Saturday, 11 May 2013

In the past, business reputation were established, build and maintain through word of mouth by their stakeholders. However, in this digital era of instant communication, business has to focus on their online reputation via social media sites, professional blogs, review sites, forums, press releases, etc. It has become vital for every business, regardless of their type or size, to have a clean, up-to-date, professional website.
Hence the concept of online reputation management service has evolved to pay full attention to client’s business online reputation—how good (or bad) they look in Google searches.
Reputation management is the practice of monitoring the reputation of an individual or brand, addressing contents which are damaging to it, and using customer feedback to get early warning signals to reputation problems. Most of reputation management is focused on pushing down negative search results. Reputation management may attempt to bridge the gap between how a company perceives itself and how others view it.
The key to protecting your brand, according to online reputation management experts, is to be proactive, optimize your content appropriately, monitor your search results regularly, be ready to spring into action if something negative shows up and, above all, be realistic about the outcome of your efforts.
The Online Reputation Management tries to promote ethical best practices through a certification program. For online reputation management professionals, it’s vital to stay on the cutting-edge of social technology. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are essential, yet they are always changing. Staying abreast of those changes is the only way to ensure you’re really maximizing their potential.
Here are three things that reputation companies care about above almost everything else—social media, search engines, and Internet ads.
Businesses can adopt any following online reputation tactics:-
Ø  Social Media Marketing
Ø  Media relations and digital PR
Using the latest cutting-edge technologies, online reputation managers ensure that their clients are seen in a positive light. They constantly monitor their clients business profile, making sure their website stays on top. Several different methods are used to gain higher ratings than competitors, when potential customers do online searches.
A verified, continued online presence is imperative and helps to be more successful.

Some examples of websites where a company conducts reputation management is the feedback system on eBay and Wikipedia. Nestlé received negative comments about their environmental practices a few years ago, and they did not address them. People started becoming aggressive and posted altered versions of the Nestlé logo, forcing the company to close their public page. Takeaway?
Do not pretend people are not talking. 53% of American Adults use search engines to find information about each other.
What if someone googles your brand name and find defamatory content like negative review, negative media coverage, hate sites, etc? Address criticism as soon as possible.
Depending on the scope of the problem, several paths can be pursued in order to restore your online reputation:
ü  Aggressive SEO: - The search engine game is too crucial to be neglected, and it is the first step in restoring your image.
ü  Review removal: - Legal liaison and speed of reaction will make it possible to remove the negative review.
ü  Online investigation:- In case of serious attacks to your brand image, it may be necessary to hire skilled online analysts to investigate untraceable threats and attackers via email tracing, data cross-indexing, and other information collection techniques.
To conclude, following are 10 online reputation guidelines that will definitely benefit you and your brand are:-
1)      Be radically crystal clear
2)      Be respected
3)      Monitor reviews
4)      Respond promptly and politely
5)      Concentrate on criticism
6)      Consider your Google page 1 as your business card
7)      Identify your attackers
8)      Handle your illegal attackers
9)      Study your mistakes
10)   Ask for help if necessary

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