The Best and Worst of Online Reputation Management

November 18 / Chair 10 Marketing Team / filed under Reputation Management

As of 2016, an estimated 78 percent of Americans have at least one social media profile, and they’re taking to their accounts to criticize, compliment, and otherwise interact with the brands they use most. While many exchanges are relatively uneventful, sometimes things take a different turn. A great reputation management agency will monitor the internet for client and customer feedback, mitigating the bad and amplifying the good. And, as the following examples show, there’s plenty of both to go around.


The Autobot Fail

Great customer service used to mean staffing your front desk 24/7 or ensuring there was always someone around to answer your company’s toll-free helpline, but with the advent of e-commerce, serving the masses took a decidedly different bent. Brands eager to seem available and timely in their responses to customer compliments and complaints started using autobots to robotweet. The strategy saved on overhead and seemed to work until one irate traveler who tweeted his frustration at American Airlines was met with a cheery “Thanks for your support!” from the algorithm over at AA.


When they were called on the flub, the airline tried to backtrack before deleting the tweets altogether.


The Anger-Deflating Departure Tweet

Compare American Airline’s strategy to the customer-first approach over at JetBlue. When the airline was confronted by a customer who was angry over a delayed flight, they promptly took action – not once, but twice.



Was the customer still inconvenienced by the later-than-expected flight time? Sure, but knowing that the airline respected his concerns and didn’t mind taking the time to find up-to-date information likely went a long way towards making a bad situation at least a little bit better.


The Personalized Assistance

Nike’s @NikeSupport Twitter handle is touted as “Athletes helping athletes, 7 days a week,” and they do it in six languages, too. In addition to alerting Nike+ users to planned work on the app, the team behind Nike’s stellar customer service is almost always on hand to help with everything from syncing issues to log-in glitches. The responses are personalized, considerate, and thorough, with Nike Support even referring customers to DM where the conversation can be continued with more characters in play.


The Fake Feedback

Sometimes companies are tempted to build themselves up by weakening the competition’s reputation, but the tactic rarely pays off – something Samsung’s executives found out the hard way. The communication giant was fined a whopping $340,300 by the Fair Trade Commission in Taiwan after they were found paying people to post negative reviews of rival company HTC’s products. Sure, those same reviews also lauded Samsung’s goods, but any positive uptick in reputation was almost immediately sullied by the pay-for-post scandal. Proof, once again, that that trying to fool consumers doesn’t usually work out.


The Needless Facebook Tirade

In 2011, Nestle was already in recovery mode after their connection to rainforest destruction (thanks to the use of Indonesian palm oil) was made public by Greenpeace, but things were about to get worse. A hapless social media manager posted on the company’s Facebook page warning followers against using any modified Nestle logos as their profile pictures and when a fan objected, things went from bad to worse.


Image courtesy of Lee Hopkins

It’s never a good idea to engage in an argument with a customer on social media, and that immortal screenshot above is picture-perfect proof why.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Protect your business by investing in an expertly crafted reputation management strategy and you’ll see the difference.