So you’ve had your new company doing business on the web and things have been going well until suddenly you get word that someone has posted something negative about you and it’s affecting your online reputation. What can you do to reclaim your good name? Well, there are a few things you can do to minimize the danger and damage.
Your first line of defense is to do some due diligence regarding your good name and see where you stand in regard to what the online community sees about you when they query your name or keywords that lead to your site. Google yourself and see what comes up. Do this with all the top search engines and tally the numbers. Are the pages that come up in large number negative or positive? If they’re over 20% you need to do some fast repair. You can’t afford for the negative remarks to gain ground. For every negative page, the possibility of it being referenced and linked to grows with every second.
You don’t want a page with negative data to go viral so doing an assessment like this allows you to see where you stand and how much work you’ll need to do regarding online reputation management. Now that you’ve got a good estimate as to the amount of damage you can go to work fixing it. You’ll not be able to get rid of all of it, so being realistic, you can repair a majority of it. Hit the big traffic sites first. They’re the ones with the most potential for spreading the bad news. See if you can get the data removed and if not, will they allow you to respond to the negative posts. Then move on down, rinse and repeat to ensure no one else posts stuff that takes root.
You may have to do some domain name gathering. See if you can get .coms with your name. It might be tough if you have a common name. Find if keywords that you find important to your business and self-available as well. Try to get as many as you can and put some positive content on them. It’s a lot of work but a good offense and defense at the same time. Later on, you can buy up any .org or .net domains and put some positive information on them all so that you’ve created a network with your main site the center of that network constantly pumping out great information from blogs, review sites, social media, and whatever helps along.
Social media is the next step. Make sure your presence is known regarding social media. Make it that you’re as high as possible on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest and all the top ones. Put as much positive data as necessary without spamming. Know your target audience and what you’re trying to reach and with skill, post on a regular basis, answer posts, be useful, be friendly and never, ever get involved in political or religious arguments. Stay as far away from controversy as possible so you’ll minimize the potential for making enemies. You want other people to tell other people good things about you. That can be done by looking for people who are in trouble, answer their questions and if your business provides goods and services they could use, jump in there like a superhero and save the day. They’ll post about you for years and those posts count.
Overall, DIY online reputation management is a big task. You might need to hire a professional but still, these tips provided here are a good step forward to gaining back your good name.
Image credit: Constantin Stanciu (123rf.com)