Analyze, solve, learn. With these 3 clear points in each work process, the business will always be able to defend itself over time from internal problems and external attacks, up to the never-ending race of change.
The Internet is a world.
Born as a means of communicating, exchanging information, getting in touch, today it plays a role of incomparable importance to everything that has ever been created throughout human history.
Money passes through the Internet, shopping, the next home and the choice of the university; relationships and betrayals are born, friendships and deep hatred are cultivated. You can spend your whole life learning or watching videos of happy kittens.
For every idea that comes to mind, the answer will be somewhere on the web, waiting to be clicked.
So here the virtual turns into a real world and no longer a simple tool for offline life. And as a world, it has many consequences.
Some positive and inestimable; others terrible, to lead to the death of hundreds of people.
Defending oneself on the web for citizens and businesses
Although the positive aspects of online are countless and certainly in majority compared to the negative, today we are here to talk about the other side of the coin.
This is to give every reader the knowledge to be able to defend themselves with their own strengths in the face of a part of the dangers, even if minimal. Every navigator should be equipped to live safely in this new world.
As in offline we use anti-theft devices, locks, we rely on law enforcement and we pay attention to privacy and reputation, in the same way it must happen in the place of the data. Because although it is intangible, what appears in the 21st century is that the virtual is worth much more than the matter itself.
We therefore have business on the one hand and private individuals on the other. This is a great distinction to make, because although there are shared points, in general the risks run by these two categories are clearly different:
- for the business aspect, the core is the company, divided between success and security;
- for an ordinary citizen, everything is based on the person himself and every aspect of this online, from multimedia content to bank accounts and so on.
In this article we will go on analyzing the first point, focused on the companies, the problems they may face and the action plans to be followed to get out of it successfully.
Protecting your business from within
With the growth of the Internet, the business world has been able to witness the opening of two fronts.
The first is the one of possibilities, where the brand could have expanded and increased notoriety, advertised and sold in abundance, thus creating happier customers.
The second is the opposite, a ruinous path full of unfair competition, attacks on one’s own system, theft and reputational crises. Always keeping in mind that innovation never sleeps and the risk of not keeping up with the times is around the corner.
Please take note: protecting means also monitoring your reputation. You can do it also with a free tool like Google Alerts.
Keeping the value of the brand high
Today, the brand is perhaps the most important aspect when choosing a product. When a company is able to make the brand powerful and give it value, it will have made all the difference.
That’s because a known name brings with it implicit trust from consumers, who know what they can expect and who will not be disappointed. That’s why big companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook are increasingly moving towards being a bank for users.
No one would ever put their money in the pockets of an e-commerce or social network, but when it comes to GAFA, that’s where the situation changes dramatically. And indeed, the trust placed will be greater than what we currently there is in classic banks, especially for the generation of digital natives.
You need to equip yourself to know how to work on the web reputation analysis:
- know what people are saying about you;
- have an online presence in as many places as possible;
- maintain a single strong identity;
- knowing and maintaining strong relationships with users.
And we’re not talking about reaching the levels of the most powerful companies in the world, because it’s not necessary for the game to work.
Having a high reputation brings enormous results both for a 100 billion company and for the hairdresser at home: satisfied customers, word of mouth, circle of money.
Thanks to the constant study of data and consequent improvements to its image, the brand will grow and strengthen over time, feeding a positive circle.
And what could happen without accurate web reputation analysis? The danger is that of the reputational crisis.
Damage to reputation
When a company does not take sufficient care of the online avatar staff, what are the opinions of people and to take seriously complaints and problems, the situation may get out of hand.
A reputational crisis is an extremely dangerous event for a company, so much so that it can sink to failure in the worst-case scenario. That’s why we must commit ourselves over time to prevent any reference to this, through the much-quoted reputation analysis.
But if it is too late, wear the helmet and be prepared to fight it by any means possible. To fight a reputational crisis on the web you need an orderly and precise strategy, because the opportunities to make mistakes are over:
- understand where it all began;
- depending on the scope, stop other online activities;
- interact with users, creating messages and posts, FAQ pages and total assistance;
- create an environment of unity and control within the company, thus avoiding other mistakes.
The above-linked article explains in detail how to deal with the crisis, but this is a good summary to be marked on a Post-it, wishing everyone that it may never become useful. It will depend entirely on the work of the company… Or almost.
In general, reputational crises have their origin in a matter related to the product, service, support or any case concerning something of the company. But this is not always the case, because it can happen that the spark is born from the mouth of someone else, from an enemy, ready to say even the false in order to crush a brand: it is the case of defamation.
It is never pleasant to come across a negative comment about your account or company. However, if it is a real criticism, it can be constructive to improve that aspect, thus turning a dissatisfied customer into a happy one.
But when it comes to pure defamation, the situation changes completely. With the explosion of social media, moving the water with the fake has been a great success, and so it still is.
The public is in the order of millions of people, the investments in time and money are minimal and the damage can be irreparable.
Once defamation kicks off, it may be recognized as a truth, going to harm the person directly concerned, who will have to take the right steps.
A great offensive in this scenario is that of prevention:
- maintain a thorough reputational analysis, thus having a control of what the users speak;
- be honest with the public and clarify any misunderstandings;
- do not ignore anything or anyone;
If, on the other hand, you are faced with a case of defamation:
- ask to remove the content from the slanderous person, maybe willing to back out or published by mistake;
- contact the platform on which it was published;
- take legal action, denouncing the fact.
No one likes to be in court, but sometimes this is necessary to protect themselves and the value of their work. And this also applies to multimedia content, such as a photograph.
False or indecent images, against the platform’s policies or, worse, against the law will have to be removed from the web before they can create reputational damage.
Or when that image published by a third party exceeds the limits of copyright, thus falling into the theft of content, another problem to be addressed by companies.
How to prevent theft of online content
Whether it’s images, videos, info graphics, quotations, services or articles, it doesn’t change much: if an individual takes possession of content produced by another individual, it can cause damage. In addition to being incorrect.
Every new creation is precious for a company; money, ideas and time have been invested and a theft translates into a loss of value and a competitor who takes advantage of the work of others to take home the prize.
And unfortunately copying and pasting images and texts from other websites and social pages is all too easy. For this reason you need to get the right means to better protect your work:
- activate Google Alerts on specific texts/terms;
- exploit barriers such as watermarks and anti-copy;
- use different tools;
- obtain a copyright license.
Each of them creates an extra step to overcome if someone decides to put their name on that production date. When it comes to piracy, with theft of paid software, for example, everything turns into a crisis.
Relying on experts for the constant monitoring of online activities is the trump card.
Running the innovation race
Finally, it’s the turn of that invisible entity that governs this chaotic virtual world, that can play the role of the best ally if able to ride the wave, as well as the worst enemy, leaving behind those who have not been kidnapped enough.
Change is waiting for no one, although its speed is often frantic and difficult to maintain. But you still need the ability and the right creativity to keep up, overcome it and the ones who are next on the list to create the next change.
In 2018 we saw a strong growth in no-click content on Google, that is all the information available in the results page available without having to enter any website, thus avoiding the click.
This is a powerful and growing trend, although recent, with a percentage of no-click searches of 62.5% in 2018 compared to 55.6% in 2016.
- maintain effective SEO activity;
- have a SERP-friendly;
- discover people’s research intentions;
- also rely on social networks.
This is just one of the many changes taking place on the web, at any time, as well as the problems a company may encounter. But it’s certainly a good start.
The article will be expanding over time, to ensure a continuous influx of news and how to move accordingly to stay at the top of your game.