The Importance Of Online Reputation Management
An unfortunate statistic was revealed recently about how people perceive the importance of their online reputation. A recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that over sixty percent of online users are not worried about their online reputation, demonstrating little or no attention to reputation management.
So, even though everyone under the sun googles everything from Alpha Romeo’s to ZZ Top, no one seems to think they will ever be Googled. One statistic that came out showed that if you took around 100 random names and looked up search activity, you could find that there are roughly 200 searches per name.
Business contacts, prospective employers, relationships, and anyone with Internet access can look up your name anytime they’d like to and get mountains of information. With this being the case reputation management becomes all the more important. If you aren’t sure if your online reputation is crystal clear, you can search your own name and see what comes up. Blogs, message boards, forum posts, and other sites may bring up specific criticisms about you, impacting your career choices, relationship options, and even loans.
Quality online reputation management doesn’t just involve googling your name once to see what comes up; it consists of monitoring your online presence regularly. If you don’t, a couple of problems can occur.
First, if you don’t know what’s being said about you, you can be caught completely unaware of negative comments, libel and more. If you’re a business, competitors could be posing as customers and writing terrible posts on blogs, or leaving nasty blog comments. If you’re a teacher, students may be leaving horrible comments about you on Twitter or Facebook. Negative comments have a knack for spreading beyond where they originate and could damage your reputation in the long term. You may not want to believe you could be the target of negative online comments, but it’s completely possible. With the Internet, anything is up for discussion, and once the quality subjects have run out, people are more than willing to gossip. Seventy percent of job recruiters use Google to check out job candidates. IF the information which arises from a search is negative, even if those negative comments are inaccurate, your career and life could suffer.
Another problem is actually the opposite. You may find that there is no news about you online, and with nothing being written, nothing is being read. No public opinion could be just as damaging as negative public opinion. It could make you look like you are shady, that your business isn’t savvy and so forth.
As the Internet and its influence continue to grow and dominate the business world, online reputation management will only increase in importance. Instead of having to maintain your reputation in your community or in your state, you’re going to have to pay attention to a much wider audience. Contacting a highly-qualified reputation management company that is capable of handling online reputation management can be a major tool and a way to both monitor and improve your online reputation.
8 Tips For Improving Online Reputation Management
Reputation management can be a difficult task to execute well. Most people either ignore reputation management altogether or aren’t exactly sure how to repair or create their reputation. Tens of thousands of press releases fly around the Internet on a regular basis, filling cyberspace with poor attempts to build a company’s reputation.
Here are eight tips to help you increase your company’s online presence and show it in a positive light.
- Be Humble – This may not seem like a major asset, but humility often makes the difference between success and failure. Humility will allow you to try ideas that are new and different, while fear and false pride will drive you to trust in the old way. The old way often won’t work in a new world of communications where the Internet spits out information at an alarming rate.
- Understand the task at hand – The court of public opinion is unforgiving. It’s often arbitrary in who it exploits and why. Politicians who are dedicated to public service might be publicly embarrassed because of a slip of the tongue. You need to recognize that you need to fight fire with fire, and online techniques, as well as public relations tactics, are necessary for quality reputation management.
- You need the right professionals – Hiring your nephew to write press releases isn’t going to get the job done. To repair, create, or build your online reputation, you need qualified reputation management professionals who know and understand Google, Bing, Yahoo, and every other search engine people use.
- Image and reputation aren’t the same – You can have a great image, but a terrible reputation. An image tends to be a short term imprint. For example, at any point during his presidency, George W. Bush had a good image, but overall his reputation plummeted amongst many communities of people. You can fix your image but still have a bad reputation if your tactics are too short-term.
- Reputations aren’t built overnight – A reputation has legs, is built upon honesty, trust, transparency, and accountability and is regularly supported by character and integrity. Anyone can buy a good image for a week, a month, or even a year. However, building a reputation takes years to do properly.
- Assume everything will make its way to the web – It’s no longer safe to think you’ll be able to make a single comment that won’t be googled eventually.
- Choose the right outlets – It’s important to know what social networking outlets will work, what blog voice will work, what search engines to focus on. There are various forms of blog software, for example, but you have to choose what works best for you. Facebook and Twitter are both popular social networks, but that doesn’t mean your customers or clients will use either.
- Build your Google reputation now, not later – Reputation management often hinges upon timing, and time is always of the essence. Waiting until tomorrow to spend time fixing your Google reputation is a bad idea.
Why Is Reputation Management Important?
Since the inception of the internet, brand reputation has become tangible in the form of online reviews. We live in an age where everything we do online has a consequence. The search engines are powerful weapons, and so is social media. Regardless if you’re a large brand, local company, or influencer, your reputation is what determines if people are going to want to do business with you.
The perception of your business will dictate whether people decide to stop working with you or pay you more money. Combined with reputation marketing, reputation management can become a streamlined marketing process that generates new leads and sales.