Reputational Management: When something negative is said about your brand in the social space: What are you going to do?

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I’m sure most of you have seen the viral effects of the Domino Pizza employees having a ‘good’ time at the kitchen and the damage it has caused to Domino Pizza. The clips ‘enjoyed’ a million views before Domino Pizza management was informed of the YouTube clip. This was an instant viral marketing success (well for all the wrong reasons).

This to most companies is a situation where they dread most. However this is something very real and this could happen to any company.

Imagine years of building your baby brand to what it is today take a lot of hard work but it only requires one serious episode to bring it down. Similar to the notion of trust. Trust takes incremental steps to build but when the trust is lost, it drops by leaps and bounds.

Well my view is though one may completely take control of its brands in the online space, one can minimize these negative effects, i.e. control the negative spread of viral marketing.

How you might ask. Here are some tactics I recommend:

1. Craft an internal social media policy for all employees — this would signal to your staff that your actions offline and online concerning your company brand name is made answerable – unfortunately no many companies have one, if you dont, dont you think you should have one soon? After all, research suggests that social media is growing at an exponential rate.

a. Well ideally you would have someone listening in the online space that can inform your company at a moment’s notice.

Well the first one is not really a tactic but a good pre step. Do have one.

2. If it does happen, adopt the “SUN-SET” rule, make sure you quickly respond to this. In the online world, speed is of utmost importance. You need to craft an official respond.

a. If you know who the originator of the spread e.g. it was a blogger, perhaps you could get the blogger to link back to your official response. Most readers appreciate the other side of the story.

b. Well if you don’t (in most cases), do craft a response on your webpage and submit that page to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – yes do some keywords. This would ensure that user would be able to see your response on the first page of Google. Typically most users would click on the official response.

c. Engage Twitter, Twitter has been known for its speed! Use that to your advantage.

As you can see, all these revolves around prompt action. Do not ignore it and do act on it fast.

I’m sure you do not want the Domino Pizza effects happening to your company.

That’s all I can think of for now. But I’m keen to hear what you would do (or have done) to control the negative spread of your brand name.

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