On the Scene: Online reputation management


“Do one or two things well,” said Josh Breese, director of strategy at Anvil Media. "Don’t do everything poorly."

Breese was one of four panelists who participated in an Oregon Business forum yesterday on social media and online reputation management. 

Speakers talked about the importance of responding to negative online reviews, organic vs. paid media and the penetration of partisan politics into everyday business practices.

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Breese’s comment about doing things well was a response to a question about how to navigate the bewildering array of social media platforms. 

Consistency is more important than having a presence on every channel, Breese said. “Look at what your product and service is and what medium showcases it well. Be consistent in your content production — even if it’s once or twice a week.”

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Jon Shadel, my colleague and senior travel editor at MEDIAmerica, helped define the target market for the different platforms.  “Twitter is a medium for journalists, trolls and people mad at airlines,” he said.

As political debates ensnare large and small companies — whether they take a stance on a given policy issue or not — online reputation management has become even more important, panelists said.

“Online is where everyone turns at some point,” said Breese. “We have seen over the last year brands take hits or be celebrated in the political world.” 

 “Social media is the face of your brand," said Rachel Smith, a strategist with Sparkloft Media.

One online goof may not destroy your company — "Look at Pepsi," Smith said in a reference to the brand's out of touch Kendall Jenner ad last year.  "They’re still around. But I’ve watched a lot of businesses go down just by not responding to criticism.”

In 2017 "pay to play" is standard marketing procedure. “A fairly low percentage of organic is getting in front of the audience," Breese said. "You are going to have to advertise. Your best effort is to use good organic content coupled with paid content. “

Influencers are a good way to promote content online, but not all businesses can afford to pay people with a large social media audience to promote their brands.

"I’m a one-person operation,” said Scott Steward, owner of Creative Wave Marketing Solutions.  "We don’t have the budget to pursue everything.  I have to be very selective." Steward said he hasn't pursued influencers, and that businesses short on resources should seek out industry partners to help with marketing efforts.

Many brands are chasing a generic millennial audience, Shadel said. "But the millennial they are targeting may not exist, or it may be a slim percentage of the audience. Understand who you are targeting."


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During the question and answer period, a person in the audience asked panelists how to get people to post positive reviews online.

“Ask,” Steward said. 

Last modified onSaturday, 23 December 2017 10:06

2 comments

  • Patrick Nelson
    Patrick Nelson Monday, 18 December 2017 15:08 Comment Link

    There is a very good article on the Repwarrior.com website about how to manage your own online reputation. This article presents a clear strategy and path to success if you want to manage your own 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. For those of you who have more time than money, this article will help you manage your reputation online.

  • Joe Emmet
    Joe Emmet Friday, 15 December 2017 09:01 Comment Link

    Thanks for making this coverage of the Oregon Business Forum available to us Ms. Baker. It's interesting to note that two of the "must dos" mentioned in the article have remained constants in every era since the first weekly newspaper was published in 1605: (1) the importance of maintaining a good reputation, and (2) advertising so as to keep the coffers full.

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