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Build a Bulletproof Online Reputation with These Social Media Tactics

Using Social Media to Create a Bulletproof Online Reputation

What is Online Reputation

Online reputation is the sum of all mentions of your brand online. Everything that’s ever been written or posted about your business contributes to its online reputation.

You can assess the state of your online reputation by googling your business name and scrolling deeper through search engines. Then search for it on Maps, on Instagram, and on Facebook. Add “reviews” to your search query. 

Everything you see in the results is your online reputation. 

Online reputation management, or ORM, is a set of techniques used to manage and control your reputation online. We’ve put together a detailed guide on reputation management so check it out.

Even if you like everything you see when you google your brand – you still need to do ORM work regularly to keep your results clean.

This post will deal specifically with leveraging social media for reputation management. Social media websites offer a lot of ORM opportunities, and every business needs to take advantage of them.


ORM is often neglected in favor of ads and SEO, and it often costs businesses the most. Some local businesses have been literally killed by bad reviews online and viral online reputation incidents.

Online reputation management and search engine optimization may have overlapping techniques, but they have slightly different goals.

The goal of SEO is to make sure your website ranks well for the search queries that sell your products and services. The goal of ORM is to make sure consumers are saying positive things about your brand – and ensuring that other potential customers are finding those positive mentions first.

The main technical difference is that in ORM you don’t really care if you’re ranking for a certain query with a website or with another profile, as long as you control that profile.

Compared to SEO, ORM cares less about the stats and parameters of your mentions online, and more about their amount and rank.

However, both ORM and SEO use keywords so effective keyword research is a necessary foundation for anything you will do. Same way, both ORM and SEO rely on link building so you need to have an understanding of that as well.

Social Media Importance for ORM

Social media is pretty much where online reputation gets built – and destroyed, too. A lot of publicity flops and reputation incidents come from employee negligence and sub-par customer service, as well as bad social media management habits.

That is why you absolutely need to have clear SOPs and guidelines for anyone doing social media work at your company. 

Moreover, go beyond SOPs and cultivate a culture of external communication at your company, no matter how compact it is.

Don’t outsource customer support to anyone who is not well-versed in your brand culture.

Proactive Reputation Management on Social Media

Proactive reputation management concerns everything you do before anything bad happens to your brand online. 

With these tactics you are not solving any urgent problems – but you minimize the severity of your future incidents.

In practice, proactive reputation management is usually focused on building out a protective network of web properties that will minimize and mitigate the impact of any future incidents.

Social media platforms are a great help in that.

Here’s a set of principles to follow to secure the reputation of your local business proactively:

Have Active Social Media

First things first, you need to actually be active on social media. A semi-dead profile with several-year-old posts will not cut it.

Usually, local business owners are comfortable with 1-2 platforms that they love the most, but to be several steps ahead you need to have them all.

There are social media management and automation tools that allow you to schedule, syndicate, and repurpose content across social networks. 

These tools make your life a lot easier – and they help build out a protective online reputation network.

Broadcast Good News Regularly

You need to be producing positive mentions of your brand at least once a week. Leak company news, publish info on awards, publish your projects, and repost people’s reviews about your products or services. 

There are many ways to go with this, but remember that you need to fill up the search results for your brand with fresh, relevant, and positive mentions.

Work with customer reviews to extract ones that can be used to promote positive content. Take part in contests, rankings, and give to charity.

Pack stuff into press releases and send them out regularly. Here’s how we’ve done the same after being featured on a website that ranks SEO companies in San Jose.

If Google’s results are filled with positive mentions of your brand, then the negative ones will not only have less visibility but will seem less relevant to Google.

Mind Your Keywords

The rule of thumb is to “own” all search queries related to your brand.

“Owning” means having a web property that ranks high for that query on Google. A property you control – and it can be anything from a social media profile to a GMB post or a page on your website.

To do that you need to create content that is written and optimized around specific keywords. This is not the same “good news”-type of content that we mentioned above and might require some more work. But this work will be totally paid off in the end. 

Blog posts work well for this, GMB posts are amazing too, and posts are not bad either. LinkedIn posts can also rank pretty well and secure your presence. Smaller and easier keywords can even be targeted with tweets. 

Remember, the more lines in search results actually belong to you, the harder it is to penetrate your online reputation.

Reactive Reputation Management on Social Media

When a reputation incident has occurred already, you need to do your best to address it properly and do it as fast as possible. That’s called “reactive” reputation management and it has a bunch of its own rules.

Below is a list of social media tactics that will help you get started fixing any mess.

Work With Reviews

We have developed Direction Local for review management and it has all the necessary tools and workflows for your Google (and other) reviews.

Have clear directions for your employees – everyone should know the do’s and don’ts of your social media management. E.g. don’t send canned responses, be personal, never violent or abusive, reply fast, and so on.


If the incident content has hateful comments you can report them to the social media website they’re published on. Chances are the support team sides with you and the comments disappear fast.

Let it go

That’s right, depending on the severity of the incident you may need to just let it drift deeper down after leaving just one kind and considerate reply.

Too many brands have dug their own grave online by engaging in lengthy arguments with consumers.

A much better way is to let things cool down and then run a social media campaign for getting more positive reviews to cover that incident.

Don’t just solve an ORM problem, build long-term trust with your target market.

If you need quick help assessing how severe your online reputation incident is – get in touch with us!

Use Legal Remedies

Obviously, if the comments on social media contain slanderous information you can solve the issue with the help of a legal professional.

This can often backfire though, which is why we can’t stress enough that proactive online reputation measures are extremely important. Ask for a professional opinion before resorting to legal means. And please do NOT threaten to sue on social media unless you want to ignite the incident even more.

Best Practices and Hacks

There are several conceptual, mindset tips you need to adopt to make your online reputation bulletproof. These come from our experience helping hundreds of local businesses grow successfully online.

Powered Real Estate

No matter which social media website you take, your profile is your “real estate” there.

Power it up!

Make sure every profile is maxed out with images, posts, tags, locations, and everything else the platform offers you. You need to maximize your presence on every social media website or any other type of listing.

Use our Local SEO software to make sure that your listings are synchronized and that your NAP is consistent throughout all of them.

The reason for all of that is to make your profiles as powerful SEO-wise as possible. For any search query related to your business, Google needs to be 100% sure your profile is the best match.

Social media websites have huge domain authority and trust, so anything posted on them usually ranks pretty fast on Google. Not using that in your online reputation management is a waste of potential.

Keywords, Keywords!

We wrote about that above but there are some advanced tactics with this too.

How about owning the keywords like “YOUR BRAND review”, “Is YOUR BRAND legit” or “YOUR BRAND scam”? There are creative ways to publish content optimized for these keywords – some consumers google these before making a purchase.

Tweets, Medium posts, LinkedIn posts, Instagram profile descriptions – all of these platforms offer ways to use your main keywords.

Interlink Generously

All of your profiles need to be interlinked. Add a link to other social media profiles while setting up new ones. Link to all of your social media profiles from your footer too.

Go beyond that and set up link lists like LinkTree, and link to as many social media profiles as possible each time you produce content (e.g. list links in YouTube video descriptions).

Each link from one web page to another serves as a “vote” and powers it up. Your goal is to have an impenetrable network of your social media profiles.

Syndicate, Automate, Repurpose

Online reputation management means a lot of tedious work so optimize it as much as possible.

Reuse old topics and posts, and schedule recurring posts that perform the best. Try to reuse content across platforms – e.g. transcribe a video into several LinkedIn posts and a dozen tweets.

Use Ads

If you are going through an online reputation crisis, build a page with your response (or another positive event that could be a distraction) and buy ads that promote that page. When set up properly you will gain a lot of visibility among local consumers that way.

Partner With Influencers

In terms of ORM, the thing you want from influencers the most is not the traffic, although traffic is always nice. The main goal of influencer partnerships for reputation management is that they produce positive content about your business that gets shared widely and ranks well just because of the influencers’ profile authority.

Basically, in ORM, influencers are just power accounts you are renting to place your keyword real estate.

Considering that, working with social media influencers for ORM purposes is slightly different – you need to have 100% control of what they will post and the text and keywords they use.

Make sure you send them detailed briefs with pre-written texts or at least must-have snippets and keywords.

Track and Monitor

Listen carefully to what consumers have to say about you on social media.

Set up Google Alerts for your business name – and possible localized queries for products and services you offer.

Check this list for more online reputation monitoring tools.

A good online reputation comes primarily from listing and profile strength, and we have developed Direction Local specifically for creating and managing strong business listings.

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