SEMA Show Highlights

SEMA360 Attendees Get Expert Insight on Online Reputation Management

By Mike Imlay

Best-selling business author Corey Perlman presented top strategies for online reputation management at a Thursday-morning SEMA360 digital seminar.

These days an online reputation can make or break a business. The challenge is that people are more motivated to post online when they’re unhappy than when they’re happy. So how can a business minimize negative feedback and maximize positive reviews? SEMA360 attendees got the inside scoop from best-selling author Corey Perlman in a Thursday digital seminar entitled “How to Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation.”

The owner of Impact Social Inc., Perlman has been at the forefront of digital marketing for more than a decade. He took his seminar attendees through the basics of digital brand management while emphasizing key best practices along the way. First he advised doing your own digital audit through all the online directories, social media platforms and blogs or websites where your brand appears. Looking through the lens of an online researcher or buyer, what impression is your brand making online.

The next step, said Perlman, is to “fix what needs fixing.” Make sure your digital presence across Facebook and other social media platforms and any directories or websites reflects consistent branding that conveys professionalism and quality.

Once those basics are covered, it’s time to draw up a preparedness plan for dealing with bad reviews and negative press. Best practices here are to be diplomatic and empathetic with negative reviewers. Never be defensive. Rather, try to solve the issue, and take discussions offline if necessary.”

“Never respond out of emotion. Step away or sleep on it if you have to,” advised Perlman, who added that how you resolve disputes online matter greatly to others. “People love transparency. They recognize businesses are made up of people, and people make mistakes. It’s how we handle them that's important.”

Along with a clear plan for handling negative scenarios, you can now create a process for enhancing positive feedback. This includes adopting best practices for converting satisfied customers into online endorsers of your brand. “Never let a verbal testimonial go unpublished,” said Pearlman. If a customer expresses thanks or appreciation, always respond with a request for a review and easy ways they can share their experience on the web.

Filled with best practices tips, the full seminar can be viewed on SEMA360. Meanwhile, SEMA360 continues through Friday, November 6. The trade-only online event offers exclusive manufacturer-buyer connections, industry networking, new-product and technology introductions, project vehicle builds and more. Additional details about the innovative e-marketplace can be found at