Managing your online reputation has come into the spotlight because of a number of recent scandals. The Baylor University scandal was one such scandal. What it demonstrated is that when something bad happens you need to move quickly in order to repair the damage.
Another one of the more recent scandals was the UC Davis scandal, which revealed the darker side of online reputation. Now there are a lot of people interested in online reputation management and a lot of critics looking at it in the wrong way.
This article is going to debunk five of the main myths that have dogged people trying to protect their online reputations.
Your Company Name Isn’t In Google
You may be running a land-based business, or you may not have any intention of opening an online store. But that doesn’t mean you can afford not to develop your online reputation. Regardless of whether you are on Google, you will still have people talking about you.
A lot of businesses receive complaints online that they are unable to address because they don’t realize they exist. Regardless of where you are operating, you are on Google whether you like it or not. And you can guarantee that people are talking about you.
Bad Reviews are an International Business Problem
Google has changed the playing field so now people are making localized searches and they are going to be receiving local results. This is why so many online reputation management consultants are telling people that they need to look clean in locally-based sites like Yelp.
With so 67% of people being influenced by reviews, you need to consider reviews as important, regardless of where people are searching for you. Reviews on Amazon, even if they come from other countries, are still going to influence people. After all, you are selling the same product and service.
It’s Okay to Publish Fake Reviews
This is something successful entrepreneurs don’t have to do.
That’s the justification a lot of operators use when considering whether to use fake reviews. There are companies paying for reviews so they can get a jump on the competition. But deception can never last forever. Sooner or later someone is going to discover that you paid for a fake review.
Amazon even went as far as to sue the people dealing in the fake review business last year. There’s no tolerance for it and getting found out can completely destroy your online reputation. You are proving that you are a fraud.
Only Big Names Can Impact their Online Reputation
Big names find it easier to manage their online reputations because they have far more resources than you do. On the other hand, you also have to consider the fact that the World Wide Web is called that way for a reason. Even big companies only have a limited amount of control over what people say.
Smaller companies can influence their online reputations because word can spread quickly. And people don’t decide whether they are going to spread the word about something based on if a company is small or large.
It Takes Too Much Time and You Need a Dedicated Time
This is a myth that is half true. It does take a lot of time and effort to influence your online reputation. Over time, you will build up your online reputation. Huge corporations already have set reputations because they spent a long time building up a loyal base of followers.
But you don’t need a dedicated team or a huge amount of money to manage it. This is not like waging a nationwide marketing campaign. A reputation is built on how successful a company is at what it does.
You can secure your online reputation simply through giving customers what they want and reacting to what your customers actually want. If you can give them what they want and minimize complaints, you are already going a long way to securing your future.
Last Word – Should You Bring in Outside Help?
One option, if you are struggling with your online reputation, is to bring in a consultant to help you. This is just one of many options and they can be effective.
But don’t misunderstand what a consultant can do for you. They cannot ensure that you can scrub negative results from the search engines. Online reputation is something that you build up proactively. It’s not something that you react to.
How will you start building up your online reputation?