Have you ever wondered just what comes up when you Google your own name? In the past, before you were involved in the business world, it might not have mattered so much. After all, as a “civilian,” it might have been no more than a few stray remarks on a movie reviews forum or a mention in a newspaper write-up of a funeral or wedding. Now that you own your own business, things are very different.
Reputation Management Is a Must for Every Business
As a business owner, you now operate on a national – indeed, whether you realize it or not, international – scale. This means that every utterance you make on social media can and will be scrutinized by an audience that may potentially number in the hundreds of millions. This holds true whether you are speaking as a private individual or as the owner of your business.
Even the most innocuous thing you may post on your Twitter feed may be used against you, especially if you have the misfortune to post at an untimely moment. A joke you may make that is innocently meant may suddenly seem like an insensitive comment. Even though you meant absolutely nothing of the sort, the damage can be done in seconds.
What Exactly Is Reputation Management?
This is precisely why reputation management is of the utmost importance in securing your good reputation in the media. If you aren’t quite sure what reputation management actually is, the basic concept can be broken down into a few short words. Essentially, reputation management is the art of controlling the content that pops up on a search engine, such as Google, when people enter your name, or the name of your company, into the search bar.
For example, if your company is named Red River Finance, and the first result people see when they enter the name into the search bar is, “Red River Finance is a Rip-off Expert,” you have a serious problem. That article is top of the list because it’s the highest viewed page on the Internet that mentions your company.
Just think of the business you are losing because more people read negative press about you than positive. What you desperately require is a way to counteract these damaging articles. You need a counterattack of positive press that shows that your business is perfectly legitimate, and that your own personal character is reliable and trustworthy. This is where a campaign of reputation management can step in to save the day.
When Do You Need Reputation Management?
If you are the owner of a company that conducts its business primarily over the Internet, you are going to need a full time reputation management service to ensure that your public image is a positive one. Even if your business has a physical address, you will still need a 24/7 campaign of reputation management to safeguard you against scurrilous attacks from disgruntled former employees, unsatisfied clients, and the damage done by hackers and other criminal elements.
If you have been involved in a scandal, whether through a misunderstanding or through the actions of one of your employees or former clients, your reputation may be dragged through the mud before the eyes of the public. So many negative articles and comments may be generated in such a short period of time that potential new customers who are looking for your official company website may instead be greeted by a hailstorm of negative publicity.
Such a barrage of bad press can have an immediate destructive effect on your reputation and, if left unchecked, can sink your business. Potential new clients who peruse these negative articles without coming across a rebuttal are bound to believe what they read. This is why it’s so important to have an ally in your corner who can counteract this blizzard of bad publicity with a counter-barrage of positive information.
How Does Reputation Management Work?
A qualified reputation management specialist, such as Reputation Defender, works by counteracting the flood of bad publicity with a new wave of articles that are designed to show the positive qualities of your business and its services. The key is to create enough favorably themed articles to drown out the bad ones when it comes to search results. For example, if people type your name or company into the search bar and see 19 favorable articles versus 1 negative one, their overwhelming impression should be positive.
A reputation management service creates favorable articles, blog posts, social media posts, and comments in order to restore your online reputation. The more of these positive posts the service creates, the quicker the memory of any scandal or dispute will fade. The principle may be reduced to “Out of sight, out of mind.” However you care to look at it, the fact remains that reputation management is a vital and necessary component of your modern public relations strategy and should never be neglected.
Feature image curtsey of Hivage