30 May 2012 2 Comments

Online reputation: 7 reasons why it counts

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Online reputation management today is no longer a joke. Advancement in technology and by extension, New Media opportunities has made this a vital part of brand management process. About two years ago, I was watching a Television programme. The guest then was one of the ex-governors in the Niger delta region of this great Nation. This individual had by then gathered bad reputation for himself in many money laundering and corrupt practises related issues.

In this said interview, this individual was asked if he had ever ‘Googled’ his name? This was a concern to the presenter because of the bad results Google always produced if a search was conducted then about his brand. The Governor’s result shocked me. He said ‘‘anyone can go online and write stuff and as far as I am concerned, there is nothing bad about that’’. Throughout out that day, I became worried for this individual and the first question that came to my mind was did this guy has a media consultant?’ even if he was ignorant of the magnitude of damage, why should his media aide be silent?

Today the rest is story. He has since been jailed after a tedious legal battle. Just like then, I am still worried by a high level of ignorance being displayed by brands that should know. Some of these brands, neither show commitment to what Google has to say about their image nor care to find out. Why will a brand invest millions on ensuring its offline image is right and ignore the larger window which opens the brand to 7 Billion populations? If you are still in doubt, let us examine why a brand cannot afford to joke with its online image and perception today.

Define your impact: you may not be able to measure your impact until you get necessary feedback from those that matter. The age of conversation we are today makes a demand on each brand to get the right perspective to what people feel about its performance and relevance. Unlike the traditional media, Online Media offers instant situation analysis and reality check about brand’s impact

Help you monitor engagement: The level of brand engagement with its stakeholders will determine how successful it will be. If a brand is not adequately informed about this, there may be fire on the mountain. If a brand enjoys stakeholders’ engagement it will be obvious. There is no long story about this anymore. Online media will help any brand understands what needs to be done and what route to follow in a bid to build strong engagement.

Help you monitor negative noise: if there is anything we need to know today it is the fact that the noise level is increasing in this age of over communicated world. when you are in a typical market arena, it is a common practise to avoid the noise of the market and concentrate on what you intend to buy. This no longer holds water. Negative noise may be destroying your brand without knowing. Online Media gives us opportunity to concentrate on what we are buying or selling in the market but also allows us to monitor the noise around in terms of how it is affecting our brand’s wellbeing.

Empowered stakeholder: Online reputation management helps  us to empower every stakeholder for the rainy days. A brand reputation will suffer much during crisis if it is going to be the solo voice defending its image. As we know, online crisis is much more dangerous than the offline war. Monitoring your reputation online will help you set up relevant mechanism that will empower your stakeholder for crisis time.

Help brand gather timely information: Monitoring your brand reputation online will also help you gather relevant and timely information that may portends great danger for the brand. Those who go to the river early enough will draw clean water is a popular African adage. Be the first to know and act- if there is a need.

Get your brand on the way of ‘humanization’: we are now in the age where people relate with brand which has human face. Monitoring your online reputation may be a good way to give your brand a face in the online platforms.

Enhances brand’s social business status: in addition to the above, social business is the new trend in the business world. Every brand will be forced to become social. The truth is their customers are now social. You do not need to  wait until it is too late. Start the process with listening and monitoring. You do not become a social freak as a talkative. Talking all the time makes others to take a distance walk away from your ‘chatterbox’.

Help brand build right fire fighter strategies and tools: Online Media tools are not necessarily created for fire fighting. If anything at all, they must not ‘split fire but cool water’.  When you monitor your reputation online, you are adequately prepared in terms of software to use, when to use them. More importantly, online reputation demands well-thought out strategies. If you care less about the brand reputation, you will hardly think on what to do or which strategy to employ.

Over to you, i am sure i missed out something, add it.

2 Responses to “Online reputation: 7 reasons why it counts”