What to do if your reputation is under attack?
What should you do about those negative reviews you’ve found online – the worst that you can do is to counter attack those comments with negative answers. The internet is the most transparent media – over-reacting upon receiving bad comments on social media will not only let viewers know of your anger but also escalate the whole issue, in public, and include those who may not have seen the comments in the first place. People expect us to be professional in our criticisms and customer service even or especially online. One thing must be clear – if you have been under attack of slanderous nature, take a deep breath. You’re still a good person – you may not feel well today but you still have a way out.
Here are the steps to go through to defend online reputation:
Claiming Your Profiles
Step 1: Claim your profiles – It has been said time and again that the best defense is a good offense. Google your name and your business name. How many listings came up for that? There’s a saying amongst great internet marketers; “if somebody is going to claim your online identity – it might as well be you”. Regardless of what your long-term internet marketing goals are and regardless of who you are today, you need to claim your online identity. So, how do we claim our online identity? Take control of websites and user names related to you. If your name is Joe Smith, you need to claim your Joe Smith Facebook page, your Joe Smith Google+ Local page and your Joe Smith twitter page, smith.com url, smith restaurant and others. Once you have claimed your own identity you can now then prevent any impersonations or lies being infiltrated about you. Claiming your profiles is something you can do if you have the time.
Creating Positive Content
Step 2: Create Positive Content – Melt away the bad with good. If you found negative reviews on yelp.com, you felt hurt, betrayed or even angry. You may initially want to lash out because of those customers that have rated you negatively. When you find an attack on a website after a Google search for your name, you may feel the same. You may feel that the best course of action is to attack those who have attacked you – but this would be an unwise choice – Why? It’s because customers buy based on positive reviews – not negative reviews. In other words, you might have a couple of negative reviews on yelp but if you have 50 positive reviews to counterbalance those negative reviews – customers would still flock to your business. People are smart. They realize that every business will get negative reviews every once in a while. The key then is to make sure that positive reviews outnumber the negative reviews.
So, how do we create positive content? We can do it ourselves, get it from our customers or outsource it to a reputation management company. If you found an attack site, for your own name or business – then you’ll need to start creating your own blog posts and create more social media profiles with your name and find more content whether created by your or others to fill the front page of Google. You can do this by yourself – just remember that you not only need to write the posts and build the profiles but your search engine optimization to rank them with the search engines as well. This is a very time consuming activity – it can be technical. But it can mean the difference between success and failure of the business.
If you have found that you are receiving negative comments from Google+ Local then you have to persuade your customers to give you positive comments on those sites. You can offer incentives to customers who write reviews or you can set-up a full feedback funnel that will take care of all of this. The last option – outsourcing to a reputation management company by far is the best for those businesses ready to take their reputation seriously. These companies can set up feedback funnels where you can get a consistent stream of positive comments. They will be able to flood the first page of Google with positive contents generated from your customers about you and your business and will allow you to continue to work on your business while building your reputation. Once you are able to build a positive reputation online, you still have to do one more step to ensure that you are going to have a clean and positive reputation online.