10 Tips for Building Digital Reputation in a “Bad Boy” Sector (Pay Attention, Big Oil)
What should you do if you work within a notoriously maligned industry (think big oil “super-majors,” tobacco, pharmaceuticals, health insurance, etc.) yet want to demonstrate you are not a bad apple? Here are 10 tips for building digital reputation via social media and content marketing.
Tip #1 – Actually be a good apple
If you want to have a digital reputation of being a good guy, be one. Secrets will bite you and people know the different between a tasty apple and a rotten one polished to within an inch of its life.
Tip #2 – Talk about your clean up efforts
If you’re involved in efforts to make your industry better, talk about that. Help people understand the issues and what you’re doing to make it better.
Tip #3 – Out yourself before someone else does
If bad practices is just business as usual and you’ve participated in the past, fess up. Do it to yourself before someone does it to you and make a commitment to not doing those things anymore. Wrong is wrong. Don’t do wrong (see #1).
Tip #4 – Educate your audience
If your industry is misunderstood and maligned because you live in a complex, interconnected world of difficult choices, explain that. Everyone understands hard choices in Life. Use specific content marketing to explain yours.
Tip #5 – Publish research
Get a true 3rd party research company to help you make your case. Don’t buy off some PR spin, think tank bozos who will feed you back what you want to hear. Get real and share the results via your social or as an opt-in white paper. Use the facts on your side.
Tip #6 – Get real
Being a living breathing person with feelings, kids you love, and a hobbies makes you harder to hate. Be more likeable and personable on social. It’s not just about what the company does – it’s about the people who work there too.
Tip #7 – Call out the jerks
If you know the grey or black players in your market, go after them with your content strategy. Don’t be afraid of taking their rhetoric on head to head. Write counterpoint blog posts or arrange for a debate style interview. Do it well, with firm kindness and integrity, but call the jerks out! The controversy will get you noticed.
Tip #8 – Understand what’s below the complaint
If your industry is maligned because of a complex environment, go below the complaints and really understand what is driving people’s resentment or reticence. The better you understand the human factor, the better off you are.
Tip #9 – Be consistent
Waffles are only good for breakfast. Have clear policy, a strong culture, and be consistent in reacting and interacting on social, on your blog, and on the phone. Trust is built via consistency.
Tip #10 – Don’t give up
If you truly believe in what you do, don’t give up. There will always be naysayers. If you are only showing up for the money and think what you do is questionable, reconsider your choices. Simple enough, right?
NOW – go out and do good!
Til next time,
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
[graphic by Cordey]