Friday, March 31, 2006

Brand Repair, Do's & Don'ts

In the course of doing business it is a given that you are going to piss some people off. Hey we've all had that one client that you just can't satisfy, right? Consumers, now more than ever, have access to blogs, forums and other means to complain about services rendered.

With that being said, if you do a search for your company name and you see consumer complaints showing up, then this is the blog post for you.

Here are some Do's and Don't when it comes to repairing your brand.

Don't try and defend your brand by going in and declaring that you represent the company. participate in any forums or blogs where they are hammering your brand. Search engines love content and adding to the thread or comments is like adding wood to the fire. You'll end up cooking your own goose and making it a lot harder to repair the damage.

I was approached by a company that had participated in a consumer complaint forum. Not only was there 10 pages in the thread all about the said company but their user name when posting was their company name. Let's put it like this, the forum ranks higher than their company home page.

Don't try and sneek in a few posts that defend the company. You're not fooling anyone when you do that. You can pretty much gaurantee another page of flammage if you do this.

Don't start a thread and link to any bad publicity asking for advice on how to counter it. Raising awarness may fuel the fire as well. Forums are open and word spreads fast. You may not link to it, but a reader looking for a topic to rant about may not be so shy to drop a link or two to the complaint.

So now we know a few of the most important Don'ts lets move on to the Do's.

Do get your name out there. Submit as many good press releases as you can. Open the flood gates on your company in a positive way. Mediawire & PRweb will outrank the complaints since they have tremendous page scores that they pass to their press releases.

Do take the time to internally optimize your site. You should beef up the about us sections in your site (if you have one). Make your company name promenent in the title tag, and use it conservatively in the content. Add a link into the footer of your site using your company name as the link text. That link should go to the optimized page about your company.

Hey there are 10 rankings on page 1 so lets keep going...

Do write testimonials en masse! If you have any business to business partners write the best testimonial and get your business partners to put them up on their sites. You can even add some extra power by linking from your site to the testimonial your wrote for you business friends! Make sure you put your company name in your signature and in the testimonial itself.

Ok so it's all done, plan on it taking a few months, the more you aggressively push your company name, the more you keep the complaints from even reaching that first page!

Now if you are rendering crappy service then uhh April fools I switched the do's and don'ts around.


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