How To Wreck Your Brand’s Reputation With One Comment

brand reputationThis is a story about how productivity can go pear shape.

And potentially damage a brand.

For a while I have been noticing quite a number of comments left on my blog posts that do not come from business owners.

Most of them are general in nature at best.

They also have email addresses like i592h/6@gmail.com which is a bit obvious.

This week I received a comment that didn’t make much sense, had punctuation mistakes and for the grammar it is best not to go there.

So I decided to check it out to see what was happening.

The website and business it linked to looked legitimate so I filled out the contact form.

I asked if one their employees had left the comment or if they didn’t then perhaps someone was using their URL.

This was being polite as the comment referred to having a partner in the business.

I did get a reply but not from the company. Instead it was from an SEO firm who asked if I could send the comment.

To cut the story short the company appears to have employed the SEO firm to increase links as part of the service.

The SEO company turns out got someone else to leave comments and obviously hasn’t overseen the activity to ensure quality control. My site is probably just one of many that this SEO company is letting the person comment on and who knows what others are thinking about the company footing the bill.

I can only image what the business owner would have felt seeing this type of comment left with his business name.

If you contract out your marketing activities here are a few tips:

Brand Reputation Tips

  • If you are outsourcing delegate but do not abdicate.
  • Have clear guidelines on what they do and get regular reports to ensure quality is occurring and not rubbish quantity.
  • Make sure that anything done in your brand’s name enhances the reputation.
  • Find out whether the company doing your SEO or anything else outsources in turn to someone else and make sure the other person or company is quality.

You work long and hard to maximise your brand and reputation so don’t leave it in the hands of another without your input and guidance.

Over to you, what are your thoughts on this and please add your tips to the list.

30 Responses to How To Wreck Your Brand’s Reputation With One Comment

  1. Majel Barret says:

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely can i encounter a blog that’s the two educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail over the head. Your idea is actually outstanding; the issue is a factor that not enough people are generally speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that stumbled across this around my search for something relating to this.

  2. Eugene@mobile development says:

    Hi Susan.
    Your storu is a good example of poor service which in its turn corrupts the name of the company it promotes. Surely the company has to control the results of the activity of the SEO company. On the other hand, this SEO company has worsened its reputation with such irresponsibility.

  3. Unbelievable. But I’m not surprised. Maybe that explains some strange comments I’m getting.

    But some, frankly, idiotic comments come from people who haven’t got a clue but believe they do. Both Julie and I have been getting comments from one such guy who considers himself brilliant. What he doesn’t understand is that he is telling the world that he’s stupid:-)

    • What is unbelievable Catarina is I just got another comment today which listed the same company and the comment was rubbish. Obviously the SEO is still doing it.

      Had to laugh at your last sentence and it is so true.

  4. Hamilton says:

    Susan

    I found your post interesting and I can identify with quite alot of what you utline in your blog. The recommendations that you made regard outsourcing to Seo Companies. Many take your money and destroy your presence on the search engines.

  5. Lucy R. says:

    Very True …but after all …its the company which makes sure everything’s okay !!

  6. Shelley Rose says:

    I’m surprised that a company wouldn’t monitor work that they outsource. The clients that we do work for are constantly asking for updates and reports. If you don’t keep a close watch, it is likely you are not getting what you paid for.

    • Welcome to the blog Shelley. You are right about not getting what you pay for if you don’t keep watch. perhaps they will realise the problem when they don’t get results.

      Thanks for commenting and I love the name of your site.

  7. Catherine says:

    I never had the similar thing happen to me. I think that it could even be up to your ISP. I had situation when my ISP reseted the connection at the moment of posting answer but all I had to do was re-type it. Three failures are something I never experienced, though.

  8. Radu says:

    The bad publicity comes when you have bad spokesmen. Is nothing worst than a guy, who is not attached to your website, firm or whatever business you run to promote you.

  9. Wes Towers says:

    Hi, Susan.

    When I got really busy, I could have paid someone to do my blog commenting for me so I could maintain my online presence. But, I didn’t because I may not have the time to check on the quality of the comments being sent out and they will do more harm than good to my business.

    Reading your post, I am glad I didn’t.

    Thanks for sharing this, Susan. Enjoy your weekend!

    • Hi Wes,

      It is like a catch 22 situation isn’t it. Don’t have time to comment but don’t have time to check someone commenting.

      Hope you have a good weekend as well Wes

  10. Nice post Susan. Sadly, I think you’re preaching to choir here. Let me explain. Just the other day a client of mine hired a friend to do his SEO. I was curious and put this “SEO’s” site through grader. His SEO grade is an F. He doesn’t even use RSS. And who knows where or how he will backlink my client. The point is – the deal is done. My client is headed to low-rank land and he handed this snake oil salesman $5,000.00 to get there. We blog to help the C-Suite with their due diligence but we can’t hold their hands if they decide to be completely obtuse.

    • I think you are right Catherine about preaching to the choir. I guess I hoped maybe it might make others thinking of allowing the same to happen to them to think.

      Your story have heard many times and it happened to a guy who fixed my carpets. Even with my limited knowledge I knew he was being ripped off. I really do believe small business owners and marketers in larger companies need a basic level of knowledge or someone to guide them to stop the sorts of things happening. I know when I worked in multi national companies we were taught so we could make basic judgements.

      It is a shame your client will waste their money and worse not get results, but as you said you can’t hold their hands.

  11. Very interesting Susan. I wonder if anyone from the company has been aware of this situation. You are so right about “delegate but do not abdicate”. I think both the company and the SEO firm were to lax in this scenario.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..What the Heck is an RSS Feed?My Profile

    • Hi Sherryl,

      By the way the SEO company replied to my question via the contact form I have a feeling the company doesn’t. I agree about both being slack as the SEO company wasn’t aware of the comment. That said he did know the commenter.

  12. John says:

    Ugh, this post rings very true. I constantly get SEO companies treating my contact form like it’s a blog and the only reason why they comment is to get backlinks. It drives me insane!

    • It does seem to be a growing problem John and it will probably not stop until the companies that hire them stop it. Until then the delete button gets a workout.

      Thanks for your comment.

  13. Janine says:

    Brilliant post Susan. I too have noticed a spike in comments recently from apparently legitimate companies / sites, but sensing they aren’t as legit as I believe they should be – yes due to the use of English, Grammar, etc.
    Janine recently posted..Body, Mind and Soul: The Tests Are InMy Profile

    • Hey Janine, great to see you here.

      Apart from the annoyance I really do wonder if companies know that they may be wasting money and wrecking there reputation using these type of services. it really does seem to have increased a lot over the last few weeks.

      Hope all is well with you over in WA.

  14. Anne Egros says:

    Hi Susan I just discovered your blog, thanks for sharing great tips. For now I am not in a position to outsource the job of building my brand but I did notice some similar behaviors and that is why I control everything including manually approving followers on Twitter. Even on LinkedIn group discussions, I have had a couple of discussions ruined by systematic posting from one commercial website from China selling anything and everything.
    Thanks-Anne
    Anne Egros recently posted..Lady Gaga: Are Leaders Born That Way ?My Profile

    • Hi Anne and welcome to the blog.

      A friend had a similar experience from a website in China. Sounds like you have the right approach for your business. I guess even if you are not outsourcing gaining experience in what not to do may come in handy in the future.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and i am now off to check out your website.

  15. Jackie says:

    Really interesting Susan, and good on you for following through. I’ve noticed a real increase in similar types of comments myself of late.

    You really hit the nail on the head “delegate don’t abdicate” I think a lot of business owners seem to think that outsourcing absolves them of taking responsibility.

    Even if you hire someone that has proven themselves in the short term, its always wise to check in just to make sure they continue to do the right thing.

    • Hi Jackie,

      I wasn’t going to but the company that was mentioned seemed so at odds with the quality of the comment. Check in is a good word because some do take it to the other extreme and don’t let the people do their thing.