On the Scene: Online reputation management

Negative online reviews are a fact of life.


But instead of ignoring the problem, or overreacting, businesses should use critical feedback as an occasion to connect with customers, a trio of social media experts said during a panel discussion hosted by Oregon Business this morning.

“Use negative reviews as an opportunity,” said Josh Breese, director of strategy for Anvil Media. Businesses can apologize to customers without necessarily admitting fault, he said.

Customer interaction should focus on "honesty and empathy" said Michael Taylor, creative strategist for Laundry Service.  

About 60 people attended the seminar, which took place in the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower downtown.  Members of the audience peppered the panelists with questions about new media platforms and online reputation strategies.

IMG 1048

Don't get into a Twitter war with customers, and “don’t respond more than twice,” said Carly Schoonhoven, content marketing coordinator for Iterate Marketing.

“Don’t do anything on Reddit,” Breese said. “They are vicious.”

It’s okay to ask customers for reviews, but businesses should steer clear of incentivizing positive feedback. “It’s inauthentic,” Taylor said. (And in some cases illegal).

Schoonhoven said it's a good idea to integrate social media and customer service, and to have a pre-arranged plan for responding to online complaints.

“Negative reviews are not that different from one another,” Breese said. 

IMG 1117

Panelists talked about larger social media trends such as the ongoing shift to mobile and video. Customers are looking for immersive video experiences, said Taylor, and young people of course are glued to their phones.

Different channels appeal to different audiences, and businesses need to evaluate new platforms as they come online. But in the end, content is king.

“It’s not enough to have someone managing your Facebook page," Breese said. The money has to go into content production. "It’s the foundation of what you do.”

IMG 1132

The proprietor of Oregon Caves and Chateau, a Wi-Fi free lodging, asked if running an internet-free destination resort is a viable business proposition in the year 2017.

In an era dominated by ubiquitous social media, unplugging has its pros and cons, panelists said.  “The phone is the best for business,” said Breese, “and the worst for personal and mental health.”

Linda Baker

Linda Baker is the editor of Oregon Business

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3 comments

  • Luke W
    Luke W Friday, 15 September 2017 00:39 Comment Link

    I used a system not mentioned here, Fix Your Search Results at http://www.fixyoursearchresults.com. It was a lot less than most places, less than $200 total.

    They're a part of a web hosting biz that does SEO, so my understanding is that they have access to all sorts of web sites where they can add positive information about a person or company, and link to other sites with the same positive info. So they can raise other pages up in search results to replace the pages that display "bad" info about you or your business.

    One important thing I learned is that *NO* one (including the place I mentioned above) can quickly get rid of bad search results listings in Google. It's a process, and takes a bit of time. If you encounter anyone who says they can "expedite" things for an extra cost or fee, you'd probably be best to run away. It just doesn't work that way.

  • Patrick Nelson
    Patrick Nelson Sunday, 11 December 2016 22:53 Comment Link

    RepWarrior.com has written a very good article on how to manage your own online reputation. This article presents a clear strategy and path to success if you want to manage your own online reputation. You can find the article on RepWarrior’s website; repwarrior.com/how-to-manage-your-own-online-reputation/.

    I ended up hiring them anyways, and they did a great job. But for those of you who have more time than money, this article will help you manage your own reputation.

  • Jay Alicea
    Jay Alicea Thursday, 08 December 2016 07:49 Comment Link

    Physicians are especially susceptible to retaliatory negative feedback tarnishing their good name. Physicians must stay on the pulse of their reputation online.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.