Nowadays, a business relies almost solely on its online reputation. Unfortunately, negative publicity exists and is actually very common. Sometimes, it is even completely unwarranted, but because it appears online, people take it as gospel and your reputation is damaged.
Unfortunately, whether the negative publicity is true or not, the image of your brand will be tarnished. This could lead to loss of customers and, with it, revenue. Hence, it is vital that you learn how to properly deal with negative feedback. One way to achieve that is to work closely together with an excellent reputation management company.
All businesses have to think about their online reputation management. Your customer base will be provided largely by the traffic that comes to you through Bing, Yahoo, and Google, and the reality is that no new customers will come if the first thing they see about your business is something negative. You must also understand that around 80% of customers will now actually look up your company on various review websites before they decide whether or not to shop with you.
How to Deal with Negative Publicity
There is a process involved in dealing with this type of publicity. That is further reason as to why it is so important that you work together with a professional company that knows what they are doing at each stage. The process is quite lengthy and involves search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, which help to push back negative feedback and push positive feedback forward.
You need to see reputation management as a stepped approach:
- Discovering that there is a problem. This is usually the point at which a business first contacts a reputation management company, but if you have hired them sooner, they would have discovered the issue sooner and started to deal with it straight away.
- Deciding the strategy for addressing this problem. This means research has to be done into the niche of the business and the need of customers, and starting an action plan from there.
- Optimizing internally and externally. At this point, the physical work starts for real. Your reputation management will start to assess your keyword, optimize your entire website, promote your site online, create press releases, network on social media, and more.
- Evaluation and enhancement. At this point, the negative feedback should have been pushed back again. That doesn’t mean, however, that the work is over. It is vital that you continue to monitor your online reputation so that you don’t fall in the same trap again. This is why most businesses end up signing up with a reputation management company for indefinite periods of time.
The key elements of a good reputation management campaign are social business networking, social media optimization, and press releases. These are things that you are unlikely to have any knowledge of, unless your own business happens to be in online marketing, in which case you should be able to manage your own reputation. If not, however, then you are unlikely to have the time to run your own business, as well as running your reputation management campaign.