REPAIRING AND MANAGING YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
By Stu Leventhal
Online Reputation Management is about taking control of how you or your company’s reputation is being presented and perceived digitally across the internet. Many people think there is a magic way to clear negative info off of the web and Reputation Managers have a market on that magic wand. This allows reputation managers to charge an arm and a leg for their services praying on the fear and frustration of the average Joe. The harsh reality is, once damning info hits the web it can be spread in so many ways (social media etc.) that you can never squash it all. Threatening all the offending websites with lawsuits can be risky because you are throwing fuel onto the fire and may worsen the situation inciting the offenders to create even more, possibly harsher damaging stuff. But, there is still hope...
The process of reputation management is not to try to buy all the magazines issues off all the stands as they did in the past, before the internet emerged. The technique is to out Google rank the bad stuff with good Press. First decide how you wish your company to be perceived then develop great content that you wish to outrank the bad stuff. Now, flood the search engines, targeting keywords where the negative info is popping up the most in searches. By utilizing proper SEO techniques outlined in the SEO section of this website all of your good postings will appear first when someone is searching for the company whose reputation you are repairing. So the chances of anyone seeing the bad posts is seriously reduced. Thus, the bad stuff becomes obsolete, buried in low page rank where no one sees it as well as being engulfed by a sea of good reviews, testimonials and news releases.
Most times just saturating the keyword searches with good PR that dilutes the viewers sent to the bad PR sites will be effective enough to negate the effects of a few bad posts.
With review sites like Yelp, your goal is to get 50 quick positive yelps to push the bad yelps so far down the list that no one ever scrolls down that far to read them. With this in mind, remember, as owner or manager of an establishment being attacked online, you must read between the lines. Is there perhaps some truth to the bad reviews you are getting? What would cause someone to be so mad as to leave you a rating of zero, 1 or 2 stars? Make sure you take a long hard look at your organization and fix any internal problems going on. The best way to fix an online reputation is to start preparing way before your rep is tarnished. Insulate yourself and your business with many great reviews, tons of good PR and plenty of un-debatable content praising you your service and products from authority figures. Make yourself untouchable!
The most important thing to remember, when trying to establish a quality reputation online is that you have to be aware that there is negative stuff posted on the information highway before you can do anything to negate it. That is the mistake most companies make. You can't afford to ignore the web. You must monitor your reputation constantly, so when negative info first appears you take care of it quickly and efficiently before the damage hits!
One of the best thing about being proactive when it comes to managing your company's online reputation is that a good reputation management program immediately informs you of any customer related problems that are happening. Thus, you can jump right on fixing those problems which is not only great for managing your online reputation but also great for the business as a whole! Therefore, investing in implementing a decent online reputation management plan will pay for itself in the long run by helping improve customer relations and reducing customer service problems as it aides the company in becoming more efficient over all.
The second best reason to invest in reputation management is because all the efforts you implement to assure your companies reputation is improved and beyond reproach, are very similar if not exactly the same as many of your advertising and marketing efforts. So, everything you do for reputation management helps sales and promotion of your brands name and contributes also to better positioning your products and services in the market place. So, despite the cost and efforts it may take to handle your company's reputation issues, you are always helping build sales and positive brand awareness at the same time!
For an example: Making sure you have built up a strong presence on all the top social media sites; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube and Yelp for starters will assure that whatever negative info suddenly surfaces, it will be easy to squash. Again this is also a wise strategy for sales, marketing and promotions anyway so it is far from being wasted time and wasted money. It is time and money well spent!
*The very best reputation management tip I can give is to get in the habit of asking for testimonials from your happy loyal customers. Then post those testimonials all over the web.
If you need help with Reputation Management contact us for a quick FREE QUOTE!