Online reputation attacks are probably the biggest threat facing your company. This is something that could really happen to you if you let it. You won’t see it coming and the first time it happens it will come as a massive shock.
Most companies are shocked by the emergence of such an attack because they believe they are doing everything right. And that ends the conversion and prevents any prevention techniques. A good web presence and doing things right aren’t going to protect you.
When 73% of consumers rely on online reviews to make a decision, you have to be aware of this threat. This guide is going to show you some of the ways to prevent an online reputation attack.
How it Might Happen
First of all, it will happen. Even the best companies come across a rogue employee or a customer having a bad day. After the interaction happens, the chances are you are going to receive some negative feedback online. Unfortunately, one bad review can erase a hundred good reviews.
If you really engaged a psychopath, they may even create a whole website to hate on you and your activities. It’s happened many times before.
Proactive online reputation management is the equivalent of taking out an insurance policy on your business’s reputation. In this guide, you are going to learn about some of the ways to make sure that you can’t be targeted.
Build a Website
You should always have a website. And when you get your website you should optimize it for the search engines. Customize the titles, the meta descriptions, and the text content on your pages. Make sure that this is completely unique so nobody can use the ‘you stole my content’ argument against you.
To make managing interactions on your site easier, use a content management system like WordPress.
Give Yourself Credibility by Registering Your Business
Google+ has seen its influence weakened as Google gradually starts to pull out of the social media arena. This may have been a failed experiment, but Google My Business is still influential when it comes to search results.
Build your Google+ business page and register your address online. This will provide credibility that will help to boost and preserve your online reputation.
Develop Your Social Media Accounts
Social media can be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. On the other hand, it can turn into one of the worst things that has ever happened to you. To avoid criticism on social media, develop your accounts to give yourself a professional presence.
You should include custom-made graphics and descriptions. Regular updates are a must and interacting with your followers will keep you high in the search rankings.
To avoid any customer service mess-ups, make sure that you never leave anyone hanging for more than 24 hours. Furthermore, when you interact with people who have a problem you should go out of your way to stay polite and friendly. This applies even if the person is completely unjustified in what they’re saying.
Local Association Directories
The way you protect your online reputation is by getting the testimonials of the people who really matter. Business direct alliances, your local chamber of commerce, and the Better Business Bureau all allow genuine companies to register with them. They even provide logos you can place on your website to advertise your membership.
Every company should have a LinkedIn page. Encourage your employees to set up profiles and connect with the account, as well. This small internal network with lots of employees linked up with it will help you cover the top search results with your compact group. It helps to force any bad feedback down the list.
Do Things Right
But the number one way of preserving your online reputation is to reduce the number of reasons why people may have a problem with you in the first place. Doing things right means that you deal with customers fairly and you deliver on your promises.
The reality is that most online reputations aren’t destroyed because the people are unjustified in their comments. A lot of companies bring these things on by themselves. If you can act in the right way from the start, you will eliminate the vast majority of negative comments.
Make sure you always monitor your online reputation. Set up a Google Alerts ping for your business’s name. By doing this, you will spot problems early and will be able to react before too many people notice what’s happened.
You won’t be able to address absolutely every form of online criticism and critique, but by following these tactics you will be able to go a long way to limiting the damage.