As a business owner, you know that your reputation is everything. It’s what customers and clients think of you when they hear your name or see your products and services. And in today’s world, where information travels at the speed of light, it’s more important than ever to ensure effective reputation management.
But how do you know if you need help with managing your reputation? Here’s all you need to know!
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is the process of seeking out and addressing negative reviews and feedback about your business. This can be done by responding to negative reviews, working to improve your customer service, and proactively seeking out positive reviews.
Online Reputation Management (or ORM) is the practice of managing your brand image on the internet.
Does my online reputation matter?
Your reputation is very important. It is created by what people see of you from what is published and associated with your name, business, or brand on the internet. Your reputation can make or break you.
So, depending on what people find out about you on the internet, (good or bad), their perception about you before meeting you is affected.
While word of mouth advertising still plays a big role in brand building, ORM is now necessary to maintain a positive online presence.
Over 90% of customers today will look at reviews before they buy.
Your online reputation matters a great deal when it comes to customer loyalty. A few bad reviews could be costing you almost all of your customers.
In the age of the Internet, you no longer have the choice whether or not to be in it, but how you or your company will approach it.
Types of Reputation Management
There are 4 main categories of services that companies provide:
There are four main types of reputation management services that companies and firms offer:
1. Individual reputation management- Individual Reputation Management work to improve the client’s personal image and public persona. This can be done by managing their social media accounts, monitoring their online activity, and helping them craft a positive public image.
2. business reputation management- Business Reputation Management help to improve the client’s business image and online presence. They monitor reviews, manage their social media accounts, and improve their search engine optimization.
3. online review management- These services help to monitor customer feedback and online reviews. This can be done by responding to negative reviews, promoting positive reviews, and working to improve the overall rating of the client’s business.
4. online privacy management-Privacy Management services help to protect the client’s privacy online. This can be done by managing their social media accounts, social media monitoring, and helping them keep their personal information private
Each type of service is designed to help protect and improve the client’s reputation in different ways.
Here are what each of the different types of service mean for your reputation.
Personal Reputation Management
In today’s society, where anyone can easily look up someone online, personal branding is more important now than ever.
It is important for teen students to manage their reputation in order to decrease the chances of being denied college entrance. Admissions officers may find unflattering content about them online, which could impact their decision even if the information is not true. By managing their reputation, teen students can improve their chances of getting into the college of their choice.
Even if you’re a professional, a bad online reputation can seriously harm your career.
Salespeople could lose clients or have difficulty gaining meetings if their negative content appears ahead of an up-to-date portfolio in search results. Similarly, freelance or contract workers might miss out on work opportunities for the same reason. Therefore, it’s important to manage one’s personal reputation online to ensure a positive presence.
Brand Reputation Management Research
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 80% of shoppers have admitted that they changed their minds about buying a product after reading negative reviews.
Your online reputation is essential to your revenue. Too many negative reviews or pieces of content will send potential customers running to your competitors. Keep a close eye on what’s being said about you online, and take steps to mitigate any damage to your reputation.
Internet Reputation Management
When I google my business, what comes up?
If you have ever tried googling yourself or your business, you may have found some interesting things. Some of the first things that come up are review sites, social networks, images, articles, videos, and comments. All of these things can give you a good idea of what people think about you or your business.
All of these factors play a role in your online reputation. To get a better understanding of how this works, let’s take a look at how search engines like Google operate.
When bad links show up on the first page of search results, it’s harder for potential customers to trust your business.
When customers see positive reviews about your business, it builds trust and creates brand ambassadors. These satisfied customers can help improve your business’s reputation by sharing their good experiences with others.
Keeping your name, address, and phone number off the internet is internet privacy management.
Online privacy management is important for keeping your personal information off of people’s search sites and the rest of the Internet. It can also help protect your online reputation and privacy.
As we increasingly live our lives online, it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides of social media over-sharing. While you may not have complete control over the way you appear on the internet, there are steps you can take to manage your online reputation.
The online reputation managers job is to help clients create and maintain a positive image online. This can be done in a number of ways, but most often it involves burying negative search results and promoting content that accentuates the client’s desired image. In other words, I help people put their best foot forward online.
Why would anyone need to manage their digital presence?
The advent of the Internet has given rise to both great things and not-so-great things.
Now your number can end up in places you don’t even know—and with people you might not be able to point out on a globe.
If someone says something negative about you, it can damage your future. However, your digital reputation also creates significant opportunities.
If you’re not making the most of your reputation or presenting your digital presence in the best light, people aren’t seeing your best side. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and taking advantage of everything your reputation has to offer!
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Why shouldn’t people be able to control their own reputations?
There are only a few people in the world who can do their own computer virus removal. It requires a lot of technical know-how.
We have hundreds of engineers and designers who work on our products, which are designed to fix or enhance any aspect of your digital image.
There are certain things you should do on your own to manage your digital reputation, like having a well-curated LinkedIn profile. Your Twitter handle should also be your name rather than something like “ILovePizza” unless your job is in the pizza industry.
What is the most common problem that you run into?
Some people say, “I don’t share photos online, so I’m not worried about my privacy.”
That thinking is shortsighted—the Internet can be useful for you, but it’s not working for you.
What’s at risk when a company has a PR disaster? Or what risks do individuals face when companies suffer a reputation crisis?
The internet can be a dangerous place for anyone, especially if someone in your personal or professional life wants to do damage to you. They can be very good at it and make your life a living hell.
A divorce or firing a former employee can lead to former spouses or employees going after your business.
It’s important to have a good online reputation even if you’re not in the business of selling things. Every life transaction now begins with a search, and even in a good economy, prospective employers will be doing searches on you.
The deafening sound of silence you hear is an indication that your digital marketing efforts aren’t working.
And, more and more, people are finding you because of your online presence. For example, if you are a landscaper, then potential clients can find you online.
If you’re an architect, and you’ve identified yourself as one on social media, you have a credible resume.
If all someone can find about you online is that you’re interested in cooking, that might not be a good thing.
It’s not always about fixing what’s wrong – it’s about promoting what’s right. Your personal brand is built on your positive attributes, so focus on those to create a strong, favorable reputation.
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How much of your work is reactive versus proactive?
We often find that our clients come to us with a problem that could have been easily prevented had they come to us sooner. In many cases, it takes $5,000 to fix the issue when it might have only cost $200 to prevent it in the first place.
But most clients don’t want to be faced with the problem.
How can you protect yourself from hackers who promise to “erase” any negative information about you online, and then demand money later on to “keep it” off the internet?
It’s a problem that’s very common. There are websites out there that post information that is technically public domain—but the definition has been expanded.
What was once public information that you had to go out of your way to find is now easily accessible with just a few clicks of a button. You can find all sorts of information about someone by doing a simple online search.
These sites could still be violating the law by publishing this information and then charging to have it removed. The courts are currently working to determine if this is the case. Soon, there will be legal tools available to address this issue.
But right now, you have two options: pay the guy or pay the sheriff to defeat him. And we want to be the latter option.
What can you do to protect your reputation?
You should set up a Google alert for yourself so you can stay on top of your online reputation. By contributing things of professional interest occasionally, you can make sure your name is associated with positive content. You don’t have to tweet every day, but a few times a month is a good idea.
If you’re going to use Facebook, make sure your privacy settings are as high as they can be. You shouldn’t post a ton of family photos on social media in general.
If you don’t want your embarrassing moments to be plastered all over social media, it’s best not to over-share. Remember, if you don’t know who the joker is on your social media page, it’s probably you!
Why invest in online reputation management?
Having a good reputation is important for both individuals and businesses.
For business owners, managing their reputation is incredibly important. The difference between having a strong reputation and a bad reputation is night and day.
Having a good reputation can literally make or brake your business.
If you have a lot at stake, such as a client, customer, employee, coworker or investor, a single link on a Google search could easily change their perception of you. It’s important to take control of your online image and hire someone to help manage your reputation. This way you can reinforce your brand with positive content and search results.
If you’re worried about what people might find when they Google your name, it might be time to invest in online reputation management plan. By hiring someone to help you control the narrative around your brand, you can ensure that potential clients, customers, and investors see the best version of you when they search for you online.
If you’re seeing any of the signs above, it’s time to start thinking about reputation management. By taking proactive steps to improve and protect your business’s good name, you can ensure that your company will continue to thrive for years to come.