Online reputation management is a major concern for many businesses in the world today. Misinformation abounds on the internet, and high speed connections make it easier than ever for that kind of negative information and mud-slinging to spread like wildfire through multiple networks. Repairing a business’s online reputation after it’s been damaged is not easy, but it can be done if the business owner knows what to do.
- Stay Tuned In
An ounce of prevention, as the saying goes, is worth a pound of cure. This is more on the internet than anywhere else. Tune into the kinds of networks that can damage your reputation to more easily pick up on negative words and address them quickly. Search engines like Technorati can comb the blogging world for any mention of your company, and online review sites should be monitored as well. It’s not that difficult to keep your finger on the pulse of internet society, so listen in and see what people are saying.
- Sign Up for Alerts
No webmaster’s arsenal is complete without the Google Analytics tool set. This utility allows for monitoring and management of web traffic in addition to many other functions. One of the most valuable functions of all is Google Alerts. This utility can send messages directly to your email account whenever your business is becoming the topic of conversation somewhere on the web. Don’t let reputation damage catch you off guard–get the inside scoop right away with Google Alerts and stay on top of the game.
- Own Your Name
Intellectual property is a tricky game on the internet. It is easier than ever for those with ill-intentions to hijack a company’s name and damage its reputation. Combat this by reserving your company’s name on every conceivable network. Buy your company’s domain name, set up accounts on every social popular social media network, and monitor these accounts carefully. It is always possible for an account to be hacked, but it’s much easier for nefarious individuals to damage your reputation by hijacking names that aren’t already taken.
- Optimize Your Security
Never assume that you are completely safe on the internet. If security was as simple as some imagine, there wouldn’t be unexpected outbreaks of viruses and spy-ware. Email accounts can be hacked, as well as website control panels and social media accounts. Be sure to maximize your security settings on all of these platforms, and always be careful about handling information. Make use of email encryption if you need to send secure data, and never underestimate the capabilities of internet hackers.
- Respond Appropriately
If you become the victim of some kind of reputation damage, make sure that you know how to handle the situation. Something like a negative review or comment on a blog can be addressed directly, often to positive results. For more serious issues, however, more serious action is required. Online services like Reputation.com can help solve your troubles if needed. In extreme cases, the law may have to be invoked in an internet defamation suit. Discern the severity of your reputation damage, and respond in kind. These guidelines will help you effectively prevent and repair damage to your business’s reputation on the internet.