We all do.
Everyone has a voice on the Internet. This means that everyone already has an online reputation. Paying attention to it is more important today than ever before. Since anyone can publish virtually anything about your company, you need to proactively monitor and manage your reputation. Many businesses hire an online reputation manager to do this for them.
Why Hire an Expert?
There are several reasons to hire a manager to handle reputation management. The big reason is that reputation managers are skilled and experienced with public relations. They’re good communicators who understand how to listen to customers well. They also have an in-depth knowledge of how search engines, forums, social media sites, and other online communication channels work.
It takes time and ongoing effort to manage your reputation. It’s not something you do once and then forget about. Many companies hire someone to handle it for them in order to save time. This is especially true for small companies who lack the resources of a large staff.
Reputation Management is About Assessment and Monitoring
When you hire a reputation manager, the first thing they’ll do is an assessment of your online reputation. They’ll do a series of searches for information about your company that affects how your customers see you. Research will be conducted through search engines, review sites, social media sites, blogs, online forums and anywhere else where your market is surfing, reading and talking.
Once an assessment is done, your reputation manager will create a plan and make some recommendations. A major part of any proposal is ongoing monitoring. Alerts will be set up so that they know instantly whenever someone mentions your name online.
Damage Control are Like Breath Mints… Eventually You Need It.
When there are negative comments, your reputation manager will take care of them for you. For example, if a person writes a blog post complaining about your company and it appears in the top search engine results, this could be quite damaging. A reputation manager will employ various techniques to deal with the negative listing so that it has the least impact on your company’s image possible.
Your reputation manager may contact the writer or website owner to ask if he or she will take down the negative post. Failing that, they can employ SEO techniques of their own to remove these listings from the first page of search results – where a majority of people will search for information about your company.
Proactive Reputation Control: Make It Part of the Operation
Reputation managers don’t just deal with negative listings. They’ll also suggest ways you can improve your online reputation. This can be done by soliciting good reviews and comments from customers. If there is plenty of positive content online about your company, negative content will have little impact.
Reputation Management Needs Your Ongoing Attention
Whether you hire a reputation manager or choose to do it yourself, online reputation management is something that should be dealt with immediately, and hopefully from the very start of your business. Once you’re already seeing negative comments, not only is it a great deal of work to fix them but it puts you at a disadvantage. In many cases, they cannot be erased. Your only option is to respond. Being reactionary only shows that you weren’t paying attention before. If you’re controlling it from the start, gathering positive reviews and comments ongoing, one or two negative reviews are less persuasive.