each week, Erin Jones and I take a look at the most interesting reputation management stories, answer your questions, and share valuable ORM tactics. In this week’s episode:

  • We outline 6 stories/trends we think you’ll see on the podcast in 2018. Which do you think will come true?

If you have a question you would like us to tackle, please leave a comment below or on my Facebook Page.

Transcript (forgive us for any typos):

Andy Beal:                  Happy New Year to you. Yes, this is our first show back from the break for 2018. What I thought we would do is have a little bit of fun but also put our own reputations on the line by making some bold predictions for the coming year. Erin and I have put together a list of some reputation management predictions that we think we’ll see. And I’m going to kick it off with the idea that I think we’ll finally see some kind of alternative to credit scoring based on your reputation. What I mean by that is instead of using social security numbers and instead of relying on services like Equifax, which obviously had a major breach this year. I think we may finally see someone coming up with a system that will be based upon some kind of reputation scoring. It could be your social media engagement. It could be some specialized system that finally doesn’t offend enough of us so that we actually really accept some kind of personal scoring. But I’m thinking we’re going to see … I don’t know … I think we’re going to see something along those lines where banks and credit cards companies are finally going at least partially start bringing into play our personal reputations. What do you think Erin?

Erin Jones:                  I think that’s really interesting and I hadn’t thought of it much until you brought it up the other day but I think that with the way that our lives are blending personal and professional and so many other areas that way that this is kind of a natural progression. And we’ve seen it already when you go to get car insurance or when you go to turn on a utility, they’re checking credit scores and other aspects of your life aside from can you pay your utility bill? I definitely see this is as a possibility. I think Clout tried to do it a few years ago and fell off a little bit because their methods were maybe a little bit too rudimentary for scoring. I’m curious to see where this goes though and how they’ll do it. I know a lot of people that have really, really great real life credit scores that aren’t involved in social media at all. And then I know some people who are really involved in social media that I probably wouldn’t loan $20 to, if it were up to me. I don’t know. What do you think about that?

Andy Beal:                  You make a valid point because what about those people that are not active online. Maybe it could be something that is like an opt in alternative scoring system where you can kind of check a box to have it considered. And then you make an interesting point about services like Clout. And we’ve seen other services try to create a reputation scoring system. And I think their downfall has come from the fact that they wanted to make these scores public for everybody. And I think if it’s going to work in any capacity, it has to be like your own credit score, whereby, yeah, it’s transparent to you as the individual. You can look up your score but we certainly don’t want the scores published for everybody to look up because that’s what will make us feel uneasy and that will kill it before it even gets off the ground.

Erin Jones:                  Definitely. And I think that the way we’re blending technology and all of these different things into our lives, not just professionally anymore, it makes a lot of sense. And I’m curious to see too if our look at me aspect and our look at me perspective with social media if people would keep that private if they could or if it’s something that people would wear as a badge of pride. Something that we also discussed on the subject of credit and the lines blending and things is people hacking credit scores, people hacking internet of things devices, artificial intelligence. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of that blending as people buy refrigerators that can order groceries for them and all of these internet of things devices that are in our homes that are continually listening to us. It’s really funny because we had talked about a few of these topics over email this week and I started getting some ads in my Facebook feed and some other places for some of the things that we only discussed in my Gmail.

I feel like everything is listening all the time. And I think that there’s a huge potential for hacking going on there, kind of moving onto our next point where if all of these devices are contributing to our reputations and possibly our credit scores, which devices are going to be listening and how vulnerable are those devices?

Andy Beal:                  Wow. It’s a scary thought. Heck, apparently we can’t even keep the humble processor in our computers and tablets from being hacked with the intel and all these processes apparently having some kind of back door that needs to be patched. And it does somewhat concern me that we’re starting to rely heavily on things like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. And who knows just how our hackers are working to try to find a back door so that they can start listening to our conversations. We already … I don’t know about you but I put a little piece of tape over the camera on my laptop, just in case someone’s hacked into it. Because I’ve heard the horror stories that hey, someone can activate your camera without you even knowing. So what if they activate my Amazon Echo and start listening to me without me even knowing?

Erin Jones:                  Absolutely. And I don’t know if this is true or not, I heard a joke that someone had Google Home and Amazon Echo and they asked their Google device what they thought of Alexa and Google responded and said, “I like her pretty blue light”. And then the Alexa blinked twice in response. All of these things are connected from our watches to our toasters to who know what else. I think that one thing that we’re going to see is a lot of these companies going to have to really buckle down on security if they want to protect their own brand reputations and the reputations of their client bases. Because like you said, what’s listening when? And what’s looking when?

Andy Beal:                  Yeah. And Amazon is riding high right now. And I’m sure it keeps them awake each night, the fact that they could be hacked because the line of Echo products, they’re now going to be in … what is it? Toyota and Lexus cars, everything could be potentially be hacked if someone can find the back door here. And I know that even in our house we get a little bit paranoid. Sometimes we hit the mute button on the Echo because we’re like, “Ah, she doesn’t need to hear a conversation about refinancing” or something like that. It’ll be interesting to see if that prediction comes true. I think there’s a good chance that we’ll see some kind of, whether it’s Samsung or Google or somebody that’s got some kind of technology wi-fi connected device. I’m pretty confident you got a good one there, that may see some kind of hacking.

Erin Jones:                  Definitely gives a new meaning to the walls have ears.

Andy Beal:                  Yeah, true. Alright, here’s my third … my prediction that’s number three. Remember when McDonald’s botched their Black Friday tweet? And it was insert coffee here kind of thing. I kind of had a little bit of conspiracy theory that was it deliberate? Were they just trying to get some attention? And it was tongue and cheek because 99% sure that this is accidental. But they turned it into a really positive story and good a lot of good positive press. Well, I think we’re going to get what I’m going to call fake and bake and I think that we’re going to catch a company that’s going to pretend like they either been hacked or they’ve made a funny goof and they’re going to orchestrate it to try and get publicity. But I think they’ll ultimately get called out. They’ll leave a paper trail or an employee will let slip and it will backfire and they’ll actually find themselves as reputation roadkill because they were trying to spoof us and trying to take us for a ride.

It’s kind of a little bit bold but I’m … I don’t know. I’ve got 12 months. I think somebody might make a mistake like that. What do you think?

Erin Jones:                  I definitely think that this is going to happen. We’ve seen, historically, even before the internet the “accidental” leaks to the press, things like that have been happening for a long time and I think as soon as someone figures out a way to try to manipulate the system to get a spike in traffic or get that viral traction that everybody would love to get. If they can do the oops, sorry, hehe, kind of innocent move then it hits all the marks that the public likes. It shows some vulnerability. It humanizes the brand. It’s cute and it allows to fix a mistake without really getting themselves into too much trouble if they do it right. I definitely see this one, at least happening once. I think we’re going to see it more than once.

Andy Beal:                  It’ll be interesting. I think it could definitely happen once. If it happens, hopefully … I’d like to think that other companies would learn from that but as we’ve seen over the last few years, companies don’t learn the lessons when they see somebody else make a mistake. And it all gets repeated. Yeah, it could happen a few times for sure.

Erin Jones:                  And not only as a mistake, I think if seeing how well it worked for McDonald’s, who is a company who people typically kind of scoff at as far as their coolness factor. They go, “Well, it worked for McDonald’s, maybe it could work for us.” And then I think we’re going to start seeing some increased mistrust from the audience because of that. Like, “Oh, was that really a mistake? Hahaha.”

Andy Beal:                  Well, my money’s on the airline industry to try it. Let’s see-

Erin Jones:                  Oh no.

Andy Beal:                  That’s not an official prediction. But I think they need something like this and I think they’ll probably socially just savvy enough but also dumb enough to give it a shot. Let’s see if that part of it comes true as well.

Erin Jones:                  I’m really, really hoping to see some new fresh life breathed into the airline industry. But I think that you’re probably right. Going on with that, I think that mistrust in big business and current political climates in the government is going to really … we’re going to see some more adoption of block chain technology. I think that people are going to be looking decentralized currencies and as we see more questionable payment security, which going back to everything we’ve already discussed today, people are concerned about who’s watching, who’s listening and who’s recording what they’re doing, so I think that we’re going to see a lot more acceptance of the kind of crypto, decentralized currencies. And I’m already hearing that companies like Amazon are talking about taking Bitcoin as a payment option. Car companies are doing this. I’m curious to see if an industry that is typically been considered the dark horse of payment options is going to come forward as more of a standardized thing.

Andy Beal:                  I think it’s got potential. My concern and why I’m going to disagree a little bit on this is when I hear stories of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency even block chain, it’s for the average person, when I speak to my friends and I include myself in this, it’s kind of like behind the curtain stuff. There’s a lot of mystery to it. There’s a lot of volatility to it. How is the price of Bitcoin fluctuating so wildly? I think there’s a little bit of a perception that it’s kind of … right now, the kind of currency that hackers and dark web people use, which to some degree they do, so I think if Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are going to really flourish this year and really going to become widely accepted by consumers, it’s got to have a reputation makeover. We’ve got to find something to talk about. Like you’ve articulated, it’s the positives, the decentralization, the not anonymity of everything and give it something positive to talk about other than the volatility of the price of Bitcoin and who’s using it and governments cracking down on it, that kind of thing.

Erin Jones:                  I agree. And I think though and this is a way out on a ledge prediction.

Andy Beal:                  Okay.

Erin Jones:                  I don’t think that Bitcoin is going to be the one that people adopt.

Andy Beal:                  Okay.

Erin Jones:                  I think that from the very, very limited education I have on this, that some of their developers have done some things that people are mistrustful about, which I guess messed up the mining situation or something police … don’t skewer me for getting this wrong, but I think that someone is going to come up with something that has a similar technology but gets in with someone like Amazon or somewhere and figures out how to become trustworthy within the market. The tech is there, but like you said.

Andy Beal:                  When you think about it, we almost have something similar to this that’s been around for years and years and that’s PayPal. You can use PayPal to make a purchase and nobody ever knows your credit card number or your bank account number and you deposit the funds and then you make the payment. Maybe PayPal comes up with something along those lines because it’s already somewhat consumer friendly and accepted. I guess, yeah, hell, why not. I’ll just go and put my money on PayPal to come up with something.

Erin Jones:                  I like it. They’re trustworthy. They’re … people like them and I know the generations that aren’t as tech savvy like them as well. I think that’s a good bet.

Andy Beal:                  Okay. Alright, let’s move on to the fourth prediction, make sure I’ve got that right. I don’t know where we are. Well, just the next prediction. And that is I think that one of the companies that we saw in 2017 as reputation roadkill, I think one of those companies last year is going attempt to re-brand and try to improve its reputation. Because think about it, you’ve got a lot of companies that had some issues: Photo Bucket, Chipotle, United. And they see other companies re-branding. I think perhaps one of the largest ones was Google re-branding their parent company to Alphabet and they see that there’s a positive connotation with that. And I think that they’ll try to position it as, “Hey, we’re re-branding because we’re changing. We’re more consumer friendly, da da da da da”, whatever it is. But I think it won’t necessarily be a success because I think it will probably be too soon and people will think that they’re just running away from their bad reputation. But anyway, I’m going to kind of go on a limb and predict that there’s going to be one of the big companies we talked about last year that’s going to try and re-brand.

Erin Jones:                  Now, who are your top contenders for this?

Andy Beal:                  Well, I think Chipotle possibly. I even think think maybe even United Airlines because United Airlines is just at the bottom of everything right now. I even saw a poll, a study recently as to their average response time on social media was dead last. I think it was like almost a couple hours to get a reply versus five or six minutes for the top companies. I wouldn’t be surprised. I don’t want to say a small brand where you would be … everybody would be listening and say, “Well, of course. They’re a small company. They got nothing to lose.” I want to make this bold and pick a large brand that would really have to go through a considerable effort to re-brand. But United, maybe Chipotle. If I wanted a safer bet, maybe Photo Bucket because Photo Bucket’s kind of a eh, kind of a meh, kind of brand anyway and they’ve had a lot of issues. Maybe they might re-brand but maybe one of those three. But definitely one that we’ve mentioned on the podcast. It needs to be one that we’ve already talked about and then had a significant enough an issue that it made it onto the podcast. That’s what I’m staking on.

Erin Jones:                  I think you’re onto something with Chipotle. They just released queso. They haven’t offered queso forever. Maybe you’re onto something with them. I was also thinking that Uber would have a really, really strong case for this as well.

Andy Beal:                  Okay, yeah. I considered Uber but I think the concern I have with Uber is they have not shown any dramatic changes to justify spending the effort and the money on re-branding because they’ve not shown that they are really trying to improve it at this point. And then also they seem to be really going hard after the whole Uber this and Uber that, like Uber eats and things like that. I don’t know. That might be a little tougher, but certainly not out of the realms of possibility.

Erin Jones:                  Yes. That’s a good point. My thinking on that was that their new CEO has worked in so many capacities where they’ve taken on multiple small brands and turned them into one large brand. I don’t know. I’m curious to see how they do this year.

 

Andy Beal:                  The last one, take us home.

Erin Jones:                  Alright, the last one: I’m thinking we’re going to be seeing a lot from Tesla and Amazon, bringing more affordable “big idea” tech to the consumer market. I think that they’re going to have to be very careful with the race to market with some of the big brands that they’re competing against because as we’ve seen with companies like Samsung this year, if you hurry too quickly then your products not only flop but they get you in hot water reputation wise. I think that we’re going to see these two in the forefront bringing some really, really neat ideas forward. And hopefully with what we discussed earlier with those internet of things devices, these are both huge tech companies that use a lot of technology as far as operating their products and connectivity with their support services. I think that they’re going to have to be really careful but if they do it right, I think it’s going to be a good year for both of these companies.

Andy Beal:                  Okay. Sometimes random thoughts come to my head. I have not thought this through, so if you’re listening, you’re hearing this literally seconds after I just thought this.

Erin Jones:                  These are my favorite.

Andy Beal:                  What if Amazon buys Tesla this year? Now, the reason I’m saying that is think about it, Amazon is really interested in automation. Tesla’s got self-driving cars. Amazon’s really interested in gadgets and technology. Tesla’s got these batteries that last forever. Amazon is flushed with cash. I could really see Amazon even buying Tesla and that would kill two birds with one stone. That would really give you the winner for the year, in terms of [crosstalk 00:19:53].

Erin Jones:                  The other thing is you mentioned Amazon’s flushed with cash and there have been rumors that Tesla has been struggling and now they’ve got … they’re sending rockets to space and working on hyper loops, maybe they’re getting bored with automotive. You could be on to something.

Andy Beal:                  We’ll see. What we’re going to do is we’ll keep an eye on this for you and towards the end of the year, we’ll circle back and let you know how we did. Of course, if any of these actually happen, you’ll definitely hear from us before the end of the year. If none of them happen, it will be a real sheepish podcast, probably just two minutes long because we’ll have to eat humble pie. But we will keep an eye on these for you. And we’d love to hear your predictions for the year. Do you have any predictions or trends that you think we’ll see regarding branding, reputation management for 2018? If so, head on over to our Facebook page /AndyBealORM or just go to AndyBeal.com, find the latest blog posts, find that latest podcasts and leave a comment there. We’d love to hear from you. What are your predictions for branding reputation management in 2018?

Erin, as always, enjoy chatting with you. Thanks for putting on your thinking cap and coming up with some ideas for the coming year.

Erin Jones:                  Yeah. Thank you for having me and thank you for listening to my wild ideas this year.

Andy Beal:                  And thank you guys for listening to us. We always appreciate you tuning in. We’ll hope you catch us again next time. Thanks a lot and bye-bye.

The post #41 – Our 6 reputation management predictions for 2018 appeared first on Andy Beal .


Source: Andy Beal

How to Style Your Salon’s Instagram for 2018 0

Connect with new customers this year

With January comes a fresh start. As many consumers make New Year’s resolutions to take better care of themselves this year, your salon has the opportunity to prime your Instagram to bring them in the door and keep them coming back.

By the end of 2017, 80 percent of Instagram users were following at least one business or brand. You can see why it’s increasingly important that your spa or salon’s Instagram is implementing the right strategies to stand out among the crowd. These three tips will make sure your salon’s page is groomed and ready to connect with new consumers in 2018.

1. Mind your grid

Instagram is driven by visuals, which means it’s crucial that the content you post is on brand and represents your business in the best possible light. When an Instagram user clicks onto your business’ page, the first thing they’ll see is a visual collection of your nine latest posts a.k.a your grid.

By consistently utilizing your brand’s colors and style as well as quality pictures of your products and services, users can take a look at your most recent posts and immediately get a sense of what you’re all about. Your grid should also have a great deal of variety and interesting content that would encourage users to give you a follow.

Here’s an example of a salon that does a great job of showing off what they do in their grid:

2. Host a contest

Creating a contest or giveaway on Instagram is a great way to generate engagement and interaction for your page. Contests can be as basic as asking users to like, comment, or tag a friend to enter, then you choose one of those lucky winners. Others, like photo challenges — where you encourage your followers to take a photo and tag you or use a custom hashtag — might require a little more creativity. Whichever type of entry you decide, you can be sure that your page will gain more traction.

Below is an example of a contest held by a salon, which helped them gain followers and exposure to new potential customers!


“With a giveaway this good, you’ll want to tag a friend!”

3. Use relevant hashtags

Posts on Instagram with at least one hashtag receive an average of 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags. By adding hashtags that relate to your service, city, or industry to your caption, users who are searching for similar keywords will be directed to your page. Make connections with consumers in your area by incorporating this strategy into your social media routine!

This salon used some awesome hashtags to describe their city, specialties, and personality.

(Tip: Use a period and hit enter to keep the hashtags out of the main caption).

2018 is your year to shine. Take advantage of these three tips, and your page will look its best yet!

Want more resources and helpful tips for small businesses? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!



How to Style Your Salon’s Instagram for 2018 was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub

Get Your Gym’s Facebook in Gear for the New Year 0

Bring new customers into your gym in 2018

In the early months of the new year, many people take the time to reflect on what they hope to accomplish in the next 12 months, and your business can implement a lot of online strategies to help them achieve their goals.

In 2017, the top New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Of course, small business owners in the fitness realm are no strangers to this trend.

On average, gym membership sign-ups increase 40 percent between December and January every year.

As these consumers prepare to take on the challenge of a year-long goal, it’s important that your gym or studio’s social media pages are easy to find and ready to connect with new customers starting their fitness journeys.

Follow these four steps, and as the people in your community grow stronger hitting their fitness goals, so will your ability to connect with them!

1. Optimize your profile

Breaking down the simple, nitty-gritty details of your profile make a big difference when it comes to being a resource for potential consumers. Double-check that your business’ information (like address, phone number, contacts, and external links) are all accurate and up-to-date so people can easily look you up or give your business a call.

Your profile picture and cover photo are also important elements of your business’ page. By using a high-quality logo and a photo of your product or services, consumers will know immediately who you are and what you’re all about.

Here’s an example of how a local gym uses their logo and cover photo to show off what they do:

2. Give customers a shout out

Just as you love when customers sing your gym’s praises, they love being recognized for being a loyal customer, too. This year, when you have an opportunity to shout out a fan of yours, go for it! The benefits are twofold: You solidify the loyalty of that customer, and you show people browsing your page that you care about your followers.

Here’s how you might show your customer base a little bit of love:


“If our favorite 81 year old client can join the plank challenge, so can you!”

3. Keep your page active

Regularly posting content to your business’ Facebook shows users that your page and business are engaged with your audience and that they should stop by for a workout. . There are no strict rules on how often you need to post, but getting new content onto your page at least a couple times a week will keep your current followers entertained and show new users that you’re plugged in.

Here’s an example of how a Pilates studio uses frequent posts to form a cohesive and inviting page — you can see their strategy in the Photos section of their page:

For tips on fresh, relevant content to post this month, check out our blog post here!

3. Engage with engagement

Of the roughly two billion users on Facebook, one-third engage with brands regularly. This means that a huge amount of consumers are letting their local businesses know what they think by commenting, asking questions, and writing reviews. This kind of engagement presents an opportunity to build a stronger connection with the people visiting your page. This year, if a consumer comments on a picture, posts on your wall, or writes a review, respond! This will show anyone visiting your page that you care about your customers and want to foster a relationship with them. Building these kind of relationships is what will bring new customers in the door and keep them coming back.

The next 12 months are bursting with potential. With these four tips at the ready, you’re sure to make this year a great one!

For more like this, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!



Get Your Gym’s Facebook in Gear for the New Year was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub