Do you really know what your online reputation is? Do you know what customers are saying about you and your product or your service? Do you know how to fix it if there is bad publicity out there about you or your company? And, maybe most importantly, do you know how to protect your online reputation from being tarnished?
Online Reputation Management falls into one of three categories, building, maintenance or recovery. Depending on where your business is at, will determine which category of service you require.
A word of note here: many businesses will not even think of hiring a reputation manager until their online reputation starts to suffer. The problem with this approach is recovering a bad online reputation is an extremely labour intensive process (and costly). Depending on the severity of negative content and the key phrases that need protecting, will determine how much work and costs are involved.
It will also take some time for the reputation management strategy to come to fruition, at least three months before any progress is really seen. Meanwhile in that time word is getting around – there are now thousands, even millions, of ways for complete strangers to communicate and talk to each other online. Without your knowledge, these people could be posting negative comments about your company, writing negative reviews about your product or service, talk up your competition, or possibly even create a hate site regarding you and your company.
It is always more cost effective to employ the services of a reputation manager when your business is either trying to build an online reputation or trying to maintain an existing good one, so your business’ online reputation can be managed, protected, and built into what you need it to be.
Whilst having a bad online reputation can damage your business, so can not having any online reputation at all, or having one that is “mediocre” or “indifferent”. If you don’t have any reputation at all, it means no one’s talking about your company, no one knows about your product, and you don’t have any online presence.
If you do have an online reputation, but it’s mediocre or indifferent, people aren’t really going to think one way or another about you. You won’t stick out in their mind, and they’ll simply know that while there’s nothing particularly bad about your company, there’s really nothing particularly good, either.
There are two sides to online reputation management: Monitoring what people are saying & controlling what people see.
Monitoring what people say – How often have you had a meal at a restaurant and thought the food was not up to standard, but when the waiter asks how your meal was you say “great thanks”. You leave the restaurant vowing never to eat there again and at the same time the restaurant manager thinks you’re a happy customer who will come back again. Sound familiar?
The Internet is a great way to judge what people think of a particular service or product. People tend to be more honest, the only downside is you are more likely to get negative feedback rather than positive ones as people who have received a very good service very rarely write about it where people who have received a bad service will tell everyone and also write about it.
Controlling what people see – If you can control what people will read this will help manage your reputation online and also help with damage limitation. Damage limitation as you may have guessed is about dealing with negative results on the Internet and reducing the damage it can do to an individual or company.
There are even more, less-common online reputation problems lurking out there. If you don’t know what they are, you don’t know how to fix them; and they could be damaging your online reputation right now. Call us today on 01536-737557 and one of our Online Reputation Management Consultants will help you identify any problems negatively affecting your online reputation and formulate a tailor-made strategy to help you fix them.