Most business owners don’t think about their reputation very often. They are usually too busy running their business to be interested in what others think about them. However, in recent years, maintaining a good online reputation has become a much more important part of running a successful business.
According to a survey by BrightLocal,and 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has . If your online reviews or ratings are low quality, your enterprise could be missing out on a significant amount of business.
In this post, I’ll delve into the world of online reputation, explaining what it is and why it matters. I’ll also share some of the common online reputation management strategies that are used by businesses and individuals to protect their online reputation.
What is online reputation?
Online reputation is the reputation of a business, product, service, or person on the Internet and other digital platforms. It is affected by many factors including:
- Social media posts
- Web forum posts
- Submissions to Online review websites
- Reviews published in online magazines and newspapers
- Blog posts and articles
- The content that you create and share
- How your brand is presented online (fraudulent websites, false advertisements etc)
Having a good online reputation is particularly important for businesses because consumers use the Internet to determine a business’ quality, affordability, and trustworthiness.
If your business has a great online reputation, it can result in higher customer trust and greater profit. On the flip side, if your reputation has been tarnished due to poor reviews, defamatory social media posts, or poorly produced content, it can result in a dramatic loss of patronage.
When it comes to individuals, online reputation affects how world sees you. It is now common for employers, landlords, colleagues, insurance companies, and other organisations to research an individual’s conduct online. They will also look at the things that have been written about you in blog posts, discussion forums, social media and other locations.
This can affect how willing these entities are to have a relationship with you — potentially affecting your employability, ability to get finance, and so on. Online reputation can also affect how your friends and family see you, as they may use the Internet to discover how you have lived your life.
Online reputation management
The goal of online reputation management is to monitor, influence, and control the things that are said about you or your business online. In addition to mitigating the effects of negative content, online reputation management can help businesses build their brand and increase customer satisfaction — which leads to better profits. Some of the most common approaches used in online reputation management include:
Monitoring the use of your name or brand
Online reputation management helps you identify any defamatory or misleading information published about you online. You can then either take legal action to have the content removed or interact with the person who published the comments to mitigate their impact.
Cleaning up existing online data
Most people have an online presence that has been constructed over several years. This usually includes blogs, social media accounts, videos, websites, etc. Reputation managers will examine this material closely to ensure it is still relevant and is not harmful to your online reputation. There is no reason to have old websites or bad photos lingering on the Internet for the next decade, so steps will be taken to remove this content.
Creating privacy policies
One of the most common ways for a person’s online reputation to be damaged is for another person to post a bad photograph or video of them. A single photo showing you over-indulging at a party could damage your reputation in the eyes of customers, employers, landlords, and potential business partners.
This type of damaging content is usually associated with your online presence through “tagging”. Essentially, when other social media users tag you, they are saying “Hey this is this person” in the photo. Search engines and social media websites then link your online presence with that image, post, or photo. In some cases, the content won’t even involve you and you will be incorrectly tagged — but you still suffer the consequences of being tagged.
Fortunately, most social media platforms have the ability to prevent users from tagging you in media. Online reputation managers will adjust these settings to ensure that embarrassing material is not linked to your online presence.
Content creation policies
The Internet is not a forgiving place. Once you post something embarrassing, offensive, or abusive it can stay online for years. Many reputations have been destroyed by people or businesses accidentally tweeting something offensive. Online reputation managers can provide you with simple rules that dictate the kinds of content that can be posted online.
Claiming what is yours
An important step towards safeguarding a business’ online reputation is to acquire any IP relevant to the business and to establish a strong online presence. This includes activities like acquiring any relevant domain names and creating profiles on major social media platforms. It’s important to claim these online assets so they are not used by a third party for malicious purposes.
Addressing negative comments and reviews
Consumers increasingly use online review websites to help them choose which products or services to purchase. Online reputation management services can help your business generate online reviews that are overwhelmingly positive. These services will also help you handle any negative reviews in the most professional way possible.
Identifying and removing defamatory comments
Some people enjoy using the Internet to attack others. These online trolls sometimes post defamatory comments just to take down a business or individual that they don’t like. Online reputation managers can help you track down these comments and take steps to get them removed from the Internet.
Improving the quality of the content your produce
Consumers will judge a business based on the appearance of its website and the quality of the content it produces. If the website is out of date or the content is of very low quality, it can affect the business’ online reputation. Online reputation management can help the business create web content that accurately reflects the quality of the business.
Thanks for reading our article on Online Reputation Management. If you are interested in learning more about reputation management, contact New Media Farm on 020 7998 4197.