If you're a business owner you need to worry about your company's reputation on the Internet.
A single negative posting can quickly multiply and under the right circumstances, lead to a devastating PR scenario. Although you can't spend all your time surfing the Internet, the worst thing you can do is to stick your head in the sand and hope everyone posts happy, glowing comments about your business.
Effective online reputation management begins by finding a way to accurately and efficiently monitor a range of web-based media. Affordable software and service providers exist to help you keep an eye on blogs, message boards, social media sites, websites, and even search engines.
When false or negative information about your company appears, the way to address it is by maximizing positive references to your brand. If you think about the online community as a crowd of people at a sporting event, the best way to counter a few "boos" is by increasing the number of people who are cheering.
How do you do that? The process can be complicated. But if you decide to tackle it on your own instead of outsourcing it to an online reputation management provider, here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Optimize your site
If you haven't made any effort to optimize your website, that's the place to begin. In some cases, a small company may not even have a website yet still suffer from a negative online reputation. Whatever else you do make sure you have a high-quality website that appears at the top of the list of results when your brand is searched.
Create related sites
Many businesses have successfully drowned out negative online PR by creating new websites that are related to their business. For example, some companies choose to create a brand-new website for their charitable activities. With little effort, the new site is connected to the existing site and optimized to appear early in search engines.
Online press releases are another great way to create positive content on the Internet. Your press releases should be informative and meaningful, but if you do them well they'll outrank negative comments.
- There are many other ways to generate positive, high-ranking content about your company online. At a minimum, you should explore creating company profiles on popular social media websites.