The proliferation of social media and review websites has made it very easy for disgruntled people to leave complaints about anyone or anything. Their complaint may or may not have a basis in reality, but bad reviews are damaging regardless of the truth. You might be thinking that the occasional bad remark isn’t going to harm you, but that means you’re overlooking your online reputation management.

Why is your online reputation important? Almost nothing ever gets deleted from the internet unless you take action with online reputation management services. Bad reviews are often persuasive and convincing to the point of turning away potential customers and eating into your sales. Online reputation repair seeks to reduce and/or eliminate negative remarks from websites and prevent damage from bad reviews. Here’s a look at the basics of online reputation management and how it helps your business.

Monitoring Your Online Presence

Your website contains information about your profession, your business, people you work with, employees, and more. As your business changes, so do your website. If you’re not removing old information that’s no longer relevant, minimizing the amount of personal information available online or keeping an eye on social media with regard to your business, you’re opening up your business to attack from bad actors. If you don’t have the time to monitor your online presence, there are online reputation management services that monitor the internet on your behalf. 

Don’t Get Drawn Into Arguments Online

Resisting the urge to reply in kind to a nasty or negative comment is hard, but it’s something you have to do regardless of what you want to do. Not replying in kind is part of why your online reputation is important. Someone who is angry with you or your service and posting about it online is seeking to make you look bad.  Calmly refuting a spurious allegation with a measured reply that points out the facts of the situation is very effective in terms of making yourself or your business look good. This creates a positive response from a potential customer who was looking for more information about your operation. Responding in a mature and rational manner gives the impression that you are in control and that the complainant was looking for an argument and nothing more.

Reputation Damage Can Always Be Fixed

Reputation management should always be done in a timely manner in order to minimize the impact of a negative review. However, it’s still possible to engage in online reputation repair even when bad reviews have been online for a while. Keep in mind that removal is difficult the longer the review has been online, but it’s not impossible to accomplish.

The first step is to ask the website owner or administrator if they would remove the post in question. If not, and there’s a reply option, write a polite response addressing the issues in the post. Ask your customers or fan base to add their own comments in support of you or your business, and request that they make genuine comments to avoid the appearance of Astroturfing. Multiple positive responses along with your own reply can go a long way towards repairing your online reputation and give new customers the feeling they can trust you or your business.