How to Repair Your Damaged Online Reputation
- Aug 14, 2014
- Upasona Banerjee
In today’s brand-conscious world, a negative review or a minor fault can result in a major debacle. Now, it is a known fact for any brand that before purchasing, consumers prefer to go through the review of the product on the internet. As many as 79% consumers admitted that they trust reviews and ratings as much as any personal recommendation while making a purchase decision. The digital era is definitely helping them to get the best. But it also means that the brands should take care of the fact that any negative image of them can affect their market value. So, they are concentrating more on their online reputation.
But what if the mistake is already committed? What if the damage is already done? In the blink of an eye, a negative review can travel miles even before you come to know about the damage. So, make sure that you not only build a good online reputation and maintain it, but also be alert against the negative comments. It is always easier to be alert and control the reputation from being affected than trying to repair an already damaged one.
A study by Microsoft conducted in Canada, Germany, Ireland, Spain and USA, says:
- 99% people have taken some measure to manage their online profile
- Only 44% adults give a thought to the consequences to their online activities and their effects on reputation
Evaluate Your Reputation
Before you start protecting your reputation or a damage control, you need to do one basic thing: evaluate your online reputation. You may have profiles in social media or might be the owner of various blogs. But do you pay proper heed to the comments made there by the others? Have you ever searched your name in Google and paid attention to the search results that pop up? Are they positive? You need to seriously evaluate what the world is talking about you or your brand, or both.
Now, as you have already seen the information, you need to be prepared to face something negative. And if it happens, then it calls for quick action.
How to Repair the Reputation
If the damage is already done, then don’t panic; because there is no time for that. Follow these few steps to repair your damaged online reputation:
#1. Accept It
Be up front. This is the best decision you will make. Yes, in this age of digital marketing, the details of someone or some company or brand is at the fingertips even of a kid. So, accept it before your consumer, customer or employer come to know about it by themselves. Perhaps it may leave a positive image of you in their minds.
#2. Apologize for the Mistake
This is the second thing you must do. Apologize for your mistake. You may explain it later. But before that, apologize and make sure you sound sincere. But if they don’t accept your apology, then learn to move on. Don’t feed the troll. The argument will attract spotlight on the issue more.
#3. Create a Google Alert
Create a Google alert of your name. In case your name is too common then use some other keyword or location. The moment something comes out on internet about you, you will receive an email that will notify you.
#4. Talk to Them
Since you are in social media, you have enough opportunity to connect with people. Utilize it. Find out who has posted that negative comment. Talk to them and try to resolve if it is possible. If someone has posted too indecent content or photo, then convince them to delete it. If they prove to be not at all helpful, then contact the search engine owner. Google and Bing are accessible and helpful too in the case of pulling out the offensive content from search engines. But never ever engage yourself in online confrontation. If already a negative comment is affecting your brand value, then an online confrontation will be a disaster. It will be enough to completely destroy your career or your brand’s prospect. If the post is made to affect you deliberately, then you need to consult your legal adviser as well.
#5. Change Your policies if Needed
Try to detect what have triggered the problem. If you feel that some policy is not working and it needs some modification, then go ahead. Change the policy. It will create an image that you or your brand is flexible enough to suit the demand of your consumers.
#6. Make It Hard to Find
The best way to get rid of these negative reputation online is to make it even hard to find them in the search results. Own your SEO, as Huffington Post puts it. Create your own content. It will drive all those negative things that are bothering you, down in the search engine. Generally people stick to the second or third page while searching. If someone really wants to harm you, only then they will probably go to the 20th page of the search engine result. So, it is your job to make it difficult for them to find.
#7. Make a Positive Presence Felt Online
Create your profiles in social media, post a video on YouTube. In short, make your presence felt online. The more you will create your own image like this, the more it will become tough for them to find you out. Human memory is very poor, especially in case of online debacles. It is very likely that people will concentrate on the next online fiasco, created by someone else. So, make them forget the negative. You can think about creating profiles in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, as they often top the search engine results. You can also try to write for someone else’s blog. It will be beneficial for them and for you too.
#8. Your Own Online Strategy
Create your own online strategy. Connect with your consumers, post some positive data frequently, but avoid being overwhelming. Avoid earnestly announcing about your achievements, news releases and customer review because that would look deliberate. Create your impression, but avoid being pushy. That will be enough to shift the attention of your followers.
Affecting online reputation is devastating. It, no doubt, is difficult to handle; but, of course, not impossible. It just needs a calm mind and a tricky handling to solve the issue.
A content writer by profession, Upasona Banerjee writes for Softz Solutions. She takes interest in social media, content marketing and digital marketing. Being a blogging enthusiast, she chooses writing blogs to share her ideas and views on these areas of her interest.
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