Top 3 Misconceptions About Online Reputation Management

Top 3 Misconceptions About Online Reputation Management

While establishing a good online reputation is critical to any business’ success today, maintaining a good online reputation is even more critical. Most consumers turn to online sources to learn about whether a business can provide desired services or products and whether they are reputable. This means that while a well-designed online presence can work wonders for a business, a single negative review can be disastrous. The main benefits of online reputation management is that a business is better able to determine what consumers will see, and better able to handle negative impacts on their reputation in a timely fashion so that damage can be prevented or at least mitigated. That said, it is important to understand what online reputation management companies do not do.

Understanding Online Reputation Management

There is a lot that online reputation management can do for a business, but following are three top misconceptions:

  1. Online reputation management controls everything. Actually, online reputation management is not about controlling every single thing that is said about a business. It may seem like the ideal arrangement for online reputation management to be able to successfully control every single thing that is said about a business, but this is simply not practical–for the obvious reason that one cannot control every single individual who is using the internet. However, online reputation management can effectively plan how to minimize the risk of reputation-damaging information being publicized and spread on the internet. It is often true that impeccable customer service and problem resolution techniques can either prevent poor reviews from showing up online, or address them immediately when they do show up online so as to mitigate their damaging effects.
  2. Online reputation management “fixes” poor reviews by creating good reviews. Actually, online reputation management is not about generating loads of fake good reviews in order to push down or hide poor reviews. It’s true that poor reviews can be damaging and disheartening, but the bottom line is that they are honest and real. And while it is not good business ethics to request that a consumer remove or change their poor review, you can respond to their review and attempt to make things right in an effort to repair whatever upset they have. In some cases, this may prompt them to change their review on their own. Regardless of the outcome, however, the solution is not to generate loads of fake good reviews but rather to create authentic good reviews. Consumers may become wary of businesses that have a suspicious number of overwhelmingly positive reviews, whereas an occasional poor review that is mixed in with many authentic good reviews can make a business seem real and trustworthy.
  3. Online reputation management gives internet trolls a taste of their own medicine. Actually, online reputation management is about establishing a positive online presence, not about joining trolls in their own game. Social media is a wonderful tool for building a strong online reputation, but this is not achieved by belittling or attacking others–even when they seek to belittle or attack oneself. Social media can be used positively to help one better engage with consumers, respond honestly to questions and complaints, and provide information where needed. In fact, it is possible that a business is less likely to be adversely affected by internet trolls when they take the time to establish and maintain a positive online presence through social media, as they are speaking up for themselves so that others don’t feel they “need” to speak up for them.

The Bottom Line

Online reputation management can work wonders for any business, but it’s important to view it honestly for what it is–a way for a business to authentically preserve their image.