A sterling online reputation is an enormous asset for any business. However, the unfortunate truth is that all it takes to tarnish that reputation is one controversial photograph or social media update. So what can you do when your reputation has been damaged? Below are six proven strategies that can help foster an effective reputation recovery.
Have a Plan (and a back up plan):
The simple truth is that the best solution is a proactive one.
Your business should have an account on every major social media platform so that you have the ability to respond to and deal with any issues that may arise. Consider creating Google Alerts for company and any highly visible employees, so that if something does happen–say, an unfortunate tweet or a compromising Facebook photo–you will know about it before it gets out of control.
Once you discover something that could harm your online reputation, speed is everything. If you are lucky, you might catch it early, giving you a chance to defuse the situation before it picks up steam and does any damage. If you aren’t so lucky, you need to respond quickly and appropriately. Delete any damaging content, prepare a post, statement, or apology if necessary. If you don’t control the content, try send a polite message asking the webmaster to take it down.
Tackle It Head-On:
In some cases, there might simply be nothing you can do to stop a harmful story from getting out. Maybe it picked up steam overnight, or started trending so quickly that preventative measures weren’t enough. Whatever the case may be, you can’t afford to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. By acknowledging the problem head-on, you can direct the conversation and deal with the issue from a stronger position.
Don’t Add Fuel to the Fire:
It may be tempting to fight back, especially if someone is posting inflammatory, rude, or untrue information about your business. Resist that urge. Getting into an argument online will never work in your favor–it will only make you look petty and childish, even if you are in the right. Addressing the situation in a calm, polite, and professional manner will earn you public goodwill and ensure that the situation doesn’t go from bad to worse.
If you are responsible for a mistake or transgression, the worst thing you can do is to appear defensive or defiant about it. Owning up will reduce public outcry before it has a chance to get out of hand, and a sincere apology is often enough to make up for all but the worst misconduct.
Keep Creating Compelling Content:
Once you have deleted the offending content and apologized, the best thing you can do is to keep working and producing new content. It may be an uphill battle, but as time passes, fresh new content will gradually push damaging references to your business out of the public eye. The more content you put out, the faster it happens.
Without proper know-how, damage to your online reputation could end up costing you traffic and revenue. By using the techniques above, you can ensure that you have a safety net in place so that you are able to respond quickly and efficiently to any issue before it becomes a threat to your business.
We Can Help
Recovering from a negative news story or online defamation attack can be tricky and you’re busy being the awesome individual you are (whatever it is you do). So why not let leave it to the professionals. Let our experienced online reputation management pros can handle any negative press or damaging content published about you and cleanup your reputation on Google and other search engines.