Bad press can tarnish a company's reputation. Luckily, #online reputation management exists to reduce or eliminate negative press. Consequently, corporations and mid-level businesses can afford an #online reputation management company to solve the problem, but small businesses cannot. Therefore, take advice from this article to clean up your company's reputation.

Track your company's online reputation management

Where does your company stand? Perform a company name search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL search. What shows up on the first page? Look at the second and third pages. What does it show? On the same search engines, research company keywords, common company misspellings, and company phrases  Jot down concerning information, especially negative press on all searches.

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Additionally, track individuals. Employees' history can damage a company's online reputation, so ensure all employees are adequate.

Don't stop there. #social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) contain search engines. Search for company name, misspellings, company phrases, company keywords, and individuals on those sites.  Include a hashtag in front of the phrase/word, and then type in the word/phrase without it. Check audio sites, bookmarking websites, industry sites, review sites, message boards, blogs, and the Better Business Bureau as well.

Build an online presence for online reputation management

Businesses with an online presence (website, blog, social media, business review sites, etc.) can skip this step. For the remaining businesses, hear this: you cannot ignore the internet any more.

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An online presence is equal to offline advertising. Create a website and join social media sites of interest. Don't join too many social media sites because paying attention to all is difficult. However, join three to five different types (a general site, a photo site, a video site, a niche site, etc.). Post updates, engage, and respond/follow users' pages. Ensure the updates are an interesting mix of pictures, words, and video. If you wish, include a blog. 

Let online reputation management tackle the right issues

Unbelievably, some bad press won't tarnish online reputation. Some negatives slant their views to target your company in a negative light with a hidden agenda. Others say something to garner attention (trolls). Train yourself to know the difference. Determine if the negative post or story is worth a response. In some cases, consumers call reviewers out for their bias, so no resolution is necessary on your end. Tackle legitimate issues. Those reviewers have legit complaints due to bad customer service or a bad experience.

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Terminate bad press using online reputation management

Rely on social media accounts to terminate bad press. Continue to post interesting, positive, original, and relevant updates. These updates will push negative press down to  the fourth, fifth, and sixth pages where no one can find it. Repost positive and informational stories to your account. Resolve those issues by responding to their comment and encourage them to chat through email or phone.  This looks good to customers viewing this because they'll know you tried to assist them in solving their dilemma. Do not engage in vindictive, nasty exchanges; stay above the fray. In addition, send websites with slanted or false views a cease or desist letter. A cost-free online reputation watcher is search engine alerts. Google Alerts, for example, track your search terms. The results arrive in your inbox immediately, daily, or weekly depending on your settings.

Startups and self-employed companies must adhere to this article. Forgoing business online reputation affects potential customers, business partners, and revenue. The procedure is tedious and the results aren't immediate, but the persistence is worth the hassle.  Get bad press under control now and it won't become a problem later.