Online Reputation Management Services
What are “online reputation management services”? The term is a popular buzzword on the Internet and has now taken on the same anthropomorphous form that the words “search engine optimization” and “Web 2.0” once did. Those concepts have comprehensive definitions today. Can the same be said for “online reputation management services”? Do you as a small business owner understand what the term means and, more importantly, what you’re getting if you pay for a company to handle these services for you?
Your Online Reputation can be Easily Damaged
It only takes one irate customer or unscrupulous competitor to damage your good name on the web. Many growing firms have found themselves wading through quicksand to acquire new customers because someone decided to slander their reputation. In some cases it’s deserved. In others, the act of negative posting is intentional and calculated. Budding companies with quality products and services can be damaged when consumer confidence is undermined by these attacks.
Attacks on social media are the worst. Tell a Facebook friend that you found a good deal at your local market and they might share that information with a friend or two. Give them something negative and juicy and they’ll make it go viral. Like television news stories, when it comes to the reputation of a company online, “if it bleeds it leads”. Your documented shortcomings and mistakes, regardless of accuracy, will quickly become cannon fodder for the self-righteous and the gossipmongers. Will your company survive that?
Your Online Reputation can be fixed, with some Hard Work
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction that can counteract it. Newton’s third law of Motion is perhaps the most accurate description of what online reputation management services do. If someone posts something negative about your company, post something positive that will get equal or better search results. If a viral conversation is going on about what’s wrong, start one about what’s right. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s an enormous amount of work. Turning opinions from negative to positive is not easy.
Visualize a page of search results. How many line items are on that page? If you just Googled, you’re looking at a top ten list. Is there a negative post about your company on that list somewhere? If it’s in the number one spot you need to move it down ten spots to get it to the second page. Studies show that it’s in your best interests. Only 6% of web searchers actually scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “next” link. Moving something off Page One is essentially making it disappear. That is what needs to be done to improve your online reputation.
Why do you need online reputation management services?
Getting negative postings away from the searching eyes of prospective clients is NOT an easy process. To move a search result even one spot takes a barrage of postings, article submissions, social media threads, and customer commentary. Doing all of that internally would require the creation of a full time job position or an expense of extra time on your part that you really don’t have. Hiring a firm that specializes in online reputation management is not only a more cost effective option; it’s the only option if you want to see positive results.