For over a decade, and especially recently, establishing and maintaining a strong, thriving online business presence is critical. Your company’s overall success depends on it. The internet is a powerful tool that can help you to engage with potential customers for significantly less than the cost of using traditional marketing. Regrettably, this same technology has become an increasingly dangerous liability. Fortunately, with a few precautions and proper knowledge, it is possible to avoid the most prominent online pitfalls and minimize harmful activities.
Battling Online Negativity Towards Your Business
One of the most frustrating aspects of the internet permits is the ease of posting just about anything relatively anonymously. A single comment on an obscure site can spread in a matter of minutes. This leads to an unprecedented increase in the amount of publicly viewable negativity towards a company. Whether these comments are legitimate grievances, unfounded complaints, or deliberate attempts at sabotaging your company’s reputation, it all can affect your business. That is the reason most companies are looking for new ways to monitor and counter poor online reputations.
What You Can Do
- Discover potentially harmful content that exists online. The internet is enormous. It is simply impossible to find out what people are saying about your company manually. And without knowing what people are saying, there you won’t know where to start repairing your reputation. Start by setting up Google Alerts for your business. Unfortunately, Twitter eliminated similar alerts years ago, but third-party tools like Reputology can help keep track of reviews.
- Find negative posts is the easy part, but addressing them is much more complicated. Depending on the nature of the comments and where you find them, you can try different approaches. You may be able to dispute the legitimacy of the information. Most user-generated content sites have an established method for reporting user violations. For comments that don’t violate the site’s guidelines, you can usually reply to them as the business owner. But be careful you do so in a professional manner that won’t make things worse.
- Go on the offensive. You can’t eliminate all negativity, but you can replace it with positivity. Creating and distributing high-quality content that shows your business in a good light can push harmful content right off the first page of Google.
- Check out reputation management services. It may be your business, but you are not in the business of reputation management. Sometimes the best solution is to bring in the experts to help with negative content removal.
Limiting the Financial Repercussions of a Crisis
Bad news costs you money. Reacting poorly to bad news costs you even more. If you run a business, there’s a good chance that someday soon, you may face a potentially business-ending crisis. Close to 70 percent of companies faced a significant negative situation in the past five years, and most businesses expect future calamities. Survival depends on having a plan in place and following that plan when disaster strikes. But crisis management is complex, and the stakes are too high to go it alone. That’s why even top companies use the services of professionals.
Whether you are dealing with a negative online reputation or are planning how to avoid one, an experienced reputation management firm like Reputation.co can help.