We live and breathe the internet. It is where we go to shop, to make friends, to learn, to work, and more. One of the main things we use it for, however, is to help us make purchasing decisions. We check out reviews about products, services, and companies before we decide whether to spend our time and money there. What this means for businesses is that they must focus on their online reputation. And that is where online reputation management services come in.
All of us do it: we use the internet to find out what others have said about organizations and people. But what we forget is that other people can say things that aren’t true at all. Indeed, some people take great pleasure in leaving negative reviews because they have an axe to grind or are otherwise disgruntled. Protecting yourself from that is incredibly difficult.
How to Build and Maintain a Positive Reputation
There are a few things that you have to do in order to build and maintain a positive reputation:
- Deliver an excellent product or service (or just be excellent yourself).
- Have fantastic customer service.
- Monitor your reputation.
- Post positive content.
- Remove or push back negative content.
A simple five step approach, therefore. Unfortunately, it isn’t actually that simple. In fact, it is a fulltime job! And one that you should leave to the professionals at that.
What Does an Online Reputation Management Company Do?
These companies take control of your name and reputation, and protect it from those evil people who want to destroy it, whether rightfully or not. They do all of this through the internet. Their goal is to make sure that, if there is any negative content about you, it is much harder to find than any positive content about you. They make sure, in other words, that your customers only see the good things about you.
Of course, these professionals don’t have any closely guarded secrets about how they achieve this. In fact, you can do it all yourself. Post new and relevant content about yourself on your website, your blog, and all your social media channels every day. Set up Google Alerts to find out whether new things are being said about you, and respond to them properly. Contact Google to ask for defamatory content to be de-indexed or removed. Perform reverse search engine optimization (SEO) and regular SEO, about which entire books have been written. But, as said, this would be a fulltime job.
At the same time, you may feel that the cost of reputation management services is simply too high to justify it. If that is the case with you, you must ask yourself how much you would lose if you did come under attack, and you don’t have the skills, knowledge, and/or time to deal with it. You wouldn’t be the first business to have to close its doors because customer trust has gone out the window. Clearly, using reputation management services is an excellent investment.