Online reputation management encompases so much of your company’s online presence. Every facet of your presence, from social media to website, and beyond to review sites and possible fan- or hater-made sites are also involved in managing your online reputation.
We’ve identified four major types of damage which can be done to your online reputation, and how to deal with them.
This category represents any complaints or questions directed at your company from Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms where you have a presence. If you don’t have a presence on the platform, consumers cannot expect you to respond.
If you do have a presence, you need to respond quickly. It’s better to let the person know you’ve seen their question and are working on it, than to let them stew while you come up with the correct response.
2. Negative Reviews
Review sites like Yelp, Houzz, TripAdvisor, and even Facebook and Google are places for users and customers to leave reviews regarding your products or services. Negative content on these review sites can hurt your business because they are indexable by search engines. Some sites are even geared only toward negative reviews, like Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer.
We’ll cover how to deal with these later in the article.
3. Hate Sites
If a user or consumer is angry enough, they may create an entire website devoted to destroying your online reputation. While they may have legitimate complaints, sometimes they may jump to insults and false information.
A hate site can really scare off customers, so it’s important to pursue legal action if a request to take down false information is not followed. If legal action isn’t an option and the site will not be removed, we have additional tips below.
4. Negative Traditional Media
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but when it hurts your sales you’ll definitely believe there is. Getting in front of this problem is the best way to solve it. By responding to reviews nicely and constantly searching online for mentions of your company, you may be able to catch trouble brewing before it becomes a public interest story.
If negative news does reach the media, it’s important to be open and transparent about the issue, so there’s no accusation of dodging questions or not providing information.
How To Pursue Negative Reviews And Hate Sites
The most basic way to handle a negative review is to respond. Most people are just looking for a solution and someone to talk to, so if you can solve the issue and be polite, you may be able to get their review removed or changed into a positive.
The other option is if the review contains insults or false information, in which case you may be able to lodge a complaint about the review with the website it’s posted on, citing the insulting or false nature of the review.
If an entire site is up and negative about you, and you’ve already tried asking to have it removed but can’t legally have it taken down, the next best step is to drown it. Your goal is to make sure the hate site doesn’t show up in search results, especially on the first page where your users or customers are likely to see it.
The way to do this is to create content concentrated on the search terms under which this hate site has been showing up, in order to get those pages/sites to show up higher in search results and push the hate site down in ranking.
If these steps seem daunting, you’re not sure where to start or you just need extra help, there are companies out there who specialize in maintaining your online reputation.
For instance, Cohlab Digital Marketing offers a tool which helps drive additional online reviews and alerts you to negative reviews so you can respond to them. They also offer content and search engine optimization services to help drown hate sites, and are Google Partners so they can ask Google for advice anytime if your problem is particularly bad.
We hope this list helped you on your way, and good luck with your online reputation!