Instagram’s New Logo Shows Importance of Social Media Branding

A sample of Instagram's new look

(image from Instagram’s blog)

In our evolving digital age, organizations must recognize the importance of online presence in marketing and reputation management. Even a seemingly simple branding change can have a significant impact on the public’s opinion of a product. Take a trending topic from two weeks ago, for instance: Instagram, one of the world’s most popular social media/photo-sharing platforms, generated a firestorm of criticism for its recently-redesigned logo. The new image inspired snide memes, critical tweets and New York Times coverage headlined “The Great Instagram Logo Freakout of 2016.” While such a strong reaction to something as simple as a logo change may seem incredible, the story goes to show that social media users care deeply about the platforms they use. In this case, a simple marketing choice had a major effect on popular opinions of Instagram.

More importantly, however, this month’s Instagram drama is a reminder of just how big a part social media platforms play in today’s digitally-connected environment. Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has grown from a simple photo-sharing service with one million users into a global platform on which more than 80 million photos and videos are shared every day. Today it’s one of the most popular websites in the world.

Like many other popular networking platforms, Instagram has expanded from a purely personal network to an important presence for businesses and organizations. According to one report, almost 40% of marketers used Instagram to promote their products in 2015. But it isn’t just the number of Instagram users that stands out, it’s also the level of interactivity the platform allows between businesses and their target audiences. Social media sites like Instagram allow customers to invite their favorite corporations and causes into the stream of their everyday lives. Organizations need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by these platforms to interact with their target audiences frequently and consistently.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) can help your organization successfully navigate today’s complex media environment. As a full-service public relations, marketing and digital advertising agency, we have extensive experience in increasing individuals’ and corporations’ visibility across all major social media platforms. If you have any questions about our social media or other marketing services, please contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.

How to Engage Journalists Using Social Media

86490674

A recent survey conducted last month by Text 100 Global Public Relations discovered that a significant number of journalists use social media and blogs on a regular basis when researching a business, brand or organization for an article. A total of 72 full-time journalists working in print, online and broadcast media were surveyed and the results found that, on average, journalists look at 2.6 social media channels for every story they research. Given these statistics, and the rapid rate at which social networking is growing, public relations professionals can use social media channels to engage with journalists and reach out to them in an outlet where they’re known to be active.

This article will explain the best methods public relations professionals can use to engage journalists through social media.

Maintain Social Media Profiles — Since reporters may look at several social media channels when conducting research, it’s important that your organization has a positive presence on all of them. By creating professional, thorough and favorable profiles for your business online, journalists will be able to discover the information that you want to be highlighted. For example, use social media channels to display media coverage, upcoming events, company news and anything else that you would like the public to be aware of.

For information on how to get your business active on social media, please see our article, “Getting Started with Social Media.”

Focus on Twitter — An important finding in this study was that Twitter is the best social media channel for public relations pitches and media relations. The survey found that journalists are far more likely to welcome contact on Twitter rather than LinkedInGoogle+or even Facebook. Public relations professionals can use Twitter to connect with reporters by seeking out their profiles and “following” them. Twitter is a great way to stay in touch with journalists and pitch stories, business news and upcoming events. Of the journalists surveyed in this study, 53% found that a company’s Twitter profile was instrumental in their research when writing an article.

For an overview of how businesses can use Twitter, please see our articles, “Secrets to Twitter Marketing” and “Twitter Unveils Brand-New Design and Special Features for Businesses.”

Create a Blog — Blogs are also an increasingly important venue to attract media attention. According to this survey, 63% of journalists found a company’s blog to be extremely useful in their research. By creating and maintaining an active blog, your business can establish itself as an industry leader and nourish an interactive hub of information about your organization. Businesses should provide useful information and quality content that relates to your organization and industry as a whole. For more information on how important blogging is for brands and businesses, read our article, “Should My Business Have a Blog?

It is also important to keep in mind that while social media is becoming increasingly important, journalists still value press releases and phone conversations. While the media is increasingly turning to social media and online outlets for information, they still rely heavily on these more traditional methods of contact when covering a story. These social media techniques should be used to supplement press releases, media advisories and other traditional communications outlets.

For more information about engaging with journalists using social media, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

How to Choose the Right Keywords

5 Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Business’ Keyword Strategy

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), keywords are extremely important. Keywords are the words or short phrases that Internet users type into a search engine when looking for a website, business, service or product. In regards to SEO, search engines use keywords when analyzing and prioritizing websites. By including strong keywords in the content of your website, the meta tags, ALT tags, your domain name and each individual page name, your search engine rankings will dramatically improve. Apart from SEO purposes, keywords should also be used in blog entries and your Web advertising campaigns. This article will explain how to choose keywords that will boost your business’ online visibility and bring you higher conversion rates.

  1. Know Your Target Audience — Before determining which keywords to use, you must know exactly what your target audience is most interested in. Your keywords should consist of words or phrases that potential customers are most likely to use when searching for your business, service or website. Ask yourself: what would my potential customers most likely enter into a search engine? Once you are familiar with your audience’s needs and mindset, you can begin compiling a list of potential keywords.
  2. Brainstorm — Come up with a list of potential words and phrases that your target audience might use to find your business online. The goal is to show up as high as possible in search engine results when people search using these keywords. Generate a list of words or short phrases that relate to what your website is trying to promote, sell or offer to your target audience. Try to stay away from very popular keywords because the more competition there is for a keyword, the harder it is to rank high for it. You can narrow your keyword phrases by adding a location or town. Also, rather than repeating the same keyword over and over again in your Web copy, it’s best to use the keyword’s synonyms. This way, your content will be more interesting for readers and Google won’t mark you as a keyword abuser.
  3. Use Keyword Tools — There are plenty of tools on the Web that will help you determine the monthly activity or popularity of potential keywords. For example, try using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. This useful tool can help you get keyword ideas for your overall list and, more specifically, for your Web advertising campaigns. Through this keyword tool, you can find keywords based on your website’s content and also identify negative keywords. Here are several other keyword tools available on the Web:
  4. Keep an Eye on Your Competition — By taking a look at your competitors’ meta tags, you can see which keywords they are using and get an idea of which words and phrases are most common in your industry. By using programs such as Web CEO, you can measure how well you, and your competitors, come up in search engines and, essentially, how easily potential customers are able to find your website. You can also try entering one of your desired keywords into a popular search engine to see which websites show up the highest for this word. While you are aiming for keywords that your target audience is most likely to use, you also want keywords that don’t have as much competition. If you can find a balance of strong keywords and less competition, you will have a better conversion rate.
  5. Adapt When Necessary — Over time, keep track of words and search phrases to determine which keywords you should keep and which you should remove. If you find that some of these words are no longer relevant, opt for different ones and monitor what works and what doesn’t.

For more information on keywords, please read our article, “On-Page Optimization and Keywords.” You can also contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

10 Ways to Generate Leads Online

business

The Internet offers countless opportunities for building your professional network and generating leads for your business. Especially for those on a tight budget, it’s important to focus on making the most of lead generation tools and techniques that are readily available on the Web. This article will provide you with ten simple ways you can generate leads online for your business.

  1. Send Out Monthly E-newsletters — Email marketing is hugely effective when it comes to converting leads into customers over time. To maximize your email marketing efforts, it’s essential to keep in touch with your audience using an e-newsletter. Your e-newsletter should contain valuable, timely and relevant content that is intended to keep your audience interested in your organization and what services or products you offer. For more information on writing and distributing e-newsletters, please see our article, “Why Your Business Needs an E-newsletter.”
  1. Offer Free Content in Exchange for Contact Information — By offering valuable content such as guidebooks, e-books and other free downloads on your website and in your advertising, people will be more likely to give up their contact information. Even if it’s just a name and email address, this information is essential to generating leads and future customers or clients. Over time, engaging these leads with credible, valuable content can lead to long-term buying relationships.
  1. Host Webinars — Webinars are online seminars offered by a company to replace an in-person business conference, lecture or presentation. When people want to attend your webinar, they’ll have to enter their name, email address and other contact information, if necessary. This is excellent for businesses because, for every webinar participant, you’ll gain a new lead and a potential customer. The stronger your presentation is, and the better you promote your upcoming webinar, the more leads you will generate.
  1. Advertise Using Pay-Per-Clicks — Pay-per-click advertising is an excellent way to generate qualified leads. Pay-per-click advertising outlets, such as Google AdWords, allow businesses to market to people who are already actively searching for their products or services. Users who click on your ad will be delivered to a custom landing page where they can enter their contact information in exchange for the content or service that was advertised. For more information on pay-per-click advertising, please see our articles, “Interest-Based Advertising,” “A Beginner’s Guide to Google AdWords,” and “An In-Depth Look into Google AdWords.”
  1. Create Effective Landing Pages — A landing page is a single Web page that appears in response to a reader clicking on an advertisement. Landing pages are often linked from social media ads, email ad campaigns or pay-per-click ad campaigns. Landing pages should include brief descriptions of the downloadable content and services your business offers, as well as an image of the content and a short form for contact information. A well-designed landing page is essential for generating qualified leads for your business. Marketers can even measure the effectiveness of a landing page by analyzing the activity generated by the linked URL, such as click-through and conversion rates. For more information on creating effective landing pages, please see our article, “Five Steps to Generating New Business through Web Advertising, Landing Pages and Emails.”
  1. Submit Your Website to Web Directories — Web directories provide valuable backlinks that will improve your business’ visibility and search engine optimization. By listing your business in accurate categories, people who are already looking for information regarding your industry or service will be directed to your website, making them more qualified and targeted leads. For more information on free Web directories and other submission sites that offer backlinks, please see our article, “Why You Should Take Advantage of Free Submission Websites.”
  1. Distribute Press Releases Online — Every time you distribute your press release online, that site will provide backlinks to your main website. This will further direct interested readers directly to your business. Keep in mind that, for SEO purposes, it is vital to distribute press releases that are optimized for your target keywords. For more information on press releases, please see our article, “5 Tips for Writing Effective Press Releases.”
  1. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile — When used properly, LinkedIn can be a great tool for business networking, developing professional relationships and generating strong leads. For B2B companies, LinkedIn is the ultimate social networking site. The first step is to make sure that your profile is as close to 100% complete as possible. Next, it’s important to boost your visibility and credibility on LinkedIn by contributing to group discussions on the “Discussions” and “Answers” boards. For more information on LinkedIn, please see our article, “Making the Right Connections with LinkedIn.”
  1. Share Documents, Slideshows and Presentations — By sharing your presentations or slideshows on the Web, you can not only boost the credibility and popularity of your business online, but you will secure valuable backlinks to your website. Websites such as Scribd and SlideShare not only rank high with major search engines, but they provide backlinks to lead readers directly to your main website.
  1. Maintain an Active Blog — According to a study done by KBK Communications, B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those who do not. Blogging is essential to any successful marketing and communications strategy, especially in regards to lead generation. Include a clear section for readers to subscribe to your blog via email or an RSS feed. For more information on blogging, please see our article, “Should My Business Have a Blog?

For more information, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

Should My Business Have a Blog?

blog-keys

Maintaining an active blog can establish your organization as a leader in your industry, change your website from an online brochure to an interactive hub of information and give your customers a way to engage with you. Because blogs are less formal than a company website, and more interactive, they provide a forum for businesses to provide useful information, rather than just company promotion, and build their reputation and credibility among customers.

This article will provide you with the benefits of blogging, advice on how to begin blogging and five essential blogging tips for your business.

Benefits of Blogging — Successful blogs can demonstrate your expertise and leadership in your industry, attract the attention of your audience and secure leads for your business. Creating and maintaining a blog for your business will dramatically improve your content creation, boost your reputation and improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

  • Content Creation — It has never been more important for businesses to generate quality content on a regular basis. The quality of your content is what influences your audience’s decision on whether or not to invest their time into reading your website or blog, and ultimately whether to trust your company and give it their business. Blogs are the perfect venues to distribute and store your content. Your blog should house informative, thought-provoking content that is related to your industry or the problem that your business solves for your audience. Very often, a blog will become your content hub of information. To learn more about the importance of content creation, please read our article, “Why Quality Content Reigns Supreme.”

  • Build Your Reputation — While your business’ website should focus on the products or services your business offers, your blog should demonstrate your organization’s knowledge and expertise in this area. By providing your audience with valuable content and helpful articles, your business will gain credibility and trust among existing and potential customers.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Benefits — Blogging can dramatically improve your search engine rankings. Search engines place heavy emphasis on new, current and quality content, so blogs are given high authority.

How to Begin Blogging — Before you jump into the blogosphere, it’s important to spend some time researching and browsing through other blogs in your industry. Once you’re comfortable with how blogs work, you should first establish a clear objective and target audience. Ask yourself the following questions: Is my target audience likely to engage in blogs? What content would my audience find most valuable? What type of information, and multimedia, is my audience looking for? To be able to answer these questions, it’s important to be able to put yourself into the mindset of your current or potential customers.

When you’re ready to begin, we recommend incorporating your blog into your main website, instead of giving it its own URL. Especially to those who are new to Web marketing, this is the easiest way to begin. Another factor to consider, when choosing whether or not to incorporate your blog, is that many people don’t have the time to develop content for and market more than one website. Incorporating your blog into your business’ main site will provide it with fresh content, as well as search engine optimization benefits.

The most successful blogs are updated weekly, at least, with fresh and interesting content related to their industry. You may choose to blog about news in your business area, company updates, helpful and “how-to” articles and other content that may be valuable to your audience. Remember to include relevant tags with each entry so that your posts can be easily categorized and found on the Web.

5 Essential Blogging Tips — To make sure your business’ blog is as successful as it can be, follow these five essential tips:

  • Incorporate Multimedia — It’s essential to add some form of multimedia to each blog entry to make your content interesting and visually appealing. By adding a photo, graphic or video to your post, you’ll appeal to a greater audience, since everyone takes in information differently. Some people are visual learners and will be far more receptive to your blog if it incorporates more than just text.

  • Add Sharing Icons — Including social media and social bookmarking icons on your blog is a great way to enable sharing. With sharing icons present next to each blog post, readers can easily share the entry with their friends or on their own social media profiles. It’s important to include the following sharing icons: Facebook’s “Like” button, Twitter, the Google+ “+1” button, StumbleUponDiggDelicious and the option to email the blog entry to a friend. Please follow each hyperlink for more information and to learn how to enable each of these sharing features on your blog. When done properly, this will definitely boost your blog’s traffic.

  • Include Hyperlinks — Wherever possible, it’s important to include hyperlinks that lead to more specific information. For example, find keywords in your blog posts and link them to another article you may have written on the topic or a section of your company’s website that offers more information on this topic or services you may offer.

  • Encourage Feedback — You want your blog to be as interactive as possible. It’s important to include a call to action in your blog posts and it could be something as simple as, “What are your thoughts? Share your opinion in the comment section below!” You should also include your contact information at the end of a blog post, should they have any questions or require more information. Remember to regularly scan your comments to remove any spam and reply to any questions, comments or concerns in a timely and helpful manner.

  • Promote on Social Media — With the powerful sharing capabilities of social media sites, your business’ social media profiles are perfect venues for promoting your blog. Whenever you update your blog, make sure to notify your Facebook fans, Twitterfollowers and Google+ circles. After you write your blog entry, use these sharing icons to “tweet,” share on your Facebook fan page, add to your social bookmarking profiles and more. In your social media updates, include a “teaser,” such as a portion of your blog entry, with the title, and encourage people to follow the link to read the rest of your post.

For more information, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

Why You Should Take Advantage of Free Submission Websites

Submitting websites, articles, press releases and upcoming events is a great way to attract publicity for your organization and enhance your search engine rankings. To position yourself as an expert, it is crucial to have high-quality content in as many Web locations as possible so your audience will have no trouble finding you. Maintaining a strong presence on submission websites will build quality backlinks and increase your organization’s Web exposure and authority. Best of all, the majority of these Web services are completely free of charge.

It is essential to make free submission websites a part of your organization’s online marketing strategy. This article will give you an overview of services such as Web directories, article databases, press release directories, event calendars and our own case study.

Web Directories — Listing your organization’s website and blog on free Web directories is a quick way to build your link popularity. When people are browsing through categories that are of interest to them, your organization will show up and they’ll be directed to your website. For example, if someone is looking for a veterinarian, they can simply click on the “Pets” or “Veterinary Services” category of a Web directory and be presented with relevant websites. When submitting your links, make sure to fill out all relevant information and categorize your sites correctly. Websites that are not submitted into the correct category will be removed by administrators.

List of free Web directories:
www.dmoz.org
www.geniusfind.com
www.busybits.com
www.hotfrog.com
www.somuch.com
www.skoobe.biz
www.gimpsy.com
www.exactseek.com
www.clickey.com
www.canlinks.com
www.zeezo.com
www.surfsafely.com

Article Databases — To get maximum exposure for your articles, always submit them to free article databases. Well-written, thought-provoking articles will demonstrate your area of expertise in your industry and portray your organization as a thought leader. When publishing articles online, be sure to adhere to the site’s restrictions or they will not approve your article and you will not have permission to post additional articles. For example, you must categorize each article correctly, adhere to the word limit and follow each site’s unique HTML and link guidelines. Along with posting articles to these databases, it is also a good idea to post them on relevant LinkedIn Groups.

List of free article databases:
www.bpubs.com
www.articlesnatch.com
www.dinosauric.com
www.GetYourContent.com
www.articlecube.com
www.articlesbase.com
www.ezinearticles.com
www.isnare.com
www.articlealley.com
www.articledashboard.com
www.businessknowhow.com
www.buzzle.com

Press Release Directories — Distributing your press releases to a variety of online outlets will help attract website traffic and create buzz about your organization. Press releases, media advisories and media availabilities should be published online each time they are created. When creating press releases for online distribution, it is important to use keyword-rich language used by your audience and include as many relevant links as possible. These links can lead to further information, a specific offer or a landing page on your website. Another tip is to add a photo with your press release if the option is available.

List of free press release directories:
www.openPR.com
www.prLog.com
www.pressmethod.com
www.pr-usa.net
www.PR.com
www.PR9.net
www.pressabout.com
www.PRUrgent.com

Event Calendars — When promoting upcoming events, it is essential to advertise with online event calendars to reach your audience. In this technology-driven society, many people turn to these event calendars when looking for things to do. These calendars are also highly targeted since you can submit your event to certain categories. For example, if you are holding a fundraiser for your non-profit organization, you can ensure that your event will appear in the “non-profit” and “fundraiser” categories. If you’re hosting a book signing, you may categorize your event in “Books.”

List of free event calendars:
www.lipulse.com/calendar (regional)
www.nymetroparents.com (regional)
long-island.newsday.com (regional)
event.gstv.com
www.zvents.com
www.eventful.com

PRMG’s Case Study — At The Public Relations and Marketing Group, we utilize these free posting techniques for our own organization and on behalf of our clients. All of our clients’ websites and blogs have been added to Web directories to generate inbound links and boost search engine rankings. If one of our clients writes an article, we promote it by submitting the article for publication on free article databases. Each time we create a press release on behalf of a client, we send out the release through email distribution lists and publish it on a variety of free press release directory sites. We do the same with media availabilities and media advisories. If one of our clients is promoting an upcoming event, we will add it to popular online event calendars. All of these techniques are cost-effective means of enhancing off-page search engine optimization.

Getting Started with Reputation Management

Negative publicity on the Internet can cost your business in both revenue and customers. While blogs and social media have transformed the way businesses communicate with the public, it’s also easier than ever for people to post negative, false or scandalous claims about businesses in a public media outlet. By simply posting damaging comments on review sites, blogs and social media sites, people can tarnish your business’ public image and reputation. Implementing an online reputation management strategy is crucial for any organization’s success in today’s business world. Managing your online reputation requires a multi-faceted and integrated approach including monitoring your online reputation, engaging your audience, and by publishing content to help develop your organization’s Web presence. Lastly, in certain necessary circumstances, take legal action.

Monitor

It is essential for businesses to monitor what is being said about them online. In order to succeed in enhancing your company’s online reputation, you must be a good listener. Listen to and address your friends, followers and fans’ comments and concerns. Interaction, communication and awareness are keys to creating a positive image for your business. Your company must implement a listening platform so that you may quickly spot and address any complaints or damaging comments.

Helpful Tools

One helpful tool is Google Alerts. Set up Google Alerts for your business to keep track of keywords, such as your business name or products, and receive updates whenever they are mentioned online. This service will allow you to monitor everything that is being said about these keywords online. Another useful tool is the Twitter search engine. Search and use hashtags (#), followed by the name of your organization, products or services. Twitter will then compile everything that has been said about this subject for you to browse through. The advanced Twitter search engine will provide you with auto updates of key terms. There are also a variety of social media monitoring programs. Another program, Icerocket, allows you to monitor Twitter, blogs, the Web, news, images and more, while offering the ability to bookmark your search results for later reference. Other social media alert tools include Addict-o-matic, Boardtracker, Twazzup, socialmention, Tweetdeck and Radian6. All of these tools report alerts when your keywords are found on social media sites and other online platforms.

Once the negative content is found, some defaming pages can be removed by contacting Web administrators. However, the goal is to prevent negative content from ever appearing, and when it does, to push it to the later pages of search engine results by deploying an integrated and proactive strategy. It is also essential to implement some form of damage control and prevention before the issue gets out of hand. Having good customer relations and engaging your audience is essential in this area.

Engage

Always encourage customer communication and feedback. Reach out to your audience and respond to any criticism in a professional and compassionate manner. Your audience will appreciate superior customer service and the effort you made to address their concern. Don’t limit yourself to responding only to negative feedback. The goal is to reposition your business on the Web as a more customer-oriented organization.

Negative Feedback — Index all negative reviews in one document. Try to match reviewers with past clients and send them all personalized emails or notes at home, addressing each individual concern and specific case. Apologize, if necessary, and offer them a great deal to get them to give your business another shot. If the matter has been resolved, invite reviewers to withdraw their negative review if their next experience has proven to be better than the last. If they cannot withdraw the comment, then invite them to post again. With the high presence of anonymity online, it isn’t always possible to track down the culprits behind damaging material. For reviewers who cannot be identified, respond with an “owner’s reply” online, addressing their concern and promising to do better next time.

Positive Feedback — Responding to praise and gratitude is just as important as addressing negative publicity. Always thank customers for positive comments and reviews. Facilitate positive postings in forms, emails and comment sections by thanking your audience for their time and encouraging feedback so that you may improve their experience.

Improve Customer Relations — Promote your business as a client-friendly organization, with their best interests in mind. Cater your content to what would be most valuable for your target audience. Write educational articles and post helpful videos. Another tip is to create and maintain a blog with a weekly question from a customer, responding in helpful and compassionate terms. This will demonstrate that your business is open to conversation.

Publish

Develop Your Web Presence — Carefully consider all content before you publish it online. When you post on a social media site, or anywhere else online, you are speaking on your business’ behalf. Despite its casual feel, take social networking seriously. All content should be positive, accurate and put you and your organization in a good light. It is important to generate more positive publicity for your business so that the major search engines focus on this to create and maintain a positive online image. By creating lots of favorable online content, published on several online platforms, you will not only nourish your favorable reputation online, but also improve your search engine presence. You want your social media pages, blog, website and any positive media coverage to appear on the first two pages of Google when someone searches for your business. This will help to push negative publicity, if it cannot be removed, to the back and out of sight. Another tip is to create microsites to publish positive content and increase your organization’s Web presence. Microsites tend to rank high when people search for your company, allowing you to have greater visibility in search engine results.

Optimize Content — Using the right keywords is essential to having your site found on Google and the other major search engines. The typical Google search consists of three words so you must choose your keywords wisely. They must be relevant, important, generate sufficient search volume and reach your target audience. Further, always maintain and update your website(s), blog and social media accounts with fresh content to ensure that they rank high in search engines when someone searches for your business. However, in your goal of optimizing positive content and pushing negative content out of sight, you cannot manipulate the search engine’s system. Violating Google’s guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your website’s presence on Google, or even the removal of your site from Google’s index. There is no issue in using positive content to overcome negative content, but it must be done within Google’s guidelines. This area can become tricky and a professional reputation management service will guide your organization through the process.

Social Media — Social media is all about enabling conversations. While you cannot control conversations, you can influence them. Create and maintain accounts on popular social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Actively engage your audience through social media. For example, publish a tweet asking customers if they need help or assistance with anything and when they respond, address their problems accordingly. Upload a valuable how-to video to YouTube to demonstrate to your audience that you have their best interests in mind.

Earned Media — Continue to gain earned media through the development of positive news media stories about your organizations. Send press releases, articles and photos to media sources and participate in community events that may garner positive media coverage for your organization. News outlets generally have a high degree of authority online and rank high with the major search engines.

Free Postings — As press releases and articles are generated for media distribution, your blog or newsletters, post the content on appropriate local and national websites that accept press release and article submissions. Thousands of article directories will publish your content for free, enhancing your online visibility. When you publish an article on one of these directories, that directory will give you a link back to your website, driving traffic there. Some free posting sites include:
www.PRLog.com
www.getyourcontent.com
www.articlesnatch.com
www.joinandpost.com
www.articlecube.com
www.businessknowhow.com
www.bpubs.com
www.articlesbase.com
www.buzzle.com
www.ezinearticles.com
www.isnare.com
www.articlealley.com
www.articledashboard.com

Legal

In appropriate circumstances, businesses should consider legal options to help address damaging content online. For libelous and defaming comments made about your company online, you may want to take legal measures, including filing a lawsuit for defamation, tortuous interference with business relations and even criminal cyber-bullying or harassment.