As a business owner, maintaining your reputation and good standing should be of major concern. You wouldn’t dream of having others see an in-store altercation between one of your employees and a customer would you? Of course not! In fact, you would probably do anything in your power to prevent this from happening. By the same token, you should be just as concerned, if not more so about your online reputation.
The problem lies in the fact that social media networks have made it possible for anyone to make comments, statements and reviews on both personal and business issues without anyone even having to know who this person is.
This information is too easy to place on the internet, and often becomes a preferred means of venting issues, especially because it requires even less of an effort than calling the company and expressing the problem. This means your online reputation can be easily damaged at the whim of anyone, and in many cases you won’t even know it.
Unlike an issue that can be fixed in person, a defamatory online comment can remain online indefinitely and this could severely affect your future profit line. Especially, because marketing statistics show that over 90% of all consumers first investigate a company before making a purchase. Further studies demonstrate that negative information found about a company can significantly influence consumers to change their decision about a purchase.
What You Can Do?
There are a few things you can do to stay on top of the issue. The first thing you need to do is determine whether there is any negative information on the web about your company. You can do this by searching for your company, or any variation thereof, in Google and the other major search engines.
If you notice any negative reviews on Yelp or other similar review websites, these can sometimes be offset by other positive reviews, so make sure satisfied customers write something positive after the negative comment.
Negative comments made to social networking websites can be addressed by suggesting an agreement or replying to the comment. You could also offer links to additional information that places you in a positive perspective.
How to Find the Right Online Reputation Management Company
There are several companies now offering the service, and finding a quality service provider for this isn’t hard. Based on the review of new Reputation.com round of $41 million dollars raised in the reputation management industry, we can really see that there are companies that know what they’re doing and how to help companies successfully. Remember to base your comparison on cost, but also on services offered.
Even so, once derogatory information is posted online it can be difficult to remove or to compensate for it. The best solution is to find a company that specializes in online reputation management. This type of company will help remove the damaging comments, however, the process can take a few months.
Prevention is Key
A better solution may be to prevent damaging comments from having any type of effect on your business in the first place. This can be done by hiring the services of a reliable online reputation management team. They perform tasks much like SEO specialists, but instead of trying to get your website on a first page indexing, they get positive information about your company to a first page search engine indexing.