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Monday, May 6, 2013

As the internet becomes more and more popular, having a bad online reputation can potentially destroy your business and even your life if there are negative things about you online. That’s where reputation management comes in. A growing number of businesses work at reputation management – selling the ability to “fix” your profile in Google and Bing. But you can do some things to fix your reputation by yourself. 

Here are some things you need to know about reputation management, and how you can do things on your own to make your reputation better:

Start by searching for yourself

Before determining whether you really need reputation management in NYC or elsewhere, you need to find out if you have a problem. If you have a very common name, like John Smith, any bad things about you may be buried under the flurry of John Smiths out there. However, if you are John Smith and live in a uniquely named town like Ho-Ho-Kus, or have a unique profession like an entomologist, if somebody complains about your skills at picking out bugs (entomology is the study of insects) , you may have an issue. So don’t just search for your name, but include your town, your profession, and your business name, if applicable. In short, think about how others would search for you.

If you have some embarrassing photos of yourself as part of your social media presence, needless to say, but you should take them down.  And if the photos are at a friend’s page, get them to take them down.  It is important that you keep in mind that privacy settings can be easily defeated, so if you don’t want.

Monitor what others say 

If you have a business, you need to pay close attention to what others say on your Google Local page, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List, Amazon, and other online review sites. All it could take is just one bad review to sabotage your business. If you get negative reviews, you need to have a strategy.  If the reviews are justified, like the customer received very bad service from one of your waiters, you need to 1) fix the issue and 2) let the customer know that you have fixed the issue. One way you can do that is to respond to the comment and offer the aggrieved party an apology and a free appetizer or something else.

It is a different issue if, as sometimes happens, the negative review is completely fake. You should write customer service at the website in question and complain that the review is false. If they won’t take the review down, then you should respond to the review and point out that you never did business with the person.

These are just a few of the things that you may need to know about reputation management in NYC and elsewhere. To learn more, click here.

Author Bio:
Lisa Swan writes for internet sites like Blue Fly Web Marketing.

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