Why is it important to have a good online reputation?
There’s no doubt that online reputation is one of the most important pillars there are in today’s digital world. Your online impression is often the first and only impression that high-profile individuals and companies have the opportunity of making.
If you’re a individual like a CEO, the results yielded by a web search will impact the decisions of potential customers. If you’re a politician, your online reputation can and will shape the views of your constituents. If you’re representing a business, reputation is your new “online salesman” in this digital era.
If you need help restoring and protecting the reputation you’ve worked so hard to create, look no further, we are here to help.
If you’ve been the victim of negative reviews, unfavorable press coverage, or simply want to protect yourself against unexpected obstacles, your best and most useful option is hiring the services of an expert online reputation management team.
Not only will you get help with regain and maintain control of your online image and search results, but you will also get a tailor approach to suit your specific goals and needs.
You may still be wondering if reputation management is right for you.
Well, continue reading to learn why reputation management is so important, what you can do to improve yours, and what measures you can take to protect your online reputation both now and in the future.
A single negative search result can drastically impact how the public perceives you and your brand.
What is online reputation management ORM?
Online reputation management or ORM is the process of monitoring, deleting, suppressing or fixing negative information that appears online about people or businesses. Although there are DIY guides out there, the easiest way to fix it is hiring an Online reputation management ORM company.
When Your Online Reputation Counts
It’s true that there are certain times during your brand’s life that your online reputation truly matters. However, maintaining a positive one should be a constant effort.
You never know when a good online reputation management team will be required.
Consider these times when an impeccable reputation is necessary:
- Closing a business deal
- Developing a business partnership
- Running for public office
- Customers searching for reviews of your business
- Attracting new clients
- Attracting new investors
- Comparison shopping
- Talking to reporters
- Applying for college
- Starting a business
- Searching for a job
- Asking for a promotion/raise
- Connecting with co-workers
- A negative online reputation can especially harm those seeking jobs.
The majority of companies in the United States recruit and screen candidates online.
Unfortunately, 34 percent of hiring managers have had to dismiss potential candidates due to a damaged online reputation.
Additionally, 82 percent of colleges use Facebook to screen potential students.
Networking and attracting new clients is another near-constant way in which your online reputation matters.
While some of these screening events can be foreseen, others may come as a surprise.
That’s why it’s critical to retain a positive online image, regardless of where you may be in life.
Your Online Record is Permanent It’s important to reiterate that it doesn’t matter if you currently do not need an impeccable online reputation.
You will need one one day, so it’s important that you are aware of what’s out there and what you continue making available for others to find. While the internet is a fast-moving machine, it also is not quick to forget.
Negative news stories or distasteful photos from decades ago may still appear on Google’s first page of results if the search engine deems them important.
Additionally, tools like caching and the Wayback Machine have the ability to make some internet content virtually permanent.
Any content that you post online is recorded and saved, and those who know what to search for can quickly retrieve it.
Furthermore, people can search for stuff that you post on your social media accounts.
Therefore, it’s important you know how to use these assets to your brand’s advantage.
5 Things You Don’t Know About Online Reputation Management
Online Reputation management entails much more than ensuring that a negative result does not appear in the first ten Google results.
There are multiple ways an individual or a brand can have their online image destroyed or damaged.
1) Private accounts may not be so private:
Many people feel free to post whatever on their social media accounts as long as their settings are set to “private.” However, while the setting on your profile does afford you a certain amount of privacy, remember that anyone who does have access to your profile can also save pictures, take screenshots, copy text, and otherwise share anything that they’ve seen on your profile.
2) Your ability to get credit may be affected by your online reputation:
When making financial decisions, many lenders are increasingly turning to social media. While they are primarily used to confirm identities, social media is increasingly being used to assess creditworthiness. What’s more is that social media may soon be incorporated into FICO scoring.
3) Review websites are stronger than you:
Sites like Yelp and Ripoff Report have thousands of pages of content. As such, these reputation-busting powerhouses tend to rank highly in Google. If you get a bad review on one of those websites, it can pretty much be a lost cause.
4) Google – and the law – may be on your side:
Have you been the victim of horrible search engine results?
Fortunately, not all is lost. For serious infractions, including inaccurate information, online defamation laws may help you remove content. In some instances, you might even be able to obtain compensation for damage to your online reputation.
And while it’s typically reserved for specific circumstances, Google can even offer assistance in removing sensitive personal information from search results. Furthermore, individuals haunted by mug shot websites can find help from new laws and Google algorithm changes.
California citizens ages 18 and under, as well as certain members of society, may be able to use Internet eraser laws as well.
5) Bad reputations happen to good people:
A negative online reputation can occur through no fault of your own. For example, a criminal may have the same name as you.
Perhaps you were dragged into a political debate, or you were falsely accused of doing or saying something. An organization can have thousands of positive reviews, but a single negative comment written on a particular website can badly damage its reputation.
While it’s difficult to control outside factors such as these, they can influence your online reputation anyway.
Is Your Online Reputation Good or Bad?
While each person or brand’s online reputation is unique, certain general factors can signify if your online reputation is helping or hurting you. Indications of a Positive Online Reputation are:
Accurate search results:
If the majority of search results that appear for your name indeed apply to you, then that’s a good sign of a positive online reputation.
You don’t want someone with a similar name, a famous person, or a criminal to pop up when someone searches for your name. If someone Googles you, they want to find you.
The chances are that if you have submitted your resume to a potential employer or connected with a new contact on LinkedIn, they will probably do a Google search on your name.
Does the information that you’ve shared with them match with your online reputation?
If it doesn’t, it could negatively affect your new connection’s opinion of you.
Active online participation:
If someone Googles you, they ought to see that you’re active online – whether it’s through your blog, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Your online activity should show that you’re knowledgeable about your area of expertise.
At the very least, it should indicate that you’re at least interested in learning.
Positive articles and reviews:
Let’s keep it real. Often, whenever we Google a person or an organization, we’re looking to find something negative. What reports appear about your brand?
What have news articles written about you or your brand in the past said? Signs of a Negative Digital Reputation Inaccurate information or a total lack of content Failing to find information on a person or a brand can be just as detrimental as finding something negative.
Failing to discover information online can be frustrating; it may make the business appear as if they lack credibility.
Furthermore, individuals without information about themselves online means that the door is wide open for false and unfavorable material to be published should something unfortunate occur.
Negative news stories or bad reviews:
One of the most harmful things for your online reputation is having someone speak negatively about you. It not only shows that you made a mistake, but it also indicates that it was bad enough for someone to share with the world. This is an example where online reputation management is required.
For example, a news story about an arrest, negative comments from irate clients, or even a crazy ex wife writing about a divorce can all tarnish your online reputation in the blink of an eye.
Hateful or controversial opinions, inappropriate language: The Internet is great because it allows you to connect with not just friends, family, and acquaintances, but it also allows you to engage in conversations with, literally, the entire world. Forums, Facebook, and other popular outlets for discussion are the ideal place to share your opinions and learn from others.
Nevertheless, these outlets can destroy your online reputation.
Results yielded by search engines can associate your name with negative views, and controversial discussions can turn others off.
Inappropriate and embarrassing photos:
Without a doubt, compromising pictures of any kind negatively affect your online reputation. Teachers and non-profit employees have been fired for just a single questionable picture on social media.
The Internet is not very forgiving. Your single night in jail or the bankruptcy that you filed decades ago may feel like a thing of the past, but it can still show up online.
If an online search for your name indicates that you’ve had run-ins with the law or major financial issues, it may be time to focus on improving your online reputation.
How Much Do You Know About Your Online Reputation?
Search engine results are constantly changing thanks to changing Google algorithms; articles that were once buried could now appear on Google’s top ten.
Similarly, new content appears all of the time, so articles, pictures, and social media entries that you weren’t aware of before may now be visible to the world.
For that reason, it’s important to stay on top of your online reputation via regular assessing and monitoring.
Staying abreast about your online reputation can help you identify and address any status issues before they get out of hand.
Steps to Assess Your Online Reputation Search yourself
Google “your name.” Use the name others are apt to use when searching you. What name do you use on your resume? It may be helpful to add your city to the search, and click through Google’s tabs including images, videos, and other links that may be associated with your name.
And just because Google is the most popular search engine doesn’t mean it’s the only one. Bing and Yahoo! yield different results. Check those out as well.
Concentrate mostly on the first page of the search engine’s results, as most searchers don’t bother looking beyond the top entries.
Check out your social media accounts:
Do you have any compromising pictures, angry rants, or overly negative posts floating around Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and other public accounts?
They could have an adverse impact on your online reputation. If you’re uncertain which accounts are still active, KnowEm helps you check for your username on over 500 social networks and domain names.
Which results are relevant?:
As mentioned before, having too few or no results appear in a search can be just as bad as having negative results. Those searching you may think that you’re trying to hide something. They may also conclude that there is nothing remarkable about you. If a search for your name yields no results, you need to work on building your online reputation. Without an established online reputation, you are vulnerable to negative search results creeping in.
Assess whether your results are positive, negative, or neutral:
Save or bookmark any search results that require attention. You can work on rectifying those at a later date.
Ask a trusted person to take a look, too:
When it comes to ourselves, our judgment can often be clouded. For that reason, ask for some outside opinions concerning what you’ve found. While you may not view individual posts or pictures as troublesome, others may not share your opinion.