Friday 24 May 2013

How To Protect Your Business' Reputation Online

Business Reputation
Believe it or not, your business could face all kinds of threats in the online arena when it comes to reputation. This is especially true if you fail to recognize warning signs and address them accordingly.

While you're probably aware that customer complaints aired on public forums can damage your reputation, you may not realize that unscrupulous competitors can launch attack campaigns, relying on the anonymity of the internet to come after you without the fear of repercussions. But you can also do harm to yourself by failing to create a positive image to counteract the negative one. So if you're looking to build and maintain a stellar online reputation that will help to bring in traffic and increase sales (the main goals of any business), here are a few protective measures you might want to take in order to ensure your virtual success.

The first thing you should do, if you haven't done so already, is build your online presence. This means more than setting up a website with an online store; you should also engage in outreach efforts that allow you to connect with a wider audience. You might do this by creating an on-site blog and setting up social media profiles. These outlets will not only allow you to interact with consumers on a level that doesn't require them to buy something, in essence offering them added value, but it also helps you to create the type of image that you want to present. As for your website and other platforms, you must use them to your best advantage through integrated efforts and optimization. The best way to ensure that people looking for you encounter a positive image is to create it yourself and take the steps necessary to spread it.

Of course, you can't rest on your laurels once you have built up a good reputation. You need to protect it. It's not enough to create and update your content for optimization purposes (although this is certainly the larger part of protecting your online reputation). You must also be aware of any negative press so that you can catch smear campaigns early and put a stop to them. Even with vigilance, however, you may not have much luck facing down your detractors.

While you can certainly contact administrators to request that libelous information be removed, you won't get much traction if you simply ask them to take down negative commentary. What you can do, of course, is make sure that any customers who contact you directly receive the incredible service that will keep them satisfied. And you can reach out to industry forums and blogs to ask for equal air time to set the record straight. But there's no guarantee you'll get what you ask for, and calling out those who post complaints might backfire anyway.

However, all hope is not lost. When you reach the end of your own ability to combat a negative reputation you might consider online reputation management services. There are many companies out there dedicated to cleaning up negative press and helping to restore the online reputation their client companies deserve. So whether you've made some mistakes along the way or you're competitors have tried to bury you with negative press, these services can help you to turn things around and get back on track with building a good reputation online.

About The Author: Leon Harris is a contributing writer for Reviews, an online reputation management services organization. Harris lives in Southern California, and enjoys eating healthy and exercising with his two Golden Retrievers.

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Related articles:
Your Blogging Reputation Is At Stake
How Your Business Can Cope With Bad Online Reviews
Why A Bad Business Reputation Is Harder To Ditch Than Ever Before
What Is Online PR And How Can It Help Your Business?
Are You Speaking The Right Language With Your Customers

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Until my next post, have an enjoyable and relaxing bank holiday weekend!

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  1. Great post Leon! It is mission critical to your business these days to have a reputation management strategy in place. Anyone can search for us online, and they will either find something that accelerates or slows down the natural purchase process with our business.

  2. Great article, protecting your online reputation can be the difference between profit gained and profit lost.
    Quincy Grant


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