The Internet is the quintessential marketplace for every type of business, and opportunities abound for companies to advertise their services to a global marketplace. But unfortunately, opportunities also abound for people to publicly complain about your services, without being held accountable for their comments. This is where reputation management is critical if you want your business to succeed.
A whole reputation management industry has arisen to help companies combat negative commentary that could damage their online reputation. These services usually track what is written about their clients on the Internet, and then they take action based upon what they find. They optimize their clients’ websites to attract more attention in search engine results, highlight positive pages, and even create other websites that will rank higher in search results than any potentially damaging references.
Some reputation management services give their clients two options for cleaning up bad publicity. Companies may want to respond to customer complaints in order to address them and possibly make changes, but other companies may simply want negative comments to vanish or be buried beneath heaps of positive information. The overwhelming popularity and fast growth of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and others has opened the door to for anyone to shout loudly about what they like or don’t like about your company. Because the world of social media is growing so quickly, there is no hard and fast data available about how big the audience is. But companies are becoming more and more aware of the importance of tracking their online reputation and safeguarding it.
Reputation management is not a cheap or easy endeavor. Depending on the size of the company and the type of services they need, management services can cost thousands of dollars. And maintaining a good reputation online may be worth the investment if it means the difference between business success or failure. But the most efficient way to avoid having to repair your online reputation is to be sure your business practices are ethical and honest, and to provide services that keep customers satisfied and singing your praises.