How to Proactively Tackle Reputation Management

Reputation management is one of those things few people think about, until it’s too late.

Think about who calls a reputation management firm.  It’s usually a person or business that has been bashed online.  You could have a totally legit business with hundreds or even thousands of happy customers, but just one bad experience can lead to a customer leaving a negative review on on a site like consumeraffairs.com or ripoffreport.com.

These sites get thousands of visitors a day and have tens of thousands of backlinks.  In other words, they are authority sites and Google loves authority sites.  When a customer mentions your name or your brand name on these sites, chances are those mentions will rank high when somebody searches for you or your business.  You certainly don’t want a complaint to be the first thing a person sees when they Google you.

If you’ve yet to get a complaint, that’s great, but remember the old adage of “you can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time”.  If you do a lot of business, eventually, somebody will complain.

Reputation management companies provide the service of cleaning up your search results.  Many people think these companies get the negative comments removed, but that is not the case.  What these companies do is create new content about your company or brand, which results in pushing the bad content off the front page of the search results.

You shouldn’t wait until negative comments start appearing in the search results.  You should take a preemptive strike approach to managing your reputation and you don’t need to hire a fancy firm to do it.  The reputation management companies have two secret weapons they use to bury negative comments.  Those secret weapons are social media sites and positive reviews on review sites.  Like the complaint sites, these are viewed as high authority sites and mentions on these sites will get high rank in the search results.

So, here are the steps to being proactive with your reputation.

Step One – Social Media

The first step to taking a proactive stand on your rep management is to create profiles in as many social media sites as you can.  You shouldn’t stop at merely creating profiles at these sites.  You should actively add content on a regular basis.  The more fresh content you add, the better the chances of it landing on page one of the search results.  You should create profiles for your business name and any brands that your business offers.  Here is a list of places you should create profiles:

  • FaceBook.com – Personal Profiles, Business Pages (formerly Fan Pages), and Groups
  • Twitter.com – Personal and Business Profiles
  • YouTube.com – Personal and Business YouTube Channels
  • Pinterest.com – Personal and the newly offered Business Profiles
  • CrunchBase.com – Personal Profiles and Business Profiles
  • LinkedIn.com – Personal Profiles and Company Company Pages

Step Two – Review Sites

Many rep management companies take a shady approach to online reviews.  By shady, I mean they fake it.  They hire people to go around to the various sites and post fake positive reviews about your company.  Recently, this has come back to bite them and their clients in the ass.  The attorney general of New York has fined several companies for this practice and the massive media coverage put a stain on the clients they represent.  If you run a legitimate business, you shouldn’t have to fake anything.  The best way to get positive reviews for your business is simply to ask your customers to post them.  Whenever somebody buys something from me, they get a thank you email that also gives links to various review sites.  Here are some of the sites you can ask your customers to leave reviews at:

You can also ask your customers to post positive reviews on FaceBook and Twitter.  Those posts won’t have a big impact on search results, but they do wonders for providing social proof to their friends.

Additional steps to bolster your online rep

If you are really serious about having a great reputation online, here are a few things you can do to get more positive content on the search result pages.

Use Multiple Domains - Many businesses create multiple websites for a variety of reasons.  For example, you can have one site for your main company, another site for a particular brand or product, and yet another site for the CEO’s blog.

Get Published - Amazon has made it simple to become a published author.  It doesn’t matter if you publish a thousand page hard cover book or short report made available as an ebook, Amazon gives all its authors the option of creating a dedicated author page.  This is a valuable listing from a site that has high authority.

Guest Blog - Approach blog sites in your niche or industry and provide them with a well written, original content blog post.  You can do this for blogs of all shapes and sizes.  Don’t be afraid to approach some of the biggest blogs in your industry.  The more posts you have out there, the better for your reputation.

Get Media Mentions - Media mentions are worth their weight in gold.  Usually, the news site that mentions you has a built in audience, gaining you huge exposure, but more importantly, these sites rank high on the search engines.  A good way to get some media exposure is to get on the radar of reporters or seek out reporters that are looking for people like you.  A site called HARO (helpareporter.com) is a great place to start.  For $19 a month, you get a daily list of reporters that are seeking quotes from people who work in various niches.

Press Releases - There are a hundreds of sites that specialize in publishing press releases.  Some of these sites charge a fee, while others are free.  Do some Googling and learn the proper format of writing a press release and then start submitting.  Some companies write and submit new press releases every day.  You don’t have to go that far, but frequent releases never hurt anyone.

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