How to Protect Your Online Reputation
Online reputation management has evolved in the past two or three years in response to the explosion of social media that amplified the voices of Internet users. More and more companies are becoming aware of the need to have some sort of tracking, as they should. In the online world you have to monitor what is being said and be careful what you are putting out there in the public sphere. While there is no doubt that the Internet has proven a phenomenal way for people to reach a global audience, this has its drawbacks. Like anything, it’s open to abuse and people often use blogs/forums/review sites and so on to defame brands and people.
Unfortunately, you can’t always stop people saying negative stuff about you. There are things you can do to build a positive online reputation though. How to Protect Your Online Reputation:
1. Be careful how you use social media. If you are going to write anything on any profile, it should be something you should be 100% comfortable with ANYONE being able to read. Lockdown settings can of course restrict access to your social media profiles, but the best bet with any site, to be entirely sure, is to simply assume that anything you write on it could become public domain.
2. In the case of a business, encourage your satisfied customers to share their experiences. Whether you provide a discount voucher or similar as a reward for doing so, it´s up to you. But if disgruntled customers are taking to message boards to vent their fury, counteract it by getting happy customers sharing their experiences too. Remember to always answer complaints in the best way possible because you can turn an angry customer into a happy supporter if you do it correctly. This is similar to Dealing with negative comments.
3. Respond where applicable to negative commentary. If you see a forum post slating you or your brand, respond to it. But do so carefully. Don’t go bounding in accusing people of lying. Make the basic points there and publicly invite the individual to contact you privately to resolve their issue. Eg ask them to DM you some contact details etc. That way the rest of the board sees you are taking steps to rectify the problem, yet you can still deal with the issue privately.
4. Be aware of what is being said. That’s half the battle. Keep an eye on what shows up in the search engines when you search your name or your brand name.
More answers on How to Protect Your Online Reputation and reduce the possibility of an online reputation crisis:
- Don’t harass, bait or defame others online.
- Don’t lie about your background, education or accomplishments.
- Don’t get arrested.
- Don’t get convicted.
- Don’t have an affair, especially with a co-worker or boss.
- Try not to post online, send emails, texts or leave voice mails if you are drunk, high or angry.
- Don’t steal content and claim it as yours or use it for your own ends.
- Avoid getting into online arguments with strangers.