The internet can enhance or damage your reputation, which means it crucial to have a management plan in place.
You can spend years working hard to build your business from the ground up and put in thousands of hours cultivating a strong brand, only to have your reputation tarnished online by one or two customers that have had bad experiences.
In this modern day, it isn’t only competitors that you need to worry about, as any person with access to the internet can throw mud that sticks. This is where the importance of online reputation management comes in.
What is online reputation management?
This term doesn’t refer to public relations or just monitoring how your brand is discussed on social media. It means controlling what appears when you or a customer enters your company name into a search engine. If your management plan proves to be effective, then the top results will be positive, while the not-so-good content is pushed down to the bottom.
No matter what size your business is or what customer demographic you are trying to attract, there will be people talking about you online. Whether this is tweeting about your latest product, posting a review on Facebook about their experience or leaving a comment on your blog – the internet will be awash with opinions about your brand.
While negative content can be damaging, a positive digital reputation can lead to significant opportunities for your business. This means you should be doing everything possible to make your online image shine.
Where do you start?
The first step is quite simple: put your company’s name into Google and see what pops up. This will help you get a feeling for how well your brand is doing and what action you need to take, if any.
Once you the website has populated the search results, you need to figure out what category your Google rank and online reputation fits under.
What’s your rank?
Concentrating on the first page of results only – as it’s estimated that 93 per cent of users don’t click past this – figure out whether the results negative, positive, completely irrelevant or not about you at all.
Obviously, mostly negative content is the worst-case scenario, as this is how you are represented online. The rise of social media means that just one or two bad reviews, a false accusation or angry comments from former employees can push you into this category. Irrelevant results neither help or hinder your business, as they are either outdated or completely inconsequential. You don’t really want to be in this category, as it does nothing for you.
If your results are about someone or something else, another company or individual’s bad reputation could be tarnishing yours. Positive and relevant results is the best case scenario and means that whenever an existing or potential customer searches for you they find favourable and well-branded content.
Bringing in the professionals
As with most things in life, there is someone out there that can do a professional job for you. Wading through search results can be time-consuming and, sometimes, disheartening if you keep coming across negative content. A firm that specialises in this field will have an army of engineers working for them to fix or enhance your online reputation. An expert will be able to make sure that what you want customer’s to see dominates your online profile, rather than it being list among negative or irrelevant content.
If you need help with online reputation management, please get in touch with our team today for further informationa and advise.