Why Online Reputation Management Services for Individuals Is Important

If you’re an individual who is working hard to build up a robust brand for yourself, then you should invest in online reputation management services for individuals. After attending countless networking events, trade shows and online webinars, you certainly know that building a brand for yourself from scratch is a far cry from a walk in the park. A strong brand reputation can harbour trust and loyalty in your customers, and of course spread that much desired word-of-mouth to potential clients. Recently, showcasing your brand through social responsibility programs and purposeful marketing promotions has been a trend in driving customer recognition. You’ll see renowned companies like P&G embark in such matters with campaigns dedicated to demonstrating how their products touch and improve human lives. Dedicating your programs to inspiring and motivating your greatest corporate assets—your employees—as they are your walking advertisements. Your brand purpose should be simple, meaningful and memorable. Don’t overcomplicate it. Any John Doe should understand what your purpose is within minutes of reading it. Only once your employees grasp onto your newfound vision for the company can you externally promote your brand purpose with honesty.

Imagine that one day, something devastating breaks your normal business routine. You wake up fresh-eyed (after a hot cup of coffee of course), only to realize that your business has been plagued with one of the most severe illnesses out there. You own a small online jewelry store that relies on customer reviews, and you see that a rotten blog post reviewing your company has made it’s way onto Google’s first search engine results page. How did it get there, and how come you didn’t catch it earlier? You notice that the blog post’s date stamp is from over a month ago. There are many corners of the web in which bad news that can be severely hurting your reputation without you even realizing it may be festering. That’s why online reputation management services for individuals should not simply be reserved as your last resort when you realize a bad review is hurting your reputation. It should be used as a pre-emptive strategy in order to avoid such damaging effects.

Not only can the few companies that exist in the market today, one of the prime being Reputation.Management, help you to identify bad results before they trudge their way to Google’s first page—but they can also help you increase sales long-term by populating your channels with positive news. Also, if your company’s website, blogs and social media accounts are consistently updated with new information, it will be easier for companies specialized in online reputation management services for individuals to erase your unwanted news. This is because Google rewards search results that have many clicks and have been live for a long period of time. Chances are that if a positive post has been published years ago and reverse SEO (also referred to as online reputation management) is conducted, then your lousy bad press release that was published a month ago will soon disappear. However, the opposite is also true. Online reputation management specialists dictate that the longer a bad review infects your reputation, it will take equally the amount of time to suppress it.

Now, back to our e-retailer story. When you take a closer look at the scandal hurting your business, you suddenly realize that most of the information is not even accurate. Sure, the customer should always be right, but in this case they are plain wrong. The customer has mistaken your company name for another e-retailer and proceeds to complain about the cheap materials used to fabricate the now tarnished bracelet that they have purchased. This is only the beginning to an even bigger mess, in which the blog’s comment section is flooded with other astonished and maddened customers. Remember, your small business relies heavily on good reviews to operate. In this case, you need to contact a credible company known for online reputation management services for individuals. Most Public Relations firms are traditional and don’t have the resources to heal your headache. Your best bet is to go directly to the source with a boutique agency that is committed to understanding your needs and protecting your reputation long-term. The company can ensure brand-focused social media campaigns and SEO tactics to move your wanted news higher up on Google’s Search Engine Results Page while detecting and suppressing bad reviews before it becomes more imminent for your company.

There are a plethora of other reasons as to why you may want to consider online reputation management services for individuals. In business, it’s a no brainer that everyone is obsessed with driving sales up. Based on a thorough study conducted by Vendasta, a few shocking yet relevant statistics pave the way to your ORM enlightenment. While 92% of customers read online reviews, over half of people aged between 18 and 34 years old trusted user reviews more than they trusted the recommendations of their family and friends. Almost half of online browsers only read one to three reviews before making a purchase decision. If your nasty review pops up first, potential clients may stray far from ever wanting to search about your company again. With the help of ORM agencies, you can ensure effective long-term returns as bad reviews will be kept under the water. An online positive reputation creates keen trust and credibility for your customers. If you have a trustworthy brand thanks to your positive trail of reviews, then you’ll see sales slowly but surely skyrocket.

5 Ways Reputation Management is Being Redefined for Small Businesses

Reputation management is a way of controlling the impact and visibility of negative reviews on your small business. When your business is small or just getting started, reviews are important. Negative reviews must be carefully managed so potential customers looking for your business only find the good reviews you want them seeing.
More than ever before, consumers are researching companies before they do business with them. What is the quality of their product or service? How is their customer service? Consumers are searching for information from past customers to learn more about you. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses and 85% of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
You Can’t Avoid Reputation Management
For most small businesses, trying to avoid reputation management leaves them in a bad position. The more your business grows, the more often consumers will be searching online for your business by name. Having poor reviews or even imposter social media accounts ranking on search engines can negatively impact your business’s bottom line and growth.
The goal of reputation management is to become and remain active on social media and produce up to date, high-quality blog content to push any negative reviews off the first page of search engine results and out of view for most consumers. Very few online searches go beyond the first page of search engine results. By controlling the first page of results, you increase the visibility of positive reviews and high-quality blog and social media content.
Below are five reputation management tips you can use to help control what consumers see when they search online for your business.
1. Monitor search engine results. Taking the time to sit down and search for yourself or your business may seem like a waste of time, but knowing what others see when they look for you online is the first step in making sure they only see the positive. Setting up a Google Alert when something is posted online with your business’s keywords or key phrases is a good way to help automate the process.
2. Monitor social media. Just because you only use Facebook or LinkedIn doesn’t mean those are the only social media platforms your potential clients are using. Make sure you are regularly checking the mentions of your business or brand on all major social sites. Utilizing a service such as Hootsuite helps you keep track of mentions and comments of your brand on most major social media platforms.
3. Monitor comments on blogs. Anytime you write an article on your website or contribute to a third-party blog website, you should be monitoring for feedback and comments so you can respond quickly and appropriately. Most major blog platforms allow authors to be automatically notified when a comment is made on that post. This makes it easy for you to stay involved and connect with a larger audience.
4. Monitor major review sites. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways of growing your business. Online reviews, when positive, are extremely effective in turning potential customers into paying customers. Monitoring major review sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and Angie’s List is critical in maintaining engagement, thanking customers for positive reviews and resolving negative reviews so they can be turned into a positive experience.
5. Create a policy for handling negative reviews. Having a policy in place allows you and your employees to respond in a positive way without becoming emotionally charged. You don’t want to delete the negative comment unless it uses vulgarity or is overly offensive. Respond quickly and empathize with the reviewer. Admit to the mistake and offer to solve their problem via email or over the phone. Finally, ask them to update their negative review with a description of the service they received and the resolution to their problem.
Online reputation management is important to the long-term success and growth of your business. Contact us today to see how we can help simplify the process so you can focus on what you do best.

Reputation Crisis: How it Harms Your Brand’s Search Results

With even a moderate understanding of how vital your online reputation is to your brand’s success, it’s mostly likely true that you have worked and you continue to work very hard in order to establish and maintain a strong online presence. This means running websites, blogs and social media accounts in order to better connect with the public, provide the transparency that is expected and so highly desired, answer questions and solve problems and much more. It is simply unfortunate that the avenues you depend upon in order to build your online reputation are the very same avenues by which you can be caused extensive harm.

Online Reputation Crises and Search Results

There are many ways that an online reputation crisis can occur, but one of the primary ways is through the posted comment or review of a consumer. This review can be entirely true and written by a consumer who did not make their concerns known to you directly, but who has chosen to speak out on social media or review websites. This review can be an error, intended for another brand but accidently posted in relation to your brand. This review can be a complete fabrication, written by an individual who intends to harm your brand for some reason. Regardless of the source of the crisis, however, the fact is that it can rocket one’s brand to the top of search results for all the wrong reasons.

Shocking and sensational news can be incredibly attention-grabbing, which means that individuals will go searching for information about specific situations that are made out to be shocking or sensational. This interest alone can drive bad news, stories and reviews to the top of search results. Media outlets can compound the situation by capitalizing on bad news–further promoting it without even verifying its validity. In fact, one study from ING revealed that nearly half the journalists surveyed openly admitted that they first try to publish news stories as rapidly as possible, and then they will correct the information in the story later if it proves necessary to do so. This means that before you have had a chance to respond to a disgruntled consumer and make things right, rectify a review that was accidentally published against you or disprove a completely false story, media outlets will share it more broadly, allowing it to gain even more momentum in search results. The survey also revealed that many journalists rely on social media as their main source of information, even though the information on social media is far from reliable.

Unfortunately, a negative article written about your brand can take some time to slowly drop in search results. Even if you seek to publish the truth or “your side” of things, the negative article can still remain high in the search results, and your response article lower. References to the negative article, either from the initial publication results or even from articles that are using it as an example of a false, negative article, can cause it to continue ranking high. Public interest in what you have to say about the matter may simply not be as high as public interest in a piece of news that seems scandalous in nature.

Search Reputation Management

Unfortunately, even if you try and work quickly to resolve an online reputation crisis, it can continue to negatively affect your brand’s search results for some time to come. Search engine reputation management is critical to establishing and maintaining a strong, positive search reputation and protecting it against potential reputation crises before they occur. Search engine reputation management will also work to focus consumer attention on positive news and information about your brand, which can further drive down negative search results that would take time to move down slowly on their own.

What is Puffery and Why Could it Be Harming Your Brand’s Reputation

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of running a successful business is drawing positive consumer attention and creating conversions. One seeks to promote that they are there, that they provide valuable products or services, and that they are a cut above the competition with their online brand reputation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this–in fact it’s essential to one’s success–that is, unless one steps over the line with puffery.

Brand Reputation Management

Reputation management has a lot to do with helping a brand communicate effectively to consumers so that consumers understand the brand and what they have to offer. Unfortunately, it is commonly believed that in order to be successful in attracting positive attention, a brand has to engage in some degree of puffery. This promotional exaggeration of who one truly is or of what one can deliver may seem innocent enough–after all, one is constantly bombarded by advertisements that promise that a certain product or service is “the most amazing in the world” or some such similar thing. It is certainly true that puffery may attract consumer attention. However, it can also harm a brand’s reputation.

Many consumers recognize puffery for what it is: attention-seeking promotional exaggerations that shouldn’t be given much weight. In fact, some large brands use puffery regularly in their marketing, and sometimes even in their slogans. The fact that puffery has been used for a long time and continues to be used liberally today indicates how workable it can be. Unfortunately, it can also lead to both consumer discontent and even legal issues that adversely affect a brand’s reputation.

While puffery is legal, false advertising is decidedly illegal–and there is a very fine line between the two, as some companies have learned quite painfully. For example, in 2014 Red Bull lost a thirteen million dollar class action lawsuit when it was argued that the claim their drink had the ability to improve concentration and reaction was scientifically unprovable. This may be an example of outright false advertising, or it may very well be a case of puffery that simply went too far. The trouble is that for Red Bull, and every other brand, there is actually no clear delineation of what is acceptable puffery and what is puffery gone too far.

One of the main problems that a brand will face when using puffery is that someone may very well be looking for the exact results that the brand claims they can achieve, and is unaware of the fact that they are buying into some degree of puffery. Even if the claim is within the bounds of legal puffery, there is no arguing that the consumer will be disappointed when the brand’s products or services fail to actually deliver those results. One bad review can easily spread like wildfire over the internet, effectively and sometimes even permanently damaging the brand’s reputation. Furthermore, that consumer–and every other consumer he reaches and who believes him–will be unlikely to seriously consider anything the brand has to say in the future, as their credibility has been effectively ruined.
Even where consumers recognize puffery for what it is, a brand’s reputation can still suffer because its advertising has, to some degree, become ineffective. Consumers may be wary about whether other claims or statements made by the brand are actually true, and a quick internet search can provide them with the answers they seek. Or, rather than spending the time to find out they may just go elsewhere.

Since puffery is misleading anyway and there is no telling what sort of legal issues may arise as a result of using puffery, it is better for a brand’s reputation if they just stay away from it altogether.

5 Ways Your Online Reputation is Affecting the Findability of Your Business

Many businesses today have learned that their online reputation is directly related to their income. This is not difficult to understand when you consider how many consumers today will conduct online research before deciding whether to purchase specific products and services and from who. Obviously a business’ online reputation can help to highlight how trustworthy they are, how customer-service oriented they are and what consumers think of their products and services. What may not be as well known is how online reputation affects a business’ findability.

Search Engine Reputation Management

A business’ findability is essentially their visibility to consumers who are looking to buy. Where a business is not findable, it’s safe to say that consumers are largely unaware of their existence and therefore will not buy from them. Business reputation management services can help to improve online reputation and in so doing, improve a findability. Specifically, there are five main ways a business’ online reputation affects their findability:

1. Spreading brand familiarity.
2. Providing information about the physical location.
3. Advertising the business’ products or services.
4. Maintaining a strong online presence.
5. Building positive reputation and community involvement.

There was once a time where the primary things one heard about a business were only those things the business itself promoted. With the introduction of the internet, however, as well as review sites, social networking, blogs and more, consumers have literally limitless options to generate word of mouth about businesses. Unfortunately, while some of this word of mouth is highly complimentary and beneficial to the business’ reputation, some of this word of mouth can be disparaging and even highly damaging to the business. Needless to say, the latter may potentially increase a business’ visibility, but not in a way that is helpful in attracting and securing new consumers. This is why reputation monitoring services are so important, and improving one’s online reputation is critical.

Improving Your Online Reputation

There are many different things that can be done in order to improve an online reputation. One of the most important things a business can do is listen. A business absolutely must know where and how to listen in order to find out how consumers feel about them. Generally speaking, this requires that one monitors social media networks, blogs, review sites and whatever else is necessary to uncover what is being said about them. Complimentary statements should be duly acknowledged and shared, whereas unflattering, derogatory and even downright slanderous statements must be handled carefully. These types of statements can obviously scar or even ruin a business’ online reputation, but an inappropriate response from the business can exacerbate the situation. A business can work hard to obtain scores of honest, positive reviews and increase their SEO to help push down negative and unflattering reviews. They can also focus some time and attention on addressing negative reviews honestly and professionally in an effort to make things right with disgruntled consumers. Finally, they can pursue whatever legal means are available and necessary to remove outright slanderous and false reviews.

A business that works proactively to establish a strong online reputation and protect it from damage is definitely more findable and therefore more successful in achieving their overall business goals. While they may not be able to control what is said about them (though they can certainly encourage their customers to leave honest, positive reviews), they are certainly able to quickly address negative situations. Sometimes they can even turn these negative situations around into positive ones, impressing not only the customer himself, but also dozens or even hundreds of other potential customers.

Bad Online Reputation: 5 Ways to Determine What’s Causing It

A bad online reputation is detrimental to your sales and company image. When people see mostly negative reviews, it’s a sign that something isn’t right and will send them looking in another direction. Once a bad reputation has begun, it can be difficult to reverse it and return your reputation back to normal. However, there are five ways that can help you determine what is causing it in order to fix your online reputation.

1. Negative Reviews

While this may seem obvious, many companies don’t check review websites to see what their past clients have said about them. Not only that, but there could be fake negative reviews that aren’t being found and reported. If a person in the company is dedicated to monitoring review websites, you can be more in control over what is being said about your business.

2. Issue is of Interest to Others

There could be a negative article written about your business, but if it isn’t of interest to others, it won’t do much damage to your online reputation. However, if the general public is interested in the negative article, their interest will make it harder to push down and easier to continue ranking high on search engine results.

3. Comment Activity on Social Media

If your business has social media accounts, but aren’t monitoring the comment activity, you could be opening your business up for a poor reputation. Many businesses on social media will have at least a few past customers who are voicing their opinion on poor service. If you’re not there to respond, it appears as though your business isn’t keeping in mind the satisfaction of its customers. By keeping an eye on comment activity and by responding to negative comments, you will become more in control of your online reputation.

4. Negative Information Ranks High on Search Pages

If links to negative articles rank high on search pages, such as major news sites, government sites, etc. that are already filled with high traffic, it can be very difficult to move those articles down. Due to these types of pages remaining high on search engine results, your online reputation could go down quickly.

5. Lack of Customer Service

Customer service is a huge part of any business. When a person leaves a negative review, comment or even writes a negative article about your business, you need a representative to respond in a caring way. There are many ways customer service can handle negative comments, reviews, and articles and by utilizing them, you will be able to redeem your business and maintain a good reputation.

Rebuilding Your Reputation

We understand the difficulties that come with maintain your online reputation. We know that it takes work and dedication to maintain a good reputation, and we understand that it takes time and hard work to build a reputation back up to good standing. This is why we ensure that our clients are best educated and informed about how to achieve a good reputation. We understand how to repair your online reputation so you can continue to reach your business goals.

Our Online Reputation Management agency was created by a leading expert in reputation management, Herman Tumurcuoglu. It’s because of Mr. Tumurcuoglu that we are the dedicated team that we are today. We offer many services from reputation management to PR support and removing negative results in search engines. If you are encountering reputation damage and need help, we are ready and able. Call us today at 1-888-295-7134. Our experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable reputation management advisors are more than willing to help.

New Businesses: Why You Need to Prioritize Reputation Management

Starting a new business can be an incredibly exciting, and sometimes an intimidating adventure. In addition to establishing the basic business structure you need in order to create products or services for customers, you need to reach out to and connect with these customers. In many cases, this latter point can be one of the most difficult, simply because each business has so much competition that they have to figure out how to outshine. In today’s environment, it is critical that a new business establish an online presence in order to reach out to and connect with consumers. It is also absolutely critical that they pay good attention to business reputation management from the very beginning–since it is far easier to build and monitor a good reputation than struggle to correct a poor one.

Business Reputation Monitoring

While there is certainly nothing wrong with a business that focuses much of its time, effort, and money on producing and delivering excellent products or services to their customers, it is also important for them to invest some of their time, effort, and money on reputation management. It’s a terribly unfortunate fact that those businesses that scramble into reputation management after something has already damaged their reputation often find that it’s too late to recover, or recover fully. However, when a new business is just getting started and their reputation possibilities are endless, they can work to quickly build a strong reputation that will be able to withstand many things that seek to drag it down.

Some businesses believe that by avoiding an online presence entirely, or by avoiding social media entirely, they cannot possibly suffer a bad reputation since they aren’t “doing anything.” Unfortunately, this is exactly what can damage their reputation in the eyes of consumers–they aren’t doing anything! Regardless of whether a business says anything about themselves, consumers will definitely say plenty, and a business that fails to respond can look like they simply don’t care. This is highly unattractive and off-putting, as it convinces consumers that the business doesn’t put much stock in customer service or interacting with their customers, and few consumers actually feel comfortable forming a relationship with such a business.

Establishing Trustworthiness

A new business has a lot to prove with consumers, as they have to convince these consumers that they not only have products or services that are needed and wanted, but that their products or services are better than their competition’s. As one can imagine, this is an awful lot for a new business to prove, and they will need all the help they can get. With effective reputation management, however, it is possible.

Reputation management includes professionally interacting with consumers online–which means responding to questions, comments and reviews–both good and bad. It may be true that consumers are wary of businesses that have received bad reviews, but there are several ways this can be countered. If the business is very active online, engaging with consumers and customers, it shows that they care and are willing to work at maintaining a good relationship. A business that responds to good comments and reviews, thanking the customer and perhaps even offering them a discount on their next product or service, can also build a sort of “shield” against the occasional bad review. A business that professionally responds to negative comments and reviews, offering to work with the customer to make things right, can look very trustworthy because while errors can sometimes happen they obviously are willing to take full responsibility for these errors. When a business takes time to monitor and improve their reputation from the very beginning, they can reap the benefits for many long years afterward.

For more information about how reputation management services can benefit you, contact our team today.

Entrepreneurs: Why Online Reputation Management Matters

If you’re working hard to build a business, you may think that you can’t afford to pay attention to your online presence or reputation. Actually, the truth is that if you’re working hard to build a business you can’t afford to not pay attention to your online presence and reputation. After all, we currently live in a world where consumers are more than likely to run an online search for a business prior to making a choice about whether or not to enter into a relationship with that business. Reputation building is therefore absolutely critical to the success of any business, whether they are just starting up, working to grow, or stabilized after many years.

The Importance of Online Reputation Management 

Waiting for your online reputation to be a mess before taking action to resolve it is waiting too long. You will build more strength and power for your business by taking control of your online reputation from the very beginning, so that you can determine just how it is shaped. Imagine a consumer goes searching for your business online and all they find is a series of small-time review sites with little to no reviews, or even worse, poor reviews. It’s safe to assume that they won’t waste any more of their time considering your business, and will move on to look for something else somewhere else. This means that without even having interacted with the consumer for a second, your business has already lost a potential conversion. Even if this only occurs once a week you can see how it can quickly add up over the course of several months or a year. Research has even suggested that businesses can lose about twenty percent of business when potential consumers find a negative article about them online, a little more than forty percent of business when potential consumers find two negative articles about them online and just around sixty percent of business when potential consumers find three negative articles about them online. So what can you do? Consider the following online reputation management tips:

  • Find out what you’re dealing with. Running a Google search on your business can give you a very good idea of how your online reputation currently looks. You should take a look at the first few pages of search results, and at least the first page of images that come up so you understand what irrelevant and negative content you will need to handle.
  • Clean up your search results. You may find that some of the content that comes up in your Google search are unflattering photos and inappropriate or embarrassing status updates on social media. This is a good time to go ahead and delete them.
  • Create a website. If you don’t already have a website, now is the time to create one. If you do have a website but it’s tired and outdated, it may be time to have it professionally updated. The goal is to give consumers a place to go to get the best information about your business straight from the source. This website should have an easy-to-find URL (such as your business’ name), an About Us page, a regularly updated blog, a call-to-action and easy to see contact information.
  • Set up social media accounts. Social media provides an excellent way for a business to interact with current and potential consumers, and it can also help to ensure that more of the top search engine results can focus on those sites you control and maintain.
  • Find out what your target audience truly needs and wants. You can spend tons of time, money and effort on promoting your business and its products or services and wonder why you are not getting the traffic and conversions you expect. However, if you take the time to find out what your target audience truly needs and wants, you may be able to restructure your content marketing strategy so that it effectively reaches out to and engages consumers, leading to conversions.
  • Manage your online reviews. Relying upon third party review sites for effective reviews about your business is risky, especially since this will lead consumers to the third party site instead of your website. Manage your own online reviews and draw consumers to your door.

Effective online reputation management can make a great deal of difference in the success of a business. Those businesses that are aggressive about establishing and improving their online reputation are highly rewarded for their efforts.

Technological Advancements Profoundly Impacting Online Reputation Management

It is virtually impossible for any business to exist today without some sort of online reputation. Even those businesses that fail to maintain an online presence are affected by the fact that most consumers are willing and even eager to speak about them online–through social media, review websites and more. A business that actively maintains an online presence and works hard to protect their online reputation with various management tools or through the help of a dedicated online reputation specialist is better able to present consumers with the business image they desire. That said, online reputation management is far more than knowing how to fix your online reputation should something go awry. It is also about understanding how online reputation threats can occur, and what tools you can use to protect against them. Perhaps even more importantly, it is about understanding the impact that technological advancements have on your online reputation and how to properly manage it with this in mind.

How Technological Advancements Affect Online Reputation Management

Understanding what must be done to effectively protect one’s online reputation is not as simple as learning a series of rules and then simply adhering to them. This is due to the fact that those things that can damage or improve your online reputation are constantly changing and evolving–which is why online reputation management must be constantly changing and evolving as well. One of the biggest sources of changes and evolution is various technological advancements, which can be a great asset when used properly and a great detriment when ignored.

Consider first how advancements in technology have actually opened the door to more business-consumer interactions. With various social media platforms and other online forums, consumers are able to easily reach out to and connect with a business. They like to express how they feel about a business or brand, as well as their products and services. They like when a business consults them about new products or services and truly seems to care about their feedback and opinion. Social media allows for a much more personal communication to exist between a business and consumer when the business responds to consumer questions, concerns and comments, and herein lies an amazing opportunity to boost their image. Even where a consumer has something unflattering or downright critical to say about a business, the business can still turn the situation to their advantage by responding promptly and professionally, indicating their care for the consumer and their interest in setting things right. If a business ignores this avenue, however, and fails to maintain a social media presence or fails to communicate with consumers through social media, it can be very detrimental to their reputation.

Consumers today expect to be able to find businesses online easily, and get in “behind the scenes” of these businesses through social media platforms. It is not at all unusual for them to respond harshly and critically if a business fails to step up and create and maintain this desirable online presence. Since many more consumers interact with businesses online today, rather than through brick and mortar establishments, they expect and demand this type of human connection, and with the technology to support it businesses must step up and fill the need.

The Bottom Line

Some businesses may pride themselves in establishing more personal connections with consumers by forming in-person relationships. They may feel that by shying away from a strong online presence they are somehow preserving the idea that online connections are less genuine or fulfilling, and therefore they are making a unique name for themselves. Unfortunately, while some consumers may understand and support this general idea, the vast majority of consumers today will be irritated by the lack of a strong online presence for the business. They are more likely to view it as a mark of the business’ isolation from, rather than connection with, consumers, and they are unlikely to hold anything back when telling others about it. It is therefore in a business’ best interests to stay abreast of technological advancements as regards online reputation management, and connect with consumers in the way that current consumers most desire.

Why Companies Are Instituting Employee Reputation Management

In today’s tech-savvy world, more and more companies are quickly realizing just how critical online reputation management is. Just one single disparaging review of a company, their products or their services can quickly escalate into an extremely damaging public relations nightmare that takes a considerable amount of time, money and effort to resolve, even if the review is proven to be entirely false. Effective online reputation management can work hard to protect a company against things that have the potential to threaten their reputation and can resolve situations quickly when they arise. Since there are many possible ways a company’s online reputation can be affected by their employees, companies now believe that effective online reputation management also includes employee reputation management.

The Importance of Employee Reputation Management

The very nature of online news and social media sites means that information of a sensational nature can, and often does, go viral in record time. This means that even while a company must work very hard to protect their online reputation from disparaging news and remarks that are made about them online, they must also consider the damaging effects that can be caused by their employees’ actions and remarks.

It is no secret that employees are the face of their company, and that their decisions, actions and remarks can affect how others view the company. This is why companies perform background checks on applicants prior to hiring them–they cannot afford to be associated with an individual who has broken accepted social codes. But what happens if an individual has been hired and then decides, does or says something that reflects poorly upon the company? One poorly thought-out Facebook post has the potential to be just as damaging to a company’s reputation as a customer’s disparaging review–and sometimes even more so–as it was made by someone who represents the company. This is why employee reputation management has become so very important.

Understanding Employee Reputation Management

In addition to normal hiring procedures that include running general background checks to determine the presence of any criminal history, some companies are now running social media background checks on potential employees. This can help them to understand the individual’s general social habits as well as what they post to social media about, so as to better understand how the individual may reflect upon the company once hired. For example, if an individual is particularly outspoken about highly controversial political issues, has been badmouthing their boss, colleagues or clients or criticizing their employer in the past, this may present a big problem for a company that is considering hiring the individual. After all, what is to say that the individual won’t be doing the same thing in the near future?

Once an individual has passed these background checks, companies can ensure employee reputation management by establishing policies for employees to adhere to. These policies normally outline how employees are expected to conduct themselves on social media platforms so as not to reflect poorly upon the company. Sometimes they even outline the disciplinary actions the company may take should an employee violate the policies. Companies aren’t just trying to prevent their employees from making disparaging remarks or expressing personal views that could possibly be viewed by others as company views, they are very concerned about employees who will either deliberately or innocently misuse confidential company information, so policies will often cover this as well.

Essentially, a company must help their employees to understand that their actions online can have a big impact on how members of the public view the company, and that nothing they post online in any forum is posted in a vacuum that is guaranteed to be private. In other words, each employee’s reputation is closely linked to their company’s reputation, and they must understand their responsibility in protecting both.