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Online Reputation Management Archives - Page 4 of 9 - Big Blue Robot - Online Reputation Management

Removing Negative Content: Tips for Contacting Site Owners and Improving Your Online Reputation

If you a run a company of any size that deals directly with members of the public, chances are you will eventually have a customer who—for some reason or another—will not like your service or products and decide to defame you online. In fact, you should count on it. And no matter if they decide to give you a bad review or write a lengthy rant on their personal blog, those negative comments can end up hurting your online reputation by showing up on a search results page for your business.

Although there is some content that you will never be able to remove from the internet because the site owners have made it impossibly hard to find any contact information for them. There are some instances where you have a chance at protecting your online reputation simply by contacting the customer, opening a dialogue, and asking for the comments to be removed (or changed).

If this has happened to you, and it is hurting your online reputation, here are a few tips to dealing with a person who has published negative comments about you online.

1. Be polite and apologize

It doesn’t matter if you were in the right and they were in the wrong. What matters is that they perceive that they have been mistreated or disrespected in some way. So, before you do anything else, apologize and be polite about the situation. Treating the customer with respect will go a long way to helping change their mind about your company. And when you are polite, you open a door toward communication, which will help you change their mind about your company and recant their comments.

2. Don’t argue

Although it may be tempting, don’t argue with the customer. They already feel powerless, or they wouldn’t have written negative comments about you in the first place instead of contacting you directly to resolve their issue. So don’t make them feel like you are trying to win an argument. That attitude will only add fuel to the fire, and you’ll never be able to remove the negative content.

3. Offer to fix the problem

Once you’ve been polite and created a dialogue with the customer—slowly rebuilding their trust in you and your company—offer to fix the problem. Depending on your business, you can offer to exchange their defective product, give them their money back, offer them extra goodies like free products or services, or offer to fix the problem in a way that only your company can.

4. Add value

If you really want to win over your dissatisfied customer and encourage them to remove their negative comments, go above and beyond fixing their problem. If they don’t like the product you sold them, offer to replace the one they have with a better model and give them another on top of it. The more you can do to go out of your way to make this customer feel like you are genuinely sorry and willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy, the more inclined they will be to help you.

5. Ask their advice

As mentioned before, many people post rants online because they feel powerless in some respect and think that they best way to vent their anger is online. Many times these people simply want you to listen to them and understand what they are going through. In all cases, seek the customer’s advice, so you can be sure to avoid these problems in the future. When you do that, you give your customers the chance to be part of making your company better. And this may be the most powerful tool you have in turning an enemy into an ally.

Reputation Management Strategies

Most bloggers will post contact information or a contact form on their website so you can get in touch with them easily. And many review sites will let reviewers send messages to each other. But in many cases you will not be able to contact the person who wrote the comments directly, and may have no way to contact them at all. Or they may not want to respond to your request to fix the problem for their own reasons.

In extreme cases when someone has published slanderous information about you or your company online, you can take legal recourse and eventually remove the page from the Google index. But this is very hard to do, and Google won’t remove any web pages considered slanderous unless they are directed to do so under court order.

This is why reputation management is so important. Although contacting site owners and reviewers directly should be part of your online reputation management strategy, you should also implement other reputation management tactics to push negative content down and bring positive and neutral information about your company up in the search engine results pages. But whenever possible, contacting dissatisfied customers directly should be a first step in resolving reputation management issues.

Reputation Management Options for Dealing with So-called “Scam” and “Rip-off” Websites

It happens all the time. When you search for a company to find out more about them, often times you’ll see a “scam” report or a “rip-off” alert with a link to a website that purports to give consumers and former employees a way to rant about their bad experience with a company. Often, these scam sites rank well in the search results, and if you are the company in question, your company reputation can be damaged by the rants and outright lies that a site like this spreads. So how do these sites work, and how can you deal with the problems they create? Let’s take a look.

Scams and Lies

First off all, it’s important to understand that although these sites offer a way for disgruntled employees and unsatisfied customers to talk about their experience with a particular company, the site itself benefits from the negative reviews that are published. Therefore they have no reason to verify or censor any of the user-submitted content on their site. In fact, the policy of many of these sites is to NEVER remove a bad review—even at the request of the person who wrote it.

And it has been alleged in numerous court cases that these sites will often fabricate bad reviews or edit user reviews to appear more damaging to the company they profess to review. However these are only allegations, and nothing has ever been proved in court. The reason that sites like these do not want to remove false information and benefit from inflammatory reviews is that their sites are paid for with advertising. Therefore, the more site traffic they get, the more money they make. And the more inflammatory a bad review, the more traffic it will get—especially if it is for a popular or well-known company.

Arbitration Options

Although many of these sites will refuse to remove any content from their site—even if it contains outright lies about a company—some offer an arbitration service. These arbitration services cost $2000 or more and claim to let independent reviews look at the “scam report” and verify whether or not erroneous claims have been made. If false statements are found, they will redact portions of the review that are found to be inaccurate. But the hefty fee does not guarantee removal of any false information. And even a few sentences are removed from an offending review, the bulk of the review will stay online.

Lawsuits

It’s hard to sue scam and rip-off alert websites. This is because all the content on the sites is supposedly user-generated and not created by the site owners or their employees. And one cannot sue a website for statements made by a third party on that site. (For example, no one can sue you for an inflammatory comment on your blog made by one of your readers—which is a good thing.) Many companies and individuals have filed lawsuits against these websites, but few have succeeded in winning a court settlement. And when you consider that a lawsuit against a website like this may cost you a hundred thousand dollars or more to resolve, it hardly seems worth it for a case you have little chance of winning.

Reputation Management

But this is where good reputation management comes in. No matter how unethical these scam and rip-off alert sites can be, you have just as good a chance of beating them at their own game. Scam sites optimize their reviews for the web so that they will show up when a user searches for a company name, but by using a solid reputation management strategy, you can make sure those reviews never show up in a Google search.

Reputation management is much cheaper than fighting the scam website in court and may actually yield better results. Even if you are able to get defamatory items removed from a review, the review will still stay on the web with all its negative accusations against your company. Reputation management can bury that review so deep that most casual searchers will never see any of it.

Scam and Rip-off sites are a pain and a nuisance, and rarely give any useful information to consumers. But with an effective, positive reputation management strategy, you can win every time.

 

Using News to Strengthen Your Reputation Management Strategy

Stop the presses! Reputation management isn’t just about promoting positive information about your company. In fact, if your reputation management strategy has consisted of solely filling the first page of a Google search with gushing reviews and company-sponsored blog posts about how wonderful your company is, you’re missing the point of reputation management altogether.

Natural Search Results

The point of reputation management isn’t just to make your company look good when someone searches for it online. It’s about creating a search engine results page that looks as natural as possible without focusing on misinformation or negative reviews. In fact, if a Google search for your company name looks too positive, people will think it’s been manipulated. And they’ll look elsewhere for more information on your company. That’s why you need to include both positive and neutral, third-party information and web content in your reputation management strategy. And one of the best ways to get that third party, neutral information is through the news media.

Harnessing the power of news outlets online can give you a more natural-looking search page, one that will nonetheless give searchers a varied set of search results. For example, here are three ways you can harness the power of the news to create a more natural looking results page.

1) Press Releases

One way to add to the variety of your results page is to publish a few press releases. Press releases can be expensive to publish through wire agencies, but they very easily show up on the web. You can create press releases for your successes, but you can also create press releases that are more informational.

Usually, the point of a press release is to get the attention of media outlets and compel them to do a story on your company. But that does not have to be your goal. You can just as easily get a press release out on the web that discusses the hiring of a new member of your executive team or other neutral information. Then you can promote the press release on a site other than your own to help it appear in the search results.

When your press release appears in the search results, searchers will see that it is information that is not posted on your own site, and it will look more natural, which, in turn, will give your company a positive results page that boosts confidence in the searchers mind.

2) News Stories

You don’t have to be the #1 company in your city—or create the next iPad—to get some news coverage. All you have to do is get your company name mentioned in a news story somewhere and it can be used to populate a results page for your company. For example, stay in contact with your local media outlets and let them know when you do something that might be interesting to your local community.

For example, create an opportunity to give service to your community, and invite a local reporter to come along and observe. Things like helping rebuild a local park, starting a food drive in your community, or donating something useful to the city, are all actions that might interest your local media and could get your name in print (both on paper and on the web).

In addition, offer up yourself and your company as experts who can be consulted on news stories. When a news story comes along that is in some way related to your industry, you can give your expert opinion and your company’s name can get mentioned in the story.

3) Business Listings

Like I said, you don’t have to be newsworthy to be featured on the news—or at least a news website. Many local newspapers and television networks have websites with sections devoted to finding local businesses. Often times a listing may be free, but you may also have to pay a yearly or monthly fee. Include your business name and contact information as well as a short blurb about your company. Google likes displaying results from news websites, and if you optimize it the right way, you can get that business listing in the search results, giving a more natural feel to your results.

It’s News to Them

When people search for your company name online and they see a variety of results from a variety of trusted sources, like news sites, they’ll build confidence in your company. But having a results page that is too filled with positive information may turn a potential customer off, because they’ll think they’re not getting the full picture. Harnessing the power of the news can help improve your online reputation and give you credibility at the same time.

 

Track Your Reputation: 3 Tools for Reputation Management Online

Reputation management isn’t just about creating a great Google results page for your brand name. Although that’s a lot of it, it’s also very important to monitor what people are saying about your company online. Since virtually all of today’s information flows through the internet, and it has become the most widely used platform for sharing information globally, if anyone says anything about your company through a blog, social networking site, or any media outlet, you’ll eventually be able to find it on the internet.

And you need to know what people are saying about you as quickly as possible. Because information travels so fast in today’s world, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around until a bad review comes to you; you need to find bad reviews and negative mentions of your company as soon as possible. If you can jump on a problem quickly, the more time you’ll have to quell the situation or adjust your reputation management strategy accordingly. So it’s vitally important to the future of your company that you monitor the web for any mention of your brand (both good and bad), so you can use that information to improve your search rankings and keep your online reputation spotless.

3 Tools

Here are a few tools you can use as part of your reputation management strategy to monitor the internet and be alerted to mentions of your company as soon as possible:

1) Google Alerts

First and foremost, you need to understand and use Google Alerts. Google Alerts is a free tool you can customize to quickly find out when new instances of your company name appear on the internet. Once you have a Google account, you can go to www.google.com/alerts and set up a keyword you would like to get alerts on. Primarily, this should be the name of your company or brand. Then you can customize your alerts to fit the frequency and amount of information you want to be alerted to.

Google Alerts are sent to your email when Google detects a new instance of your company name, along with a link to the webpage where your company is mentioned. Once you have that information, you can use it to quell any potential PR and reputation issues or adjust your online reputation management strategy to account for the latest mention of your company.

2) Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics

Another way to track mentions of your company name and links to your company website is to use Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Both of these tools are free and allow you to look at your company website in different ways online. First, you can use Google analytics to monitor the traffic to your site. Drill down in the analytics to find out where your site traffic is coming from and use that information to track down links to your site, so you can evaluate the content of the site and incorporate it into your reputation management efforts.

Webmaster Tools has similar functionality and will show you the names of third-party websites that link to your company website. Links to your website can have both good and bad contexts, so it’s important to know who is linking to you and how they are using that link to your website.

3) Twitter

Another way to track mentions of your name online is through Twitter. The social media space is quickly becoming an area that needs to be closely monitored by all businesses who care about their reputation and Twitter offers an automated way to find mentions of your company name on their service. Both through the Twitter website and 3rd party applications, you can set up a keywords search that will constantly search the Twittersphere for mentions of your company or brand and filter them into one neat list. As long as you are checking the feed from time to time, you’ll stay on top of any mentions of your company name and be able to respond, either with a thank you or with follow-up questions to help resolve confusion or misunderstandings about your company.

Monitor and Manage

Reputation management is more than just tracking down links. It’s about monitoring your actual reputation and the way people feel about your company. If you are able to efficiently monitor the web for instances of your company name, you’ll better be able to respond to complaints and criticism as well as build a better reputation management strategy overall.

Beware What You Share: 4 Reputation Management Tips for Teens

It’s no surprise that over 90% of teens today have profiles on at least one social network, if not multiple networks. However, many teens seem to think that there is an expectation of privacy on social networks—which is simply not true. Everything you share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Quorra, and more can be shared with the whole world, depending on your privacy settings and how careful you are about what you share. And what most teens don’t realize is that the information they are sharing now may harm them in the future as they try to get a job and apply for college. But here are four tips that might help teens better filter their online sharing and prevent a thoughtless action from creating negative consequences.

1) Know your settings

First and foremost, teens need to educate themselves about the privacy settings on their social networks. Most social platforms allow you to adjust who can and cannot see your private information. Although teens may want to put their cell phone number online for all their friends, making that information accessible to anyone can open them up to abuse, bullying, predators, and more.

Keep in mind that even if you set that type of information to “private” it can still be leaked to 3rd parties by anyone who is your friend on that social network. So, just because it can’t be seen by strangers doesn’t mean it can’t be found. Privacy only adds a layer of difficulty to obtaining the information. You should still be careful about what information you choose to share online.

2) Trim your friends list

Even though strangers can’t access your personal information if you create high privacy settings, your friends still can. All it takes is for one of your friends to share your cell phone, address, or personal pictures with someone you don’t know for problems to begin. So, be careful about who you are friends with online. Remember, being friends with you online is a privilege, not a right. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing personal information with someone, don’t feel pressured to be their friend online.

3) If you don’t want to shout it from a rooftop, don’t share it

Anything you share on social networks can be shared publicly, so don’t share anything online that you wouldn’t want everyone at school to know. In addition, parents, school administrators, potential employers, and college admissions offices can check in on your social networking behaviors very easily and get a sense of the things you are doing and saying online. Again, if you don’t want anyone to know about it, don’t share it on social networks.

4) Think about the future

Social networks are now a tool that many employers, college admissions officers, and scholarship award givers use to gauge the integrity of teens. So always put your best foot forward online. If your profile picture shows you with a beer in your hand, colleges may not want you, and employers may not want to hire you. And if you brag about cheating on a test or fooling one of your high school teachers, that tells potential colleges that you are a disrespectful and lazy student. Think about the future, and keep in mind that what you share today could hurt you tomorrow.

Today, more and more of your lives are online, but knowing how to better manage your online reputation through social networks will help you stay safe and have the best chance at a bright future.

Reputation Insurance and the Myth of the Quick Fix Reputation Management Campaign

Reputational risk is a problem that many companies are just beginning to understand. Today’s web is both an easy place to create a reputation and to lose one. In some cases, all it takes is one single blogger to give your company a bad review, and you could face lose thousands (or millions) of dollars in potential business. That’s why large companies are starting to hire reputation management firms like ours to help them build a positive reputation online.

In fact, it’s become such a big business as of late, that AIG recently started selling “reputation insurance” so they can cash in on the growing trend. This special commercial insurance Miami will help companies pay the cost of reputation management when a crisis flares up. The problem is that this type of insurance perpetuates the myth that reputation management is only needed in a crisis and can be discarded once everything has blown over. The truth is that a real reputation management policy is an ongoing strategy that prevents crises from ever surfacing.

Why Should Reputation Management Be an Ongoing Strategy?

Many companies want to believe that reputation management is something that can be applied like a band-aid when things get rough. But that is a myth. In fact, here are 3 ways that an ongoing reputation management strategy is more beneficial than an insurance policy.

1. Crises never surface

Many companies wait until a crisis pops up before even thinking about reputation management. But you can avoid the negative press and publicity, as well as the loss of revenue, by creating a strong reputation management strategy now. Creating a strategy before a crisis starts helps prevent future crises from ever happening. Why deal with the aftermath of a reputation attack when you could avoid them altogether?

2. It’s more expensive to deal with an emergency

When you have a reputation crisis, it means damage has already been done to your company, and now you are simply trying to prevent more damage from being done. In such circumstances, reputation management professionals are brought in to “fix” the problem as quickly as possible. This type of emergency management is expensive. Think of it this way: taking the extra 5 seconds to put your seatbelt on before driving, helps protect you against grave bodily harm if you are ever in an accident. Wearing a seatbelt can save your life and prevent serious injury, and it only take a few seconds. Whereas, if you don’t wear a seatbelt, and your are involved in an accident, you could face death or a lifetime of disability, mounting doctor’s bills, and chronic pain—all of which could have been prevented if you’d taken 5 seconds to fasten your seatbelt. In this case, an ongoing reputation management strategy is your seatbelt. It’s painless and easy to implement now. But waiting until a crisis hits makes it much more expensive and can leave lasting harm to your company.

3. It’s comprehensive

Crisis management is very one-sided. After a reputation crisis, reputation management strategies focus only on solving the single crisis at hand but leave all other sides open for attack. If you start a reputation management strategy now, you’ll have time to shore up all avenues and venues for reputational attacks, and you won’t be putting fires out one by one. You’ll have already placed a protective rampart around your business.

Avoid the myth propagated by reputation insurance and start an online reputation management strategy now that will help you prevent future attacks and minimize their fallout.

Six Online Reputation Management Tips for Job Seekers

With so many people out of work and legions of candidates vying for the few jobs that are available, employers are looking for more ways to differentiate between potential hires. That means that more and more employers are beginning to look at the social media profiles of job candidates in order to determine who would best benefit their organization. If you’re in the job market and are actively applying for employment, it pays to take a look at your social profiles and make sure that they’ll help you get a job—instead of hurt you. And here are 6 tips to help you get started:

1. Google Yourself

If you haven’t done it before, it can be an eye opening experience. You may discover that you have such a small online presence that potential employers won’t be able to find you. On the other hand, you may discover that the top result for your name is a blog post by a friend of yours describing your drunken night in Las Vegas. Is that what you want potential employers to see?

2. Be found

The best possible result is if you find that your personal website, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile appear on the first page and are recognizably yours. This shows potential employers that you have some clout and are active in online communities—just hope that your profiles show that you are active in the right kind of online communities.

3. Clean it up

Take a look at your Facebook, Twitter, personal blog, and more. What is the first thing people will see? A picture of you riding a mechanical bull on St. Patrick’s day or a nice, neutral picture of yourself smiling at the camera? Look at your status updates and information. Eliminate anything that might make you look lazy, sarcastic, or as if you might be an embarrassment to a potential employer. Especially delete any disparaging remarks about past employment or any job you may have applied for. Criminal searches are the most up-to-date, accurate and best criminal records searches you can order, and https://rapidscreening.com.au/ team of records professionals conduct in-person searches at courthouses in all US jurisdictions and territories.

4. Check your connections

Who are you connected to? If you recently worked on a local political campaign for a candidate who was indicted on corruption charges, maybe it’s best to unfriend them. Don’t be guilty by association.

5. Don’t overshare

Social networks are a great place to let loose and tell people what you are up to, but a string of updates about the contents of your lunch or your gastrointestinal problems could be a turn off. Employers want people who have important things to say or who are involved in their community in important ways. Stop posting a meaningless status every 10 minutes, and start posting one or two a day that actually say something.

6. Share interesting stuff

When you share online, make sure you’re sharing content that a potential employer might find interesting. For example, if you’re in marketing, tweet about interesting articles you’ve read about marketing. If you’re a chef, share interesting recipes you’ve found around the web.  Create an online presence that makes you someone your potential employer would want to hire.

My friend who has recently been seeking legal jobs in Columbus tried these tips and confirmed it works just fine. So, now you can also try them and find your dream work.

Thinking Beyond Your Company Name in Reputation Management

The first area you want to attack in a reputation management campaign is the search engine results page for your company name. That is the first and most obvious place to start building up positive information about your company and pushing negative information down (way down) so that it isn’t easy to find.

But once you have a strong presence on the search engine results for your company name, where else can you go? What do you do next? Well, your company name is not the only thing that potential customers, clients, and employees will search for online before they decide to do business with you. Maybe it’s time to start thinking creatively about the different ways people are finding information about you online. Here are some suggestions to get you started on a path to a broader reputation management strategy.

1. Focus on related searches

What could searchers be adding to your company name in order to find you? Could it be the name of one of your products or services, like “Watch Co. digital watches” or “Wilson Lawn Care fertilizer”? If you are a large company, it might also be a good idea to look at the results pages for searches for key members of your board and upper management along with your company name. Sometimes negative attacks on your company may be directed more specifically at a certain manager or board member, and you can quell those fires before they become problems if you are keeping an eye on broader, related terms.

2. Manage negative terms

Maybe the results page for your company name looks great, but what about the results page for “Wingnut Ltd. scam” or “Wingnut Ltd. rip-off”? Don’t forget, people can also search for negative information about your company directly, using negative keywords like, “scam,” “rip-off,” or “fraud.” If this is the case, you can start building content that includes those keywords, but is focused on positive information. For example, a series of blog guest posts around the internet that discuss how your company and products aren’t scams, rip-offs, or frauds.

3. Images

When was the last time you did an image search for your company name? In today’s hyper-visual internet world, images can sometimes convey more meaning than 200 blog articles about your company. If you encounter images that display your company in a negative light, maybe it’s time to start thinking about an image campaign that will help increase the number of positive images of your company on the internet.

Of course, these aren’t the only ways that you can get creative with your reputation management strategy. Each company and industry is slightly different and can have different needs and vulnerabilities when it comes to reputation management. The point is, rather, that in order to create a comprehensive reputation management strategy, you need to think about more that your company name. And when you can get creative about how you approach reputation management, you’ll be able to create a stronger reputation online and off.

 

The Art of Burying Links with Reputation Management

Reputation management is more of an art than a science. Although there are some basic principles involved, the search engines are constantly changing the way they rank websites and pages, so it pays to always be on the lookout for creative ways to get your website more attention.

Of course, negative reviews and so-called “scam reports” about your company are something none of us like to see. But these negative reviews and false information can be very hard to take down. So your only option is to help websites that publish positive information about your company to rank better than websites that publish negative information about your company. In that sense, online reputation management is more about burying bad links than it is about helping your company website to rank better.

And the only way to bury negative information far down in the search results is to take control of the positive and neutral information that already exists about you on the internet. For example, here are a few ways you can improve in the art of burying negative links.

1. Create websites

Who says you can only control one official website for your company? One way to create positive links for your company is to create more websites. If you can get those websites to rank well, you’ll be pushing more negative links down in the search results. For example, you can create different websites that deal with different products or different aspects of your business. You could create off-site blogs that often talk about your company and the niche it occupies in the marketplace. And much more.

2. Build links for positive reviews

These days it is pretty much a guarantee that your business has been reviewed somewhere on the internet. And if you’re a big company, it’s probably been reviewed hundreds of times. Take the time to seek out the positive reviews of your company and its products and create linkbuilding campaigns to push those reviews higher in the search results, pushing negative reviews down lower.

3. Build links for neutral information

Not all information about your company online is good or bad, some of it is simply informative and neutral. For example, does your company have a Wikipedia article written about it? If not, write one and promote it by building links to it. Also, take the time to seek out other informational articles about your company, like business listings or conference listings and promote them so that you can bury that negative stuff even deeper.

4. Build links for news stories and press releases

Just like the neutral information that might exist about your company online, there may exist positive/neutral news stories and press releases that mention your company name online. These news stories don’t necessarily have to be about your company, but as long as they mention your company name in a positive/neutral light, they are great candidates for linkbuilding targets. In fact, the more independent information you can get to rank online, the better.

The art of link burying can be difficult and wide-ranging, but it can be worth it if you can manage to push links to negative information about your company down in the ranks by filling the top pages with links to overwhelmingly positive and neutral information.

 

3 Ways to Get In Front of a Reputation Management Crisis

Increasingly, reputation management is becoming a standard practice for many large and small businesses. Savvy business owners have realized that not only do they have to get to the top of a search engine results page for keywords relating to their products, but that they need to grab as much page real estate as they can for a search for their company name. Too many have been burned or lost customers because of negative reviews or so-called scam reports that show up on the first page of a search results page.

But a lot of reputation management is simply knowing where you need to be, who you need to reach out to, and what to monitor on the web for any potential problems. In that vein, let’s explore some reputation management strategies that will help you stay ahead of the curve instead of behind the eight ball.

1. Buy negative, company-related domains and profiles

One of the first things you need to remember in reputation management is that if you don’t take control of the way your company name is used, someone else will. Chances are that you already own a number of domains that reflect your company name, like bobsshoes.com, bobsshoes.org, bobs-shoes.com, etc. But what about domains that reflect badly on your company name, like bobsshoessuck.com or bobs-shoes-scam.com? Of course, you’ll never use those domains yourself, but if you own them, then no one else can buy them up and use them against you.

The same goes for social profiles. You may already have a Facebook page and Twitter that are company branded, but you should look into grabbing social profiles that might reflect badly on your company as well, so that no one else can use them.

2. Start social outreach now

Once you have those social profiles secured, use them (not the negative ones, obviously, just the positively branded ones). Depending on your industry, you may be the only company in your industry that has created social profiles—especially if your industry is not one that normally interacts with the public.

For example, if you are a concrete manufacturer, you may think you’ll never use a company Facebook account. But simply having a branded Facebook account for your company—when none of your competitors do—will not only help you rank better in the search results for “concrete manufacturers,” it will take up another spot on the results page when anyone searches for your company online.

And if you can actually capture the attention of people who are interested in the concrete industry and engage them through your social media outlets, you’ll begin building a positive reputation online that will battle any attacks on your company before they even begin.

3. Monitor the web

Lastly, you need to be aware of what is being said about you on the web. Setting up a few Google alerts that will tell you when anything is said about your company online is simple to do and, once you got them up and running, they’re easy to maintain. In addition, you can create Twitter searches that will let you know when your company name is tweeted—good or bad.

With automated alerts, you’ll know when a blogger complains about one of your products or someone writes something negative about your company. Being alerted to these potential problems as quickly as possible will help you get in front of the problem and defend your reputation before any damage is done.

Knowing Is More Than Half the Battle

Taking charge of your reputation management online is about knowing where you need to be, who you need to reach out to, and where you need to look for potential problems. But if you control all your company domains (positive and negative)—as well as social media profiles—and are aware of what is being said about your company online, your reputation management strategy should be successful.

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