Learning from #NBCFail: Managing your online reputation

NBC is getting slaughtered on social media for its decision to use tape delay during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. NBC is holding off on showing events live (which is common practice during the Olympics) so they can present them to a larger audience in primetime (hence, charging more for advertising). While NBC is defending its decision to show popular events, such as swimming and gymnastics in primetime, an online revolt is taking place.

Outraged fans, who want to see the events live, are taking to Twitter and voicing their displeasure over NBC’s decision to tape delay the events. You can find these people by typing #NBCFail into Twitter’s search box. This type of backlash is nothing new thanks to social media. Twitter has become “America’s megaphone” because it’s a fast and simple way to air grievances to a large audience.

NBC probably doesn’t enjoy all of the negative feedback (especially from Guy Adams), but they aren’t exactly hurting from it either. Ratings for the 2012 Olympics are down compared to 2008, but they’re still very solid. All this talk about unfavorable online comments got me thinking about the best practices for managing your online reputation, both professionally and personally.

Monitor and respond quickly

There is a great infographic from Venturebeat.com that perfectly illustrates ‘How to manage your company’s online reputation’. The opening line of the infographic says it best, “Your business has a reputation, and it’s up to you to ensure it’s a positive one.”

Online reputation management is part of my job at Park Nicollet and I’m constantly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for comments about us, both positive and negative. It’s my job to respond to those comments and make sure our customer’s questions and concerns are being answered. I’ve found people respond very favorably to great customer service (shocking!). Coming back from a social media crisis isn’t always easy, but I found this article on Magnet4Marketing’s website that will help get you headed in the right direction.

While Magnet4Marketing’s suggestions are solid, one other recommendation I have is to take the negative conversation offline. Don’t go back-and-forth on Twitter or Facebook for everyone else to see. Find a way to continue the conversation via email or over the phone.

Helpful tools

Tracking your company’s online reputation (or your personal reputation) is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. Of course Google Alerts and searches, Twitter and Facebook will help you manage your online reputation, but there are other lesser known tools that can help you track what people are saying about you as well.

This list is included on the infographic from Venturebeat.com. I use these sites regularly to keep my ear to the online ground.

Motto: Like Google Alerts but for social media. Receive free daily email alerts of your brand, company, CEO, marketing campaign, or on a developing news story, a competitor, or the latest on a celebrity.
Motto: A real-time search engine for Facebook and Twitter.
Motto: Inhale the web. Instantly create a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic.

If you’re having a hard time selling your boss on why social media is important (which shouldn’t be a hard sell these days), show them this article. It might just help change his or her mind.