The greatest threat to businesses is having their reputation destroyed online. Competitors leave fake reviews, unhappy employees harm the brand in online forums, and unhappy customers take to social media to air their complaints.
Similar reputation-damaging events also affect individuals. Perhaps you were arrested and now your mugshot appears when people search for your name. Or it could be that an ex-spouse or partner started posting negative information about you on a blog.
Online reputation management techniques for businesses and individuals range the gamut, from offensive and defensive link building techniques, proactive domain buying, building public relations websites, and social media campaigns.
Here are some ideas for companies and individuals in need of reputation management tools:
Ensure that you are working with a consultant known for reputation management
There is a long-standing trend among IT consultants of jumping onto any bandwagon possible to make some extra money. While we feel that a SEO company is a better fit for reputation management problem than web designers are for SEO campaigns, understanding online crisis management is a unique skill set that not every online marketer has.
Therefore, you should expect the individual to be able to give you a brief outline of what they will do for your company as well as explaining the rationale behind the strategy itself.
Expect the reputation management consultant to charge considerable monthly fees.
Unless you are a very small business, you have spent an enormous amount of time, effort, and money to establish your brand online and off-line. The lost revenues you sustain and the damage to your brand will be far, far greater than what your online reputation consultant charges. In short, negative info about you or your company are like a cancerous tumor that will only get worse if ignored. Deal with it quickly and focus on hiring the best, not the cheapest.
As with hiring any professional, trying to find somebody to fix your public relations problem for next to nothing is not only unrealistic, it reflects poorly on how valuable you consider your brand to be.
Top reputation management agencies charge in excess of $5,000 per month to do ‘damage control’ for bad reviews and to suppress negative articles about you or your company. While our firm is considerably less expensive, we are able to pass along savings to our clients because we limit the number of new projects we take on every month.
Look for consultants who help maintain, monitor, and manage your online reputation
One of the upsides of having a website and a company with high visibility online is that it allows you to gain a great deal of free traffic 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Nevertheless, some people who interact with your business will not think as highly of it as you do.
This means that there is the potential for a public relations nightmare to arise any day of the week, which can have an enormous impact upon your bottom line.
Whether it has to do with nasty comments on an online review site, wanting to maintain a positive light for your brand’s social media profile, or that you simply need to eliminate negative results from search engine listings, you need a consultant who is able to keep on top of things so that you can focus on building your customer base while demonstrating goodwill.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what to look for in an online reputation management consultant, but we believe that our experience in the field of crisis management allows us to speak authoritatively about what your company needs in the event that you need to hide bad reviews online.
For more information about how we do ORM, including the costs and timeline for your unique situation, contact us now for a free consultation.