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Salvaging Your Online Reputation

Online reputation means everything when you do business online. People trust your business when you have a good and reliable online reputation. However, this is also the most critical element that can make or break your business. You need special attention to build up your reputation; there are preventive measures and professional online reputation management services that can take care of your brand. Although we tend to think of business reputation as something earned from customers, it is in fact, carefully managed to create the best image. Therefore, online reputations can be defined by content generated by your business and by your customers.

Monitoring your content marketing is an effective way to prevent threats to your business reputation and to improve the SEO for positive content related to your brand.

Monitoring online customer reviews

By the time you need to desperately rescue your online reputation with SEO, there are already lots of negative content published online about you. Hopefully, you are not at such a stage and only looking for preventive measures.

According to Search Engine Land (SEL), 9 in 10 consumers read online reviews before making decisions to purchase. 9 in 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Consumers look for impartial reviews from other consumers that share similar interests or pain points. The point is, online reviews are very influential to conversions. Monitoring online reviews is an integral part of your content strategy. Your digital marketing schedule should allow for you to fine comb the online review sites related to your company and respond to reviews about your products/services. When you acknowledge a glowing review from a satisfied customer, they can form an even better opinion about your company. Even when you reply to a negative review, other readers can assess the pertinent points raised in your defense and make their own minds up about the credibility of the reviews.

Monitoring online reviews extend to reviews sites, community forums, social media platforms and ecommerce channels such as Amazon. It is essential to respond to reviews as part of your content marketing strategy; consumers prefer companies that are responsive and able to take constructive criticism.  

Polarizing opinions about your brand

You cannot get everyone to love your brand. It is better to have hate than ambivalence, at least because hate is a strong emotion. Strong emotions towards a brand is what creates electrifying content. User generated content from your haters can become the best, free publicity-and content from your fans can influence others to convert.

However, if consumers are unhappy with the performance of your products, you will need to take heed. Some prospective customers may find a bad blog, article or video content about your company and change their minds forever. Negative user generated content can be harmful to your business. You may need to step in the shoes of your customers and put yourself thinking about their point of views. You can utilize social media marketing to address these issues or one on one interactions with your customers.

You need to consider their views and why they are disappointed with your products or services. Contact them on why they have created a negative piece of content and the reason behind it. By analyzing their reasons and apologizing/amending for such mistakes, it can be possible that the bad review can turn out to be the best ones. A change of heart may be possible or you present such compelling facts that your audience will admire your honesty. You can actually end up having good business rapport with your harshest critics.

Proactive online reputation management with SEO

Proactive reputation management is not be an easy task as it entails careful thought and planning. It is always an ego boost when customers are happy with your products and start recommending it to friends. This means you need to focus on your customers and how to educate them through content marketing.

Creating fresh, relevant content will improve your website’s visibility online and attract highly targeted traffic to your business. You will want to implement effective SEO so your business reputation can be seen everywhere online. Ensure you don’t resort to claims that can undermine your built up online reputation. Over promising can lead to disappointment; managing the expectation of your customers is vital to your business content strategy. If you lack the time to do all this yourself, you can work with a credible and reputable company that can handle well your online reputation management. Proactive business reputation management means you can never let your guard down. Your content marketing, SEO, social media and offline customer services should be aligned at all times with your reputation management goals. 

Reactive online reputation management

Never panic when you get bad feedbacks about your brand, products or services. Instead, work your way to improving your reputation by reaching out to your customers. You may even want to create various forms of articles/white papers/case studies/videos in defense of criticism for your content marketing that helps to build your online reputation. If you understand where the criticism comes from (whether from malice or genuine disappointment with your products), you can change how your customers look at your business. 

A reactive approach would be to respond to negative feedback or remove reviews. You can use this opportunity to improve customer service and to give them a better solution.

Mending damages to your online reputation

Sometimes, you arrive too late at the scene and everyone is talking about your tarnished reputation. This happens to the most successful brands in the world-whether that be social media faux pas, freak accidents, criminal records or indiscretions by the people running the company. There will be negative content written about your brand but you have a chance to mend it.

You can hire a specialist in mending online reputations, contact the owner of the website spreading negative content about you to take down the articles/photos, involve law personnels if the content is illegal or ask Google to de-index content if it is against the search engine’s guidelines. Since news spreads fast on social media and people like to view trending topics, you can start with social media mitigation.

Managing a social media crises requires quick reactions to any negative trending topics about your brand. You should know that the psychology of consumers is complex; arguing with them on social media can worsen a crises and so will ignoring the complaints. Consumers are suspicious of corporate messages and would prefer a honest response, especially if it is fast. Formality and corporate speak has no place on social media. You can admit a mistake has been made, apologize and offer a remedy (if possible). If it is an online reputation crises sparked by an employee, you need full control of your social media account access and answer complaints personally.

For EU citizens, search engine Google has a recourse for damaging content with a “Right To Be Forgotten.” As an EU citizen, you may request Google to remove links to pages that are harmful to your reputation. However, there are certain conditions to be fulfilled and submitting a form can seem daunting. To learn more, read The Myths & Realities Of How Of The EU’s New “Right To Be Forgotten.”


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