Have a damaged reputation in 2021? Here’s a look at what you can do to turn things around.
Owning a business has its ups and downs. Hiring the right people to represent your company can be a very tedious task. You must exhaust all your time and energy into training these individuals which pulls you away from your own work.
Make sure you are employing the right people based on merit and who is the best fit. Hiring on a gut decision or to “help out a friend” has more negatives than positives in the long run. You have worked hard to create your brand, be careful about who you let in, as the consequences could be dire.
Having to let an employee go is never easy. The backlash of what could happen can be detrimental, leading to a damaged reputation that costs you money.
All it takes is a single review on Glassdoor or Google My Business to severely hinder performance.
First-impressions have left the building. Everyone turns to review sites as a “tell-all” source for answers to their questions. 50% of the time when an employee leaves an organization they will talk about it online (positive or negative).
Make sure you are carefully monitoring your online reputation so you know right away. Many top prospects may be deterred after researching your company and seeing an ex-employee talking negatively about the management.
In a study done by inc.com, Craig Bloem discusses how 84 percent of individuals trust online review platforms as much as they trust their friends. Of that 84%, over half of them will make their decision right then and there.
Only after reading the first 4-6 reviews, they have developed a strong “understanding” of how you operate. (Read more)
One of the best things you can do apart from generating reviews is gaining a general sense of how your customers feel. After a purchase is made simply email a customer satisfaction survey to each customer.
They may not all give you their feedback but some will. Being proactive is a great characteristic to have. People who notice you care more will appreciate you on a higher level, regardless if you have negative reviews online.
The best part about these surveys that is they are NOT public. You can read the feedback before publishing it on your website. This helps to limit the damaged reputation while still providing constructive criticism at the same time.
Bad Reviews are Opportunities to Repair a Damaged Reputation, NOT Problems
When it comes to your damaged reputation, make sure you are being proactive.
What is the point of gaining feedback if you are not taking action to resolve those issues? Needless to say, be careful about how you respond to negative feedback.
There is nothing worse than reading an argument between a client/ex-employee and the company. This shows other prospects you offer an inadequate service.
Ex-employees May Target Your Company
Everyone has the ability to hide behind a computer monitor and vent their opinion and feelings about the world. Many enjoy reading these, but as a business owner, these are your worst nightmare.
With this “internet review” trend that is rapidly growing, disgruntled employees are free to post carelessly online. Disgruntled employees are the leading cause of many companies’ damaged reputation.
As an employee at a company, be careful who you associate yourself with. Your cube-mate today could be your worst enemy in months to come. Only allow trustworthy colleagues to leave recommendations on your LinkedIn.
Linkedin houses over 400 million profiles, it is the Mecca of professional social platforms. If your company utilizes recruiters on LinkedIn, negative reviews may leave you wondering how you cannot find any reputable candidates.
What if you have a Damaged Reputation?
First of all, keep calm and think logically. Do not react out of anger because the world will see it. When attempting to rectify a damaged reputation online simply present the facts and admit guilt when you are at fault.
Regardless if others do not agree with you, taking responsibility has a positive impact.
If you feel like you are being targeted under false pretense there are some steps you can take to fix it. Sites like Google and LinkedIn will work with you if you can provide proof. When a fictitious review is posted there are a few things Google can do to validate that account.
Say that is the only review that person has ever left. Google may deindex or even remove the review as they view it as defamatory (again only if you can provide proof).
It can be very overwhelming trying to deal with a bad review while maintaining your business.
If you are struggling to have a fictitious review removed or even a news article you deem liable we can help. Our knowledgeable team of ORM strategists will ensure a successful suppression/removal of this negative feedback.
Online reputation is no joke and should never be taken lightly. It WILL NOT fix itself.
These are all great choices however you must guarantee you are regularly watching and adjusting your online reputation efforts.
This is not something you do once and it lasts eternally, this needs support.
Online reputation management is all about endurance, the internet will not improve overnight. With regular marketing efforts and uniformly distributing new high engaging content, over time you will obtain the reputation score you deserve.
What Does Online Reputation Management Mean?
Furthermore, the purpose that online reputation management is after is to obtain authority and the capability to control one’s reputation. ORM is an important tool you can employ to take command of online discussions. Make sure the issues that appear are relevant.
If you have an insufficient quantity of data online, it is time to add some more. This is done by building custom websites, social platforms, press releases, etc.
Having a positive online reputation can place you ahead of your competitor if completed accurately. When possible consumers tour your website or investigate your products the last thing you need them seeing is a negative review.
A positive reputation points to an expanding presence in your community. In turn, creating more customers. If you are uncertain if you are executing the correct judgment, glance at what your opposition does.
Monitoring daily can not only have you up-to-date with modern trends. But regularly monitoring yourself online is an effortless way to recognize if there is any brand-new feedback (positive or negative) that you can reply to.
Administering appropriate acknowledgments will generate enduring customers. Making your customers feel valuable is crucial. Customers are turning away from word-of-mouth. This implies that you need to rely more on your customer feedback retention and increase your marketing efforts.
Instead of communicating with each other about commodities, customers are going straight to the reviews.
Sites such as Trustpilot or TripAdvisor are stringent with removing reviews or even adjusting them, which makes them a trusted resource for prospects to find relevant reviews. Online reputation is what will either make or break your business in 2018.
Misconceptions About Online Reputation
When people imagine ORM they often compare this to human resources.
While ORM does undeviatingly manage internal communication efforts it is much more comprehensive than that.
ORM is meant to watch and control both internal and external powers that are either going to help or hurt your business’ performance. While setting the groundwork for an effective online reputation management strategy may seem difficult there are several things online waiting to help you along the way.
No Brand Awareness
Possible customers are much more likely to buy your good or service if they have heard about you already.
There are roughly four influential social media platforms that encompass the entire space.
If you can learn each one, success will shortly ensue. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube).
Not Responding to Negative Feedback
Next, it is essential to remember that disregarding negative reviews will not make them vanish.
Doing nothing and letting the negativity to linger online will only worsen over time.
By utilizing tools like, Google Alerts you can be informed immediately when a new review is published online.
Always remember to be courteous and considerate while answering disgruntled customers. Negative situations have the tendency to heighten dramatically if not addressed with prudence.
For those who are on the edge about buying your good or service may choose to purchase after seeing that you care about what your customers say.
Flipping a Negative Review into a Positive
Undergoing a negative review is never simple for a business of any volume.
Whether the review is online or face-to-face, handling the review properly could result in reverse the effects.
Vice versa, it can also start a snowball effect if you handle the situation poorly.
Make sure you are monitoring your customer feedback on a hebdomadal or monthly basis.
Again, you cannot bear to have negativity online nowadays. Companies are formulated every day, all it is going to take is a related company with no negative reviews to hinder your business.
By immediately acknowledging negative feedback, you are showing that individual that you are trying to redress the situation.
Displaying that you care makes the difference amid a residual client and never hearing from them again.
Do You Need Perfect Reviews Online?
In short, no.
People realize that not all companies are perfect and as the years go by it is only logical to undergo negative feedback from time to time. Realistically you are not going to satisfy everyone, that is perfectly fine!
There is plenty of fish in the sea, so correct the situation and operate towards bettering yourself. Ideally, you must ensure that you never drop beneath the positive perception threshold.
This is when you Google yourself and immediately see negative information before you begin to scroll down the page. Possessing 5/5 star reviews across all platforms may create some suspicion amongst your possible customers. It is nonsensical that out of 150 customers, all of them gave you a 5-star review.
Companies have the capacity to buy reviews, while this helps the business, it negatively influences how consumers view them if exposed.
Here at EraseMugshots, we work on reaching out to your past customers to produce as much feedback as possible. After getting the feedback you can either incentivize them, or you can simply ask if you can post it on their behalf.
This way you positively know that review will be posted online.
ORM vs SEO Strategies
While SEO (search engine optimization) does perform a function in each ORM plan (online reputation management) they still vary in several ways. SEO looks into how you are seen on Google, meaning what position does your website come in? Are you on the first? SEO also includes the art of keyword targeting.
This marketing method is used while composing blogs, this way Google can recognize what you are writing about and where to position it within the search results. The longer the article the more beneficial it will be, so make sure to incorporate your focus keyword in your heading, subheadings as well as the body of text (or paragraph).
When it comes to SEO, local companies profit more from a well-designed SEO approach. For example, law firms compete with each other within ‘x’ amount of miles. By putting yourself on the first page of Google this provides you a leg up on the competition.
For local businesses, the objective is to maintain a ‘featured snippet’ for your topmost keywords. This is when a text block appears at the head of Google with an elongated meta-description related to the rest of the results.
Having a review site that is easily available is additionally great for your clients to follow reviews. However, if you experience negative reviews this may hinder the amount of new business you receive.
ORM looks at both internal and external threats and benefits a business is facing. By conducting a simple SWOT analysis you can uncover what is supporting and damaging your company’s overall performance.
Removing Negative Reviews with ORM
As we discussed previously, there are tactics such as obtaining reviews that businesses use to conceal or repress negative content.
This is only momentary, once Google realizes there are counterfeit reviews they will either be removed or your business will be provisionally banned from Google. Killing any and all attempts of SEO you have worked so hard to achieve.
If the right ORM approach is performed and observed, most of the time you truly suppress the negative content while you are publishing articles.
Improving Your Online Reputation Internally
This is a no-brainer. Even if your employers are out of the office, how they act online certainly traces back to your company. Nowadays everyone online is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube. These social media platforms have an enormous following.
By uploading a new Instagram post you are making your vulnerable to billions of users. What you may think you are sharing with your friends could easily appear on a potential client’s cell phone you are attempting to close a deal with. How to motivate your employees is entirely up to you, but incentives are a great start.
When working offline or after hours on social media platforms use unique handles or usernames. This makes it difficult to trace that account back to you if something does negatively impact your company. By hosting monthly or annual seminars on social etiquette you can dramatically decrease the risk this may occur.
Don’t wait until it is too late to make a difference. If you are viewing something negative online it is vital that you correct the issue in a convenient way as soon as possible. By now, you should have a good perception of what online reputation management (ORM) is and what it is not.
If you are still having issues with protecting, restoring, or monitoring your online reputation please fill out the form below and one of our knowledgable reputation specialists will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you for taking the time to stop by EraseMugshots.com.