Maintaining a clean reputation has become harder to do since the advent of the internet. Customers have turned to social media and consumer review sites to voice their opinions and feedback on the products they’ve used. This practice has become a double-edged sword for businesses. On one hand, customers could post positive feedback about a company, helping drive more customers and profit to its business. On the other hand, customers could post negative comments, harming a company’s online reputation and deterring business.
Whether these negative comments are genuine or posted by malicious competitors, it is crucial that companies immediately act on the situation before they start losing clients. Some seek expert help to escape a bad rap, while others, especially small businesses with a tight budget, take matters into their own hands.
Reputation management experts advise companies that prefer to repair their online rep themselves to start by creating their own content and optimized profiles. Other online assets belonging to the company, like a blog, should be used. Joining social networks is important, as these websites are where most potential customers lurk. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are key marketing platforms for individuals and companies, and positive content uploaded on these sites can help in strengthening their online presence.
Once these basics are established, momentum should be maintained. Businesses must be the first ones to know when people are talking about them online. Experts recommend setting up a Google alert on your name so you are alerted immediately when Google finds new results that match your search keyterms.
Call in the Pros
Although there are online reputation management strategies that companies can employ on their own, seeking expert help is sometimes the better solution. A study by Yahoo! found that 30% of small businesses do not know how to identify the right search keywords for their reputation management campaign. This is precisely when professional help is needed.
Forbes notes that most online reputation management companies charge clients at least $5,000 a year for services. For individuals and companies with more serious problems, paying a hefty sum for online reputation repair is worth the investment, as these professionals are adept in the latest changes to Google’s search algorithms, something that ordinary individuals and small businesses are not.
It can take time and money to repair a damaged online reputation, but the feat is far from impossible. With the right techniques and the right people, those with a tarnished online reputation can start over with a clean slate.