Online Reputation Management

The Definitive Guide

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In our day-to-day lives, we do a lot to manage what people think of us. We act morally, we always say hi to people that we know, and we always ensure that we make the best possible first impression. As many know, despite our efforts, sometimes a nasty rumor can come into existence that can do a lot of damage to our reputations.
When this happens, some people try to get out ahead of the rumor, confront the rumor spreader, or simply deny the false allegations. In any situation, the repercussions are often dire, yet recoverable.

Our online reputation management (ORM) is very similar to this. In this world of an increasing number of internet connections, our online reputation is quickly becoming as important as our offline one. Do you want undignified pictures from your youth to appear on the first page of Google when someone does a search about you? Of course not, so engaging in a little reputation administration is both recommended and intelligent.

With this in mind, both individuals and brands are seeking ways to manage the reputation experience that is occurring online. This ORM can entail fixing bad press for your business, increasing the SEO value of your social media posts and images, or even just ascertaining whether posts about you or your brand are positive, negative, or neutral.

What is Online Reputation Management?

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Online reputation management assumes one thing: someone is always Googling you or your brand. Amazingly, this is often the case because Google presents a unique opportunity to learn about something or someone without their knowledge. It might seem stalker-like, but we’ve all done it because of how effective Google is as a search engine.

reputation management news, reputation googleJust like reputation in real life, we’ve all done things that we aren’t proud of on internet-based things like social media. Sometimes a picture from a drunken night out gets shared or a twitter conflict comes up unexpectedly.

While you may not consider this to be a big issue because you are in a relatively stable place, things can change quickly and drastically. An increasing amount of companies and individuals are using online reputation as an important aspect of their decision making. From employers to credit organizations, negative online reputation can cause you to miss out on a wide variety of opportunities.

The same can be said for businesses; not every customer service experience is 100 percent rosy. Your employees may have made a customer upset, or a customer may have just had a bad day and is looking to take it out on someone. As a rule, everyone can benefit from managing their online reputations, at all times.

When it comes to brand rep, there are a plethora of online reputation sources. Customers use Yelp, Foursquare, and traditional social media platforms to either extol the benefits of your services or to absolutely decimate your online reputation.

google reputation management, reputation management google, brightpastSimply put, if it’s made it online, then there’s absolutely no way that you can put the genie back in the bottle. With this in mind, online reputation management is designed to be more of a damage control technique that can help you or your business prosper despite any negative reputation events.

As any marketer will tell you, the first tenet of proper search engine optimization (SEO) is to bring your brand to the first page of Google search results. This is because many Googlers don’t actually go further than the first page when they are looking for something.

The opposite can be said of any negative reputation events; if they don’t show up on the first or second page of Google when someone searches for you or your company, it’s like the negative reputation events don’t really exist. This idea can work for your personal reputation or for the reputation of your company, so the chief goal of ORM is to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative into obscurity.

Your Reputation Matters

Online reputation is something that can affect our personal life as well as the professional aspect of our life. Whether you are applying for college, searching for a job, or applying for a loan, most candidates are screened online, which means that their online reputation plays a part in these aspects of your life. Over 80 percent of all colleges use Facebook as a recruiting tool, so even high school students need to be aware of their online reputation and make sure that it shows them in a positive light.

If big life changes are not in your foreseeable future, something you post now, can still affect you down the road. You don’t want the first thing that pops up during a Google search for you or your company to be a drunken photo from when you went streaking across the football field. These images are permanent, so they can come back to haunt you even 20 years later. Let’s take a closer look at how your personal and professional online reputation can be tainted.

Personal Online Reputation

On a personal level, your online reputation can be affected by:
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Social Media – Social media has been steadily growing for years now and has unavoidably become one of the most important signifiers of online reputation. If your social media reputation is in shambles, then it’s safe to assume that your overall online rep isn’t fairing much better.

No matter the platform, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Instagram, the social media posts that you create will never really disappear permanently. They can appear in other people’s feeds, as screenshots, or simply turn up on blogs like the Dirty.com. It’s important to manage your social posts and their content if you plan on having a positive reputation profile.

For example, you post an angry rant about your employer. This is a fairly common behavior that might seem like a bit of stress relief. While your employer may frown at this type of behavior, the most detriment that these types of posts provide is with future employers. A frustrated rant can make you look petty, prone to complaints, and unprofessional.

If you find yourself making these types of posts often, set your profile to private so that anyone searching for you on the social media platforms won’t necessarily see them.

Shared Photos – We all love to party and enjoy ourselves, but what does a party photo do to your online reputation? Posting Party Photos, even those from corporate events can cause trouble for your online reputation. We tend to lose inhibitions at after-work parties and functions, and a loss of inhibitions looks pretty bad from a reputational point of view.

Party photos aren’t the only type of shared photos that can work to your reputation’s detriment. As a general rule, if you are trying to present the best you to employers, business partners, or educational institutions, it’s best to share photos that don’t overly aggrandize behaviors that can be viewed as negative.

online reputation management agency, Bright past, internet reputation managementFor example, you had a great night in Foxwoods recently with some friends, so you decide to take a photo or two that displays a few bottles of liquor. You’ve tagged the image to all of the friends in attendance and ensured that your Facebook feed is only accessible by friends. Several months pass and you’ve forgotten about the fun night, but a potential employer is looking into your online reputation and finds the liquor bottle image on your friend’s page, which loses you the well-paying position.

As a general rule, you should practice some high levels of due diligence when you’re sharing photos on your blog or through a social media platform.

Hot Topic Issues – We are currently in a very political time. As a result, feeds are inundated with a plethora of hot topic, which often includes political posts. This level of oversharing can negatively affect anyone’s online reputation. This is because when someone is searching for more information about you, your espousing of your political or societal opinion can rub them the wrong way.

As a rule, it’s a great idea to filter all of your content. It’s fine to make posts about something relatively innocuous like a television show, but steer clear of political posts, posting about your views on a particular group, or even posts that overshare about your emotional state. Remember, your online presence is important, balance it as much as possible and your reputation will flourish

Professional Online Reputation

On a professional level, there’s nothing more important than managing your reputation. Oftentimes, many confuse brand identity with reputation, but each is very distinct from each other. Your professional reputation in this arena can be directly affected by:

reputation management google, bright past, google reputationDirectory Services - Directory services have become the backbone of online reputation management. These listings can consist of sites like Yellowpages.com, Yelp, Angieslist, and Foursquare. Your businesses will either thrive or wither away at least partially based on how you handle your ORM on these types of sites.

An increasing amount of local consumers use these sites first to find new services, so optimizing your reputation on these sites is imperative. These directory services can and will help you attain vital business leads so this is the most opportune situation to start out on a good foot with your potential customers.

With this in mind, you’ll need to optimize the consumer reputation experience by having accurate NAP+W listings. NAP+W listings stand for: Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website. Business owners can change their qualifying information quickly, and sometimes changes in info can slip through the cracks. This is far from optimal from a reputation perspective. For successful ORM, all of your information must be consistent.

This means that when a potential customer seeks out your brand, all of the information presented must be laser-accurate. A differing number, address, or website can quickly sour the reputation of your brand with consumers, so keeping this information up-to-date is imperative for your ORM practices.No matter the platform, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Instagram, the social media posts that you create will never really disappear permanently. They can appear in other people’s feeds, as screenshots, or simply turn up on blogs and other sites. It’s important to manage your social posts and their content if you plan on having a positive reputation profile.

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For example, you post an angry rant about your employer. This is a fairly common behavior that might seem like a bit of stress relief. While your employer may frown at this type of behavior, the most detriment that these types of posts provide is with future employers. A frustrated rant can make you look petty, prone to complaints, and unprofessional.

If you find yourself making these types of posts often, set your profile to private so that anyone searching for you on the social media platforms won’t necessarily see them.

Online Reviews - Reviews are another cornerstone of the ORM world. Specifically, when a customer gives your brand or business a great review, it looks amazing for potential customers. Despite this, bad reviews are inevitable; no matter how hard you struggle to provide a top notch experience for your customers.

Bad reviews are devastating. Not only is your potential mistake out there for all to see with these eyesores, but even if you haven’t made a mistake an erroneous review can be just as damaging. Also, when this happens, it’s clear that the customer felt that the issue was large enough for them to take time out to write about it in a public venue. On top of all this, reviews of this nature can even be personal attacks.

Since your reputation hinges on these reviews, especially if they are hosted on popular review sites, it’s important to have a proactive response to any and all reviews, not just the negative ones. A quick and public response will illustrate that you and your brand are responsive and attentive to your customers.

Once you’ve reacted to a positive review, follow up later. When you’re reacting to a negative one, apologize, and then reach out privately. Simply put, communication is the key.

A Few Specific Examples

Professional online reputation management can vary greatly dependent on your area of expertise. Let’s take a look at how different fields can greatly affect your ORM:

For any kind of medical professional, your reputation is the way that you acquire new patients, and for those in the often-maligned profession of dentistry, a quality reputation is imperative.

As was mentioned in the Brightpast article on physicians, “The internet has made it far easier for you to reach new patients and increase the traffic to your office. But the internet has also brought a whole host of more troubling concerns, including the issue of reputation management” As a dentist, there’s already a stigma in place that states that your business specializes in pain, so it’s imperative that you are as communicative with your patients as possible.

Have them leave reviews on a directory service or on your page if they’re happy. To do this, simply provide them with a copy of your business card that has all of the relevant URL’s for them to use. Additionally, utilize an email update list that also has some hyperlinks that will make it easy for them to make a positive review about your dental office.

Remember, while some dental procedures can be painful, all of them are necessary for your patient’s smiles. This means that while a patient who is fresh from the chair may be smarting, it doesn’t mean that they won’t leave a positive review about your practice when they see how much your treatment has benefited them.

Always remember to address any concerns or complaints that these patients may have, as if they are left to fester, they can turn into a more negative review that could drive away potential future patients. Also, don’t gloss over or simply delete these concerns or complaints either; this can lead to even more bad reviews which can greatly and negatively affect your online reputation and stymie your efforts to bring in new patients.

I can remember my college years very well. They were packed with stress, partying, negotiations with professors, and of course, more partying. The college years are some of the most formative years that you’ll have, and it’s no surprise that these are also the years that your reputation really starts to build.

Modern students live in a time where there are a plethora of photos being taken. As a result, youthful indiscretions can often find their way to the internet where they can hamper your career post-graduation.

It’s important to figure out what is online and create an action plan that will minimize things that will affect your online reputation negatively. The process doesn’t even have to wait until you’re in the real world, it’s actually advisable for students to attempt to manage their online reputations through monitoring and managing what information about them exists on the internet.

Start by assessing your current online reputation, bolstering it with positive reputation-building activities such as shared photos that show you active in collegiate and community life, taking stock of who you associate with, and bolstering a feeling of professionalism in all of your online actions.

Additionally, even your college’s reputation can either adversely affect or benefit your online reputation. As was mentioned in Brightpast’s article, “Why Your College Reputation Matters,” it’s amazing how much a college can affect your online rep. “When you apply for a job, the college you attended will be one of the first places the hiring recruiter will look at. If it is not a college with a strong reputation, you could easily get placed in the “no” list.”

Conversely, college selection can also help improve your online reputation through the fact that colleges serve as a great venue for networking and meeting like-minded people. If you attend a school with a wide variety of successful individuals, recruiters, business partners, and fellow alumni will seek you out based on your college’s reputation alone.

As you might expect, finding employment and future business partners is one of the most important uses of ORM. Employers will consistently search for anything that will give them a reason not to hire you, so having your best possible face online is absolutely imperative as you navigate the often tumultuous job market.

In order to have an immaculate professional presence that will provide a reason for an employer to hire you, you’ll need to do some work. If you want to rank well online, go to the social media profile that links best with Google’s search spiders – Google+. As a result, this is the place to host your best images and posts; ones that highlight your professional acumen and show that you are a respectable person.

With this in mind, it doesn’t hurt to spend a few dollars on professional photos. These illustrate that you are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to presentation – a dealmaker in many fields.

Additionally, you should broaden your social media presence so that you have an account on any and all platforms. While you may not use a Foursquare, Pinterest, or even Twitter account, having a presence on these gives an employer one more resource to check out before they make a hiring decision. Additionally, the more social resources that are available for a hiring manager, the less likely they are to find that embarrassing high school photo from ten years ago.

If you want to let loose a bit on social media, have additional accounts that are only accessible to your friends and family. While this is hardly ironclad, if you intend on using social media to shoot the breeze with friends or speak politically, it’s best to keep your account from being found by potential employers.

For the other side of the coin, employers greatly benefit from ORM as well. A quality candidate experience can easily translate into a positive reputation experience as well. Always empathize with any candidate that comes through your door seeking a role. Even if they don’t get the position that they are seeking, a satisfied interviewee can become a great lead who will boost your online reputation by using your products and contributing good online reviews.

Interestingly enough, more than 40 percent of applicants that had a positive interview at an employer indicate that their appreciation of the company has increased. In fact, many reported that they were more likely to utilize that company’s goods or services; regardless of whether they won the position or not.

Additionally, as your reputation for providing a quality candidate experience grows, more skilled talent will be attracted to your company, once again boosting your online reputation. Alternatively, many potential candidates visit sites that review the interview process for companies that they are applying for. When a potential employee notes that there is a negative reputation experience with a company, they’ll decline or skip a candidate appointment.

Another technique that can bring you the right candidates is to broadcast exactly what your company stands for. A set of core values can often mesh with a candidate’s own values, so it’s a good practice to establish a mission statement for your business that can attract like-minded candidates.

This part of the process can take some work; you may have to establish exactly the kind of values that you wish to focus on with employees. Once this process is done, it’ll be easy for potential employees to know if your organization is for them.

Finally, inspire your employees to review your company. If you have a work environment where they feel rewarded and challenged, then their testimonials can really help build your online reputation. There are a wide variety of employee review sites out there, just make sure that you aren’t violating any terms of services by encouraging your employees to write about your organization.

As the world of ORM grows, many organizations and companies are using the online experience to make decisions. Currently, online activity is used to confirm identity for the most part, but that’s quickly changing. It’s very conceivable and honestly likely that your online reputation will be used to make credit decisions that will be reflected in your FICO score.

This means that bad online reputation can conceivably cause you to be turned down for a home or vehicle loan. Even today, getting a new home doesn’t just rely on your credit, it can also hinge on your own personal reputation. Whereas you may feel that your reputation is rock solid when searching for a home, just how strong is your online reputation? The last thing you want is a loan officer finding something online that you don’t want him or her to see when they have a major decision to make regarding your loan.

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Managing Your Online Reputation Takes Work

Managing your online reputation does not mean that you only need to monitor social media posts that you make on your feed. Of course, these feeds are taken into account, but much more goes into your online reputation. Since Social Media feeds are a major consideration, you will need to remember that other people see your feed. Even if you have a private account, your friends can save your photos and posts at any time. Never post inappropriate things on social media because it can simply give someone fuel to feed a fire that can destroy your reputation.

Getting a bad review on a large site can make repairing your reputation a difficult one, but reviews are easy to manage compared to an unexpected bad reputation that you do not have control over. For example, if you have the same name as an individual who has scammed a lot of people and taken them for a ride so to speak, then you may need to add a middle initial to your name or change the name of your business so that the individual with the bad reputation is not connected to your good name. How can you ensure that you have a good reputation? Let’s explore some methods to give your name a good standing.

Ways to Establish a Good Reputation Online

As we’ve already established, building your online reputation is important. The issue is that most of us do not think about our reputation until something bad happens that taints it. You need to establish a good reputation before negative influences can damage your name. Think of it this way: When you build a house, you need a strong foundation to support the structure. The same is true for your reputation, building a strong foundation will help it remain in good shape for a longer period of time. Let’s take a look at a few ways to establish a good reputation online.

  • Start building your reputation immediately. If you are building a reputation for your business, then you can start by creating a website where your prospective clients can go to learn more about your business. Build the foundation that will welcome new clients to your business. Encourage current clients or customers to go to your site and post comments about positive experiences that they have experienced at your business. Once you have a good base of positive feedback, a negative review will not be noticed nearly as much.
  • Use professional pictures. When you own a business, you want your prospective clients to see that you are professional. This means that any social media feed or online profile that shows an image of you should show a professional looking picture. Head shots are the most professional looking type of photo, but a little bit more of an image is fine as long as it shows the positive aspects that you want to display to develop a positive online reputation. If you do not have professional pictures of yourself, then invest in getting some because the first image that the client sees of you is the one that sticks in their mind. First impressions really do last, so make sure you are making a good one
  • Claim your domain name. If another company or individual has yourbusiness.com, while you have yourbuisness.net, then your clients can go to the wrong site by mistake. An unsatisfied customer could visit your site by mistake and give you a bad review instead of the other business. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that any domain that is associated with your name or business name is owned by you. This also includes social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
  • Make use of Social Media Platforms. Posting through Google+ is a great way to have a higher SEO ranking. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also tend to rank rather high when you perform a Google search, so using those accounts will help build your reputation. Make sure to always fill out the profile of these social media sites to help make your expertise and your brand more known.
  • Become an authority in your field of expertise. Make sure that you participate in conversations about your field to show that you are knowledgeable about the topic. Comment on blogs and forums that are relevant to your business. You can even offer to write a guest post on a competitor’s blog to get your name out to a potential client base. Make sure to always use your real name when you make these posts so that individuals within the community begin to recognize your name. This will help you build a network where you can share your knowledge with others. A network of individuals who will spread the word about your brand and help you build a good reputation online.
  • Create your own content for your site. Make sure that you fill your site with interesting articles, blog posts, and videos that will grab the reader’s attention. You need to have a site that draws in prospective clients, but you also need content that is engaging enough to keep them on your page. Do not only talk about your field of expertise, if you can lure in users based on an interesting recipe or a funny video, then you may be able to get more shares. Share your posts to your social media accounts as well and always tag your real name so that it shows up in the search results.

Bad Reviews: Not a Reputation Destroyer

Sites like Ripoff, Yelp, and Foursquare can either bolster or harm your online reputation. They tend to contribute to the overall star rating of your business on Google and when you get a bad review on these sites, it is certainly stressful. Thousands of consumers use these sites daily and inevitably, some companies have bad review experiences.

Despite this, just because you have a few bad reviews online doesn’t mean that your reputation is irrevocably altered for the worse. Let’s get this straight: anyone can accrue a bad online reputation experience; it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad business person or that your product is flawed. As a matter of fact, your reviewer could have been having a bad day. I know that I’ve had days where I’ve taken out my frustrations on others, and the same thing can happen online.

Also, remember that some people like to post bad reviews as a way of internet trolling. Not everyone is a great person and not everyone has your businesses’ best interest at heart, so sometimes there will be an undeserved bad review. Don’t let it ruin your day.

Remember, every bad review presents you with a unique chance to excel. Sometimes, how you react to this degree of adversity will inform others about exactly how professional you or your business is. This means that if you handle a bad review with grace and poise, it’ll actually boost your organization’s reputation in the online world.

This isn’t to say that bad reviews don’t harm your online reputation; they do, and it’s important to take steps to lessen the impact of a negative review, no matter what the cause. Even with this harm, there are ways to turn a reputation loss into a reputation win.

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What to Do When You Get a Bad Review

As you should know by now, never counterattack against a bad review. Counterattacking a bad review looks petty and is a surefire way to damage your online reputation further. How you respond to a negative review or comment says a lot about your brand, so let’s take a look at how you should respond when the inevitable occurs and you get a bad review.

The first thing that you should do is to read any negative reviews that have been posted about you or your business. Even though this will require a thick skin, it’ll be immensely helpful to you because if the problem is genuine, you can use it as a learning experience that’ll help you make changes. Could you have done anything to provide a better overall customer experience? Was it a customer service issue? What exactly was it about their experience that was most negative? Simply reading and drawing understanding from their experiences is advantageous to your organization’s improvement.

As you deal with the bad review, always apologize to the person with the negative experience. Some companies, like Disney, use the H.E.A.R.D. system. Disney, who has over 135 million visitors annually, uses this system to:

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Hear: Listen to what those having a negative experience have to say. When a customer knows that you have listened, it often turns a negative experience into a positive one.

Empathize: Make it clear that you empathize with their issue.

Apologize: Being contrite and sincere is of the utmost importance. Appearing to not be apologetic is a sure way to alienate a customer and lose reputation.

Resolve: Preferably in private, ask what you and your company can do to resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction.

Diagnose: Once you have all of the pieces of the puzzle, make moves to resolve the issue so that it doesn’t reoccur. Nothing damages an organization’s online reputation more than a consistent failure in the eyes of the consumers.

As I mentioned before, sometimes bad reviews are spurious. In this situation, it can be a competitor trying to discredit your brand, or it can just be a negative person. As a matter of fact, in the past, it had been discovered that some bad reviews originated from fraudulent companies that would charge the affected companies to remove them.

If you can identify these false reviews, you can actually report them to the hosting website. If the website discovers that the reviews are inauthentic, then they can be removed quickly, which will benefit your ORM.

If it’s been discovered that false information is consistently being levied against you and your business, then there are legal actions that you can take. In this situation, you can utilize online defamation laws, which will allow you to remove damaging and spurious reviews. As a matter of fact, Google itself can also help remove these negative reviews from its search results.

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Assessing Your Online Reputation Status

The best way to ensure that your online reputation is where you want it to be is to assess it yourself. There are a lot of steps that you can take to see where your reputation stands, but the easiest way is to egosurf, or "Google yourself". When you do a search, place your name in quotation marks to ensure that Google searches specifically for your name. This will give you the most accurate information. Don’t forget to check other search engines as well.

When you complete your search, make sure to take a look at the results. The first page of results is the only page that you should consider because many people do not look past the first few results, let alone the first page. Are the results that you find positive or negative? Do you feel like an image or a post that you made could reflect badly on your business? Negative results definitely affect your reputation negatively, but not having any reviews or posts relating to your business can be just as harmful to your online reputation.

 

If you do not find much on your name or business when you Google yourself, then it is time to build the foundation that we already discussed. Create unique articles and blog posts that will draw potential clients to your site. Make your name stand out in the crowd. You can also make a lot of social media posts. Share your articles that you create and posts that you make on social media platforms to help boost your reputation.

Signs of a Good Reputation

When someone searches for your name, you want the search results to match the information that you have already given to them. If you are applying for a new position, your LinkedIn profile, your Google+ profile, and your Facebook profile better all back up the first impression that you gave your potential employer with your resume.

When a person searches you or your business online, typically, they are actually searching for reasons not to do business with you. To make sure that your reputation remains clean, you need to make sure that nothing embarrassing appears on your social media feeds and profiles across the various platforms. Do not post photos that reveal just how crazy your nights out can get. Keep revealing clothing and inappropriate images off of your feed. The best way to tell if something is embarrassing is to ask yourself if you would want your grandmother to see the post. If the answer is no, then do not post it.

Another aspect of having a good reputation is being active in relevant online communities. Post on forums, blogs, and Facebook. Make tweets that show that you have an impressive knowledge of the topic at hand. If a bad review shows up about you, having a good reputation means that you will have enough good press about you that the negative review seems minor to potential customers.

 

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When a customer has something negative to say about you or your brand, take the time to address them directly. Be polite, remember that your reputation is at stake, and really listen to what is being said. Apologize in a public forum so that potential customers know that your customers matter to you, but address the issue privately to accommodate the customer’s specific needs. Never respond negatively to negative reviews, you want to show that you have a positive personality in every situation. Never counterattack a bad review.

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Signs of a Bad Reputation

How do you know when you have a bad online reputation that you need to boost? Well, let’s go back to that all too common search of your name or your brand. A lot of negative reviews often means that you do not stand by your word or your brand. This is typically a parallel that you will notice when you have a bad reputation. Having a lot of inaccurate information or even going as far as having no information at all is a sign of a bad reputation.

If you perform a search and come up empty handed, wouldn’t you think that the company that you are researching was hiding something? Having no reviews is often worse than having a few bad reviews because you are either trying to keep some information from the public eye or your services and brand are not worth mentioning in a review.

Another blow to your reputation would be seeing a lot of bad reviews come up during a search. A bad review means that the customer’s experience was bad enough to share with others. If you only have a few, it will not affect your reputation, but multiple reviews like this cannot be ignored by potential customers.

Another sign of a bad reputation is that the brand’s social media news feeds are full of inappropriate images or videos. Vulgar language is used frequently, and the discussions on the site often take a turn into controversial, negative topics that are not productive. Sharing your opinion can be a great way to boost your reputation, but adding negative, controversial opinions can only negatively impact your reputation. An individual who often loses their temper on a forum cannot be trusted to keep their cool while running their business.

Ways to Boost your Reputation

When you discover that your reputation is not as good as you would like it to be, there are a few things that you can do to take the initiative and improve your online reputation. Here are a few ideas that may help you to wipe the embarrassing smudges from your name and brand:

Remove Negative Content – Not all negative content is something that you have control over, but content that you have posted can most certainly be edited. Take the time to look through your social media feeds to remove inappropriate posts or images that you may have posted or been tagged in. Remove the tags first and foremost, so that when someone comments on the post, it does not appear back at the front of your feed. If your friends have tagged you in a post of theirs, ask them to kindly remove it because it is smearing your good name.

Negative content that is inaccurate can also be removed. It is a more difficult to get rid of this content, but online defamation laws are designed to help you. In fact, they can even help you get compensation for the slander that helped to drag your name through the dirt.

Create a Professional Name – If you name or your brand name is causing you to have a bad reputation online, then it can be changed. neonincreaseIt does not need to be a drastically different name, but if someone has your name, you don’t want their embarrassing blog posts or their inappropriate pictures causing issues for your business.

Using a new name also helps to get rid of some of the mistakes you may have made years ago. A slight change like adding a middle initial or adding your maiden name can be a great way to help your reputation take a positive path. Make sure that the name that you use is unique, so that the chances of someone else using that name is nil to none.

Focus on Creating a Positive Image – If the bad press cannot be removed, then it is important to simply create a lot of good content to help boost your reputation. Once you post new articles and engaging content on your site, make sure that you engage the readers and comment on their thoughts as well. You should also engage on other sites where similar content will be posted.

Another way to create a positive reputation is to create a video. The web is not only about articles and written information; nowadays there are a lot of videos available with information as well. Create a how-to video or an informational video and incorporate it into your blog. The wrong video can create chaos for your reputation, but a good video has the chance of going viral, which mean that it is a way to get your name out to your target audience and boost your reputation within the community that you are targeting.

Mistakes to avoid that can Damage to Your Online Reputation

As you are building up your online reputation, there are a few common mistakes that you want to avoid. Avoiding these mistakes will help you create a positive reputation that will leave a great first impression. What are these mistakes?

Getting angry – Your emotion can run high when a bad review pushes your buttons, but don’t allow a troll the opportunity to ruin your online reputation. Engaging in a controversial conversation with another individual on the forums of a site or in the comments of a blog post makes you look bad. Keep your cool and your reputation.

Not securing all of your devices – If any of your accounts ever end up getting hacked, it only takes one time to compromise your reputation. You never know what someone else will post to your account, so it is best to make sure that your devices have secure passwords limit unwanted access. Even friends can unknowingly damage your reputation, so another rule of thumb to follow is to secure all of your accounts as well.

Not securing all of the domain names that are related to your business - If you fail to claim a domain name or a name on a social networking site, then the individual who owns it can take your name through the mud. Secure the name for a long period of time to help gain the trust of those who visit your site. The longer you own the domain, the more trustworthy your company will seem.

Not thinking before making a post – Sometimes it is easy to post something without thinking about the consequences, but monitoring the posts that you make is imperative if you want your reputation to remain intact. Private means private, so anything that you would not show to your grandmother is strictly of limits. Images that could be used for blackmail are not appropriate for a social media feed. You never know who is going to take a look at your online content, so make sure that you are not caught by surprise or embarrassed by a post that you made. Simply think your posts through before you make them.

Damaged Reputation?

How a Reputation Management Firm Can Help

hurtHaving a damaged reputation can be a difficult issue to fix, but the good news is that you do not need to take on the task alone. A reputation management firm can help you manage the aspects of your business that you are unable to handle on your own. New and growing businesses may have a more difficult time than an established business, but here are a few ways that a reputation management firm can help:

Bury bad reviews and negative press while promoting your business. As you know by now, bad reviews are not the end of your business when there are a lot of positive reviews that overshadow the negative ones. The reputation management firms cannot remove this negative press, but it can cover it up and make space for more positive reviews to enter the spotlight. In addition, instead of promoting your own company, you can leave the marketing aspect of the business to the professionals.

Increase the traffic on your site by outsourcing your writing needs. The best way to get a lot of good press is to have a lot of traffic on your site. You want traffic that stays for a while and engages in the content on your site instead of the user who takes a quick look and leaves. The best way to gain more traffic is to write high-quality content that will grab the attention of your readers. You want your site to reflect on your business, so making posts with proper grammar and a professional style are required to maintain a good reputation. The information also needs to be written be someone who is just as knowledgeable as you are about the topic. A lot of fluff will not keep your readers engaged.

Accommodate for a growing business and time restraints. As your business grows, things that you use to take for granted like making posts and monitoring comments may fall to the back burner. Utilizing a reputation management firm ensures that smaller concerns are not ignored while you are focusing on other aspects of your brand. A lot of times when a business grows, the website needs to be upgraded as well. This is something that the firm can help you handle as well.

Basic Rules to Follow

Keep a clean profile of shares, posts, and images. Do not post anything that contains questionable content.
Make sure your language remains professional. Using raw language that may offend someone is a great way to get a bad review, so it is a practice that should be avoided.
Claim all accounts that are connected to your name. This includes domain names as well as the name you use on social media platforms. Even if you do not use the platform, makes sure to claim the name for yourself so that no one can use it and taint your reputation.
Create positive content that is engaging and links to other important sites. Adding positive links into guest posts is a great way to bring new users to your site.
Keep an active profile. You need to have a site that is active. If new posts are not a regular occurrence, users will question how well you are doing and take their business elsewhere.
Avoid causing or getting involved in a bad situation while you are online as well as offline. Fights will only taint your reputation.
Always remember to monitor your own online reputation. If you know the status of your reputation, then you can have a better idea of how to mend it.

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Getting your online reputation to the level that you want it to be for your business to thrive can be difficult. Making sure that childish posts that seemed amusing in high school do not taint your reputation and keep you from getting into the college that you want can be a chore. There are tools that can help you through the process of boosting your reputation that will prove to be invaluable. Here are a few of them:

 

KnowEm – This in a tool that you can use to search for your name across the web. It will search through domain names and social networks to help you find domains that utilize your name that are not yours. It will let you know which ones are being used as well as any that are unclaimed so that you can make the effort to claim them for yourself.
Quora – This is a tool that you can use to help establish yourself and your brand online. It will identify you as an expert in your field, which can lead to a larger customer base.
Google’s Me on the Web– This is a reputation tool that is used to help you find out exactly what is being said about you online. If a negative review is posted, this helps you stay ahead of the trouble.
Complaint Website Search – It allows you to know when an angry post that could damage your reputation is posted online.
Social Mention – This is another way that you can easily monitor what is being said about you or your brand online. If negative comments are made, they can be addressed almost immediately with this tool.
HootSuite – This is an application that allows you to easily manage every aspect of your social media presence with ease. It is a professional tool that is used to schedule and make posts at a specific time, assess analytics, and manage your online reputation.
Google Alerts and Yahoo! Alerts – This tool is designed to monitor the web for new content. Whether the content is positive or negative, you will be alerted that something new was recently posted about you.

Conclusion

Since the advent of the internet and the social media revolution, our digital lives have come under closer and closer scrutiny. As a result, we need to “tamp down” on our online reputations so that we can present our best faces to anyone who is seeking to learn more about us professionally. It’s advantageous to students, teachers, business people, or just about anyone who contributes information to the web.

Online reputation management isn’t the easiest process for ensuring success, but it is incredibly effective. When those who are looking into your reputation learn that you have a tidy and good online rep, they’ll want to pursue a professional relationship that will bring you profit.

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Ensuring that your web reputation is positive requires that you address bad reviews, seek out personal images and content that could undermine your professional success and also engage in very meticulous online behavior that enhances your personal brand. It’s difficult but immensely rewarding.

Never underestimate the importance of your reputation; it’s what others use to define us. Now that the world of reputation management has reached the online space, tools like Google indexing start to contribute to our reputational value as well.

To fully maximize ORM it’s advisable to use a reputation management company; they know exactly what you need to find your perfect online reputation level. They can provide you with articles that are well-written, are immensely professional, and can work under time constraints. In fact, a reputation management company can leverage your online reputation to increase your site’s traffic, bolster customer satisfaction, and take your business to the next level.

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