What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet forever. – Unknown
The concept of reputation management of a person or company used to be a specific job requirement for a public relations firm. Today, every person and company that has any sort of public, online presence needs to be aware and protective of their reputation because they could be one bad Yelp review or Facebook rant away from having it all destroyed.
A presentation from the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer stated that consumers have a very high level of trust in what they read online. In particular, 65% of the 33,000 consumers surveyed trust in what they read on online search engines. They also believe in the information they read on social media websites 47% of the time.
There are several methods of thought when examining how to maintain and protect a person or company’s reputation: be proactive and put out as much good stuff as possible so that it overtakes any bad stuff that was already published or could be published, or wait until something bad gets out about your reputation and do damage control. Companies and public people who have the ability usually choose to do both – be proactive and be ready for damage control. Considering so many people conduct their research about a person or company’s reputation on social media, it’s important to make sure that you maintain a positive presence there and promptly address any problems that may arise. Social media platforms allow companies and public persons to have a direct conversation with the aggrieved person and to also share a message with anyone and everyone else who is listening.
In addition to managing social media accounts, public people and companies also need to be cognizant of their presence within search engines. If a person publishes a poor experience online and it gets a high ranking from a search engine like Google or Bing, that would mean that a person researching that person or company would be more likely to see that bad review. When this happens, it’s necessary to try to push out the bad review with good stuff instead. Having dedicating people that understand search engine optimization and how to write content that will rank in search engines is optimal to combat this type of online reputation management issue.