The ascendancy of social media has spawned a booming new industry: reputation management services. When one unwarranted bad review, unflattering article or complaint brigade can cost you real business, reputation management is more important than ever. A negative review travels at the speed of light, reaching thousands or even millions of potential customers, and small to mid-sized companies need ways to balance the scales.
Dilution Minimizes Impact
The Greek physician and philosopher Paracelsus wrote “the dose makes the poison.” In other words, something that could be harmless in tiny doses could be lethal in large quantities. That’s true of negative feedback too. Two or three lukewarm comments among a heap of praise are unlikely to do your business harm and may even polish your company’s reputation by making glowing reviews shine more brightly by comparison. A dedicated campaign to denigrate a business or a series of concerted attacks are far harder to withstand.
A few drops of venom won’t matter in a sea of positive press. Reputation management services use this philosophy to their advantage by producing SEO content, white papers and blog posts that show a company’s best side. Although it’s illegal to publish paid reviews alongside unsolicited ones – the Federal Trade Commission states that compensated reviewers must disclose that relationship – welcoming your customers to leave comments and reviews can often help dilute negative statements.
If you’ve recently acquired an existing business, you may have to deal with a prior owner’s reputation. If the previous owner’s name isn’t as unblemished as your own, it’s time for a media campaign to spread the good news about your ownership. Companies put up “Under New Management” signs to distance themselves from past problems. The online equivalents of those signs – press releases, articles, guest blog posts and newsletters – tell a more detailed story and are far more effective than a storefront banner.
Search engines like new content, and that includes new information about your business. Over time, new data will push older information lower on results pages. Fewer than 20 percent of the people asking Google all those billions of questions ever turn to the second page of results, so letting unwanted information settle to lower pages as new information comes out is a highly effective reputation management strategy. Don’t be shy about releasing information about your company’s philanthropic ventures or other positive actions, either; these press releases are gold for reputation repair.
Preemptive Reputation Optimization
Sometimes, your best option is to foresee potential problems and stop them before they start. Even if you’re already doing that by focusing on customer satisfaction and uniform high quality in your products or services, you can do more to immunize your organization against potentially damaging press later. Building a library of industry information is a good place to start. Google and other search engines place great stock in sites with authority, and you have more of it when you have a content-rich site.
Blogs are wonderful for reputation optimization for two reasons. They provide the steady stream of fresh content that search engines like to see, and they also become a library of useful information over time. A shiny reputation is easier to keep clean, and regular infusions of positive content can help keep yours polished to a high gloss.
Whether your goal is to add new shine to an already good reputation or restore a company’s good name after unwanted negative reviews or past management concerns, ethical, effective reputation management online is essential. Let your marketing team tell your story and enjoy the reputation you deserve.
Contact our social marketing experts today at 855.867.3224 to help you devise a plan to maintain your company’s online reputation.