Most business owners have been there — cringing over a negative review or social media post, grappling with whether it makes more sense to jump in and try to defend their business, or if that just makes the problem worse.
Managing an online reputation isn’t always easy, and there’s a right and a wrong way to keep a positive online image. From trying to manage online reviews, figure out how to remove negative content online, or even stop unflattering pictures from popping up when someone searches for the business or person in question, managing an online reputation can quickly become a full-time job.
What Is Online Reputation Management?
Offsetting disparaging information online can be time-consuming and difficult. Some companies work solely to help businesses and individuals change the way they’re seen online.
There are good and bad ways to do online reputation management, and a good company will put in the work necessary to reinvent your online image, rather than trying to promote falsehoods and use misleading information to change your public image.
What Can Go Wrong While Trying To Clean Up An Online Image?
Many businesses have suffered — and eventually failed — due to poor attempts to clean up an online image.
Some reputation management strategies tend to backfire, including:
- Fake reviews — It takes about 40 positive reviewsto offset one negative review. Business owners and public figures who know this ratio may be tempted to write fake positive reviews or to ask friends and family to step in and boost things up with a few five-star ratings. Often, potential customers can see through these reviews, and former customers may call them out as untrue. Rather than writing fake reviews, respond to negative reviews in earnest, fix any legitimate problems, and keep your social media audience up to date on how your business is constantly evolving.
- Extortion from shady reputation management companies — Beware of any online reputation management companies that offer to immediately remove any negative reviews or photos from the internet. Doing so can be nearly impossible. Companies that claim they can do the impossible are often quick to take your money without delivering on their promises.
How To Do Reputation Management Right
When you need to manage the information floating around about yourself or your business, you need to do your research to decide which online reputation management services company you can trust. You’ll want to work with a company that uses factual, positive information to suppress negative information, rather than creating misleading or fake content.
Most people who are researching a business or individual never click past the first page of search results. When you work with a company that can get positive information to the top of your search results, you’ll notice that your online reputation begins to rise, seemingly without effort.
If your business or your personal brand is struggling with your online reputation, don’t try to fix the issue on your own. It’s important that you work with a highly rated online reputation management company to allow your online presence to reflect your true image.