What the world thinks about you matters. While keeping your online reputation and identity safeguarded may not always be top of mind, you’ll want to make it a priority before it’s too late.
84% of internet users say that they trust online reviews as much as they do their friends. Because of this, negative reviews or unflattering posts made by former employees can destroy your business.
Not realizing the importance of your online reputation can result in the failure of your business. Many business owners don’t realize the value of their online reputation until they’ve become a victim of false online accusations.
If you want to ensure your business’ reputation protection, read on.
Why Does My Business Need Reputation Protection?
You should realize that not everyone is smart enough to decipher what information is real and what is a hoax. The last US election showed the world just how powerful “fake” news can be.
False information can wield a lot of power over people who may not do the necessary due diligence to confirm the reports that they read. Case in point? Pizzagate.
Pizzagate is a news item that occurred during the 2016 US presidential election. Something strange occurred after Wikileaks released stolen emails from Democratic National Chair John Podesta and DNC presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.
Many people online began to speculate that many of their emails contained coded messages. They believed that the coded messages actually detailed a sinister human trafficking operation. Internet conspiracy theories are not uncommon, this one quickly grew out of control.
Conspiracy theorists claimed that the stolen DNC emails revealed an underground child sex ring. This sex ring was being run by the Democratic party under a Washington D.C. pizza restaurant. Because these online posts grew unchecked, one well-intended North Carolina man drove to the pizza joint himself.
On Dec 4, 2016, the man walked into the D.C. restaurant with a rifle, intent on saving the children being held captive. While he fired his weapon three times, no one was injured.
Although most online reputation concerns don’t create the same level of danger, this is the perfect example to show just how powerful of an effect online posts can have.
Who’s Reading Negative Posts About Your Business?
In today’s day and age, things said on the internet can have very real-world consequences. Because negative or false posts can be posted on a variety of different platforms, it can be difficult to police by oneself. A single disgruntled employee can cost you business.
The reality is your reputation and identity in the online marketplace is very important. It can either bring prosperity to you and to your business or hinder your success on the downside of it.
Who you are in the online world defines you as a business. Whatever is said about your business is likely to be taken as a reality, whether that information is true or not.
Most businesses rely heavily on referrals to attract more clients. If you would like to protect your business’ market share, you must keep your reputation intact. Let’s go over some simple steps you should follow to ensure that your online reputation isn’t driving away your target clients.
Check for Your Business in All Major Search Engines at Least Once a Month
Customers often write about companies in review sites, blog posts, and social media. To find out what people are talking about, you search for your business in all major search engines.
You should also search for the names of prominent employees. This can be done on a search engine or by searching social media platforms such as Twitter.
You can also check on industry-related community websites. These are platforms which may have mentioned your business but may slip through the cracks in search responses.
The information you gather doing this may be relevant to your customers’ base. This can also help you identify bad actors who may be posting negative feedback on a variety of platforms.
To facilitate tracking down this information, you can set up an RSS feed or an automatic alert that would allow you to access updates to online content automatically.
Make Your Business Profile Your Own
Almost everybody relies upon the web to help them find service providers. They use these search responses to gain valuable information. This information becomes the basis of how they choose a service provider.
It is imperative that you claim your business profile across the web and on every social media platform. Unclaimed profiles are likely to get snapped up by people who harbor ill will against your business.
Identity theft and online impersonation attempts are common nowadays. It is always prudent to guard your personal and business profiles carefully. This will help to ensure that your online reputation is not tampered with.
Get Professional Help
Policing your online presence can be hard for any company. Small businesses may not have the time or resources to keep tabs on their online presence.
Similarly, large businesses may have difficulty keeping up with their online mentions. Sifting through hundreds of daily tags or dealing with scores of online trolls can be equally difficult.
This is why is often best to invest in reputation protection from an outside expert. If you’re interested in learning more about digital reputation management, you can read more now.
How to Protect Your Business
Sadly, people in the online world tend to be easily fooled. They often fall prey to believing almost everything they read on the internet. Without taking the time to fact check, people are liable to believe whatever is said about your business.
Take the time to ensure that disgruntled employees and sneaky competitors aren’t costing you business. You’ll be glad that you did. For more on this and other important topics, visit our website.