We are often mistaken with the company reputation defender. If you are looking for a high end crisis management and reputation repair service than profile defenders is in a class of it’s own above others. Read more below on the legitimacy of reputation defender services.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Why You Need It?
One’s online reputation today is more important than most businesses seem to realize. Negative online reputation or a negative presence on the web is extremely harmful for any and all businesses and can severely hurt their bottomline. The thing to understand here is that an ever-increasing number of people are relying on the power of the internet to research their buying options. And this is true even at local levels.
However, the fact is that while most SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) work extremely hard to build a positive reputation within the community, not too many of them are paying enough attention to what’s being said (and circulated) about them on the world-wide web.
Now, this is not always because the companies underestimate the effects of a negative online presence. Oftentimes, it is owing to the fact that they lack the requisite knowledge and skills to handle their online reputation. Internet is a vast field to cover and it is next to impossible for the average SME owner to monitor their online reputation on a regular basis. Often, one won’t even know about all the venues/places/platforms where his business is being discussed at.
Actually, we’re past the days when coming up with a good product and investing in a proper marketing strategy was deemed to be good enough. Now, you’ll also have to make sure that you’re doing a good job of protecting/managing your online reputation. And this is where the services provided by ORM companies become vital to the success and growth of your business.
Core Services Performed by an Online Reputation Management Firm
ORM (also referred to as Business Reputation Improvement Services) has of late become a specialized field requiring a number of different skill sets. Accordingly, most business improvement firms these days will offer a varied number of services, over and above online reputation management proper.
However, here’s a sum up of the core duties of an online reputation management service:
• Regularly monitoring a large number of review forums and other platforms (relevant to your business) in order to make sure that negative information about your company isn’t circulating around in the web.
• Generating and disseminating a steady stream of positive information and content about your business by creating and actively maintaining a website and one or more number of blogs.
• Making sure that your business has a productive and dynamic social media presence on all the various and ever-proliferating social media platforms.
Now, one can get an idea of how difficult it is to handle the job of managing your online reputation all by oneself. And in any case, few business owners will possess the requisite skills to carry out the above-mentioned tasks. This is why it is a wise decision to engage the services of a professional ORM service which will let you focus solely on the various core aspects of running your business, without needing to worry about your business suffering from negative online reputation.
However, now that you’ve made the decision to hire a business reputation improvement firm, here’s the tricky part of it, namely, finding a reputable ORM service that will do an efficient job for you and will let you have your money’s worth.
Well, legitimate may come to mean slightly different things depending on the context. For the purpose of our present discussion, we would like to call legitimate only those services that perform an efficient task for their clients and deliver on their promises.
Unfortunately, however, as ORM is still an unregulated industry, the sector is full of shady and unscrupulous actors that are out to fleece their clients without ever performing anything truly productive and fruitful for the money paid to them. As mentioned, ORM has become a specialized field and the people working for the industry require to have a slew of different skills that include public relations, branding and marketing, and a deep understanding of SEO. However, since business reputation improvement services are in high demand these days, many entities have entered the mix without however possessing the necessary skill sets. Accordingly, these companies try to lure clients by making unrealistic promises and claims that they know they cannot fulfill. As a result, they fail to deliver on their commitment, waste the money of their clients and often end up causing more damage than good to a business.
But how to know whether a company you are considering dealing with is legitimate or not? In other words, how do you know that they are competent at their job, especially if you are not too well-versed (few business-owners are) with the technical aspects of ORM, social media management, SEO and the like.
Well, here are some obvious red flags you need to be aware and wary about.
Always be on your guard about companies that offer their services cheap. Rest assured that there will be all kinds of ‘extras’ that will be added later on.
Fake guarantee programs
ORM is closely related to SEO and Google search results. And anybody with even a passing understanding of SEO will know that no one can guarantee that your website would receive the top rank on Google or that not a single piece of negative content or review will show up on the first pages of Google search. This sort of feats is beyond the control of a SEO or ORM service, no matter how competent it is. So, if the company you are talking with promises such things, simply move away and explore your next option.
Doing monitoring…and little else!
Often, there are companies who will promise a full-fledged ORM service (SEO, social media management, creation of blog contents, etc.), but will end up doing little more than monitoring the web for negative reviews or contents. However, monitoring is only a small part of the job. Active and efficient online reputation management involves a number of different tasks (as discussed above) and if the company you’ve hired restricts its job to monitoring only, that means they lack the skills to perform the other tasks. Subsequently, they will never be able to deliver the promised result. Here’s where a little research and background check on a company will stand you in good stead if you don’t want to get robbed of your hard-earned money.
An online reputation management firm based in Redwood City, CA, Reputation Defender is a sister company of Reputation.com. The company was founded in 2006 by Michael Fertik and it soon grew to new heights, receiving investments worth $41 million already by 2011. The company’s net worth continued to increase in the following years and it was eventually acquired in 2018 by Stagwell Group and split off into two divisions reputation.com and reputation defender.
For a long time, Reputation Defender was the go-to firm for many businesses when it came to online reputation management. So, obviously, the company is a legit one. Since the beginning of 2021, it has also started investing top dollars in promoting its services in traditional media like radio and TV to differentiate against other top ORM firms. So, even if you are not a business owner, chances are that you are already familiar with Reputation Defender.
And the fact that the company has grown to such great heights in a relatively short period of time must mean that they are, or at least, have been good at their job. Now, the reason we say ‘have been’ is because the company does not seem to be too popular with its clients at current. In fact, one can find multiple ‘unattended’ complaints about Reputation Defender over it’s cost at Better Business Bureau. Some of the common complaints include ineffective and outdated ORM methods; sketchy communication and bad customer service; poor maintenance of the blogs; “bait and switch” pricing tactics; and more.
So, while there is no doubt that Reputation Defender is a legitimate business and has been good at its job in the past, in all likelihood the company at present has fallen from its earlier standards as an industry leader especially with it’s founder departing along with other superstars like Howard Bragman.
Accordingly, we recommend all business owners to proceed with caution if they want to hire Reputation Defender for their online reputation management responsibilities.