Reputation management has been on the lips of a lot of industry professionals lately. As the internet expands, mingles with social media and reaches new undiscovered country, reputation management is, in itself, becoming a big business. What exactly is reputation management and why should you be thinking about it?
The idea of reputation management stems from search engine statistics and how negative websites and posts mix with your pagerank. Too many negative search engine results near or above your own proceeds to harm your company’s online reputation. The goal is to keep those search engine results either below your own or out of the mix entirely. The practice of doing so is called Reputation Management.
As I said, it’s becoming big business and there are marketing firms and website design companies now specializing in reputation management popping up all over. They will, for a fee, provide a course of action to:
As you can guess, reputation management is bankrolling many new marketing firms and it can often be costly to combat a bad online reputation. But much of what these firms do can be done freely by yourself with a little ingenuity and common sense.
Mired in all of this is the public outcry that some tactics of reputation management “shields” or “hides” the truth about your company or interferes with free speech. Consumers, some say, have a right to know if a company’s performance is good or bad. There are far better ways to handle negative publicity, they say. We at Clamshell Studios agree.
My grandfather was a store owner back in the late 1950’s and 60’s and I learned at his knee that the customer is always right. Keeping your customer happy should be your number one priority. If, for whatever reason, they feel negatively about a transaction, there is only one thing you can do: make it right.
Our best tact in handling reputation management, therefore, resides in conflict resolution. If you are receiving negative publicity and it is interfering with your pagerank, the best course of action is to contact the person doing so, see if you can appease them by making up for the bad experience (this usually results in a monetary investment on your part) and asking him or her to either update or remove the blight against you in return.
Of course there are times when it isn’t a solitary person negatively impacting you, and therefore other tactics may be required. Just remember: there is no way to combat all negativity toward your company. It’s a fact you’ll need to deal with, resolve where able, and move forward to ensure that there is more positivity than negativity displaying in your search results.