Talk spreads fast online and even one disgruntled client or former employee can do a lot of damage to your reputation before you even realize what’s happening. As frustrating as it is, with a little patience, you can improve your online reputation and save your good name.
Assess the Damage
Start by searching for mentions of your name, your company’s name, your branded services, and related terms online. In addition to using the major search engines, search complaint sites such as Consumer Affairs, ComplaintsBoard, and Ripoff Report. Use tools like SocialMention and Hootsuite to find related social media posts. Doing this helps you gauge the severity of the problem and pinpoint the exact cause.
To stay on top of future complaints, create Google Alerts for terms related to your business. You’ll receive an email whenever someone mentions your chosen terms online.
Present Your Side
Taking the time to respond to negative social media posts, forum discussions, and blog comments about your business shows anyone else reading that you don’t ignore problems. Calm, thoughtful responses also win you respect. Explain your side of the story, fill in details, correct inaccuracies, and if you were at fault, explain the steps you’ve taken to make things right.
Next, make an extra effort to reach out to your potential client base. Participate in forums, Q&A sites like Quora, and related Facebook and Google+ communities. Provide helpful, authoritative answers to demonstrate your expertise and re-establish your reputation as a reliable, pleasant person to work with.
Have Inappropriate Content Removed
If your copyrighted material is being used without your permission, first alert the website owner to the copyright violation. If you get no results, file a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) Takedown Notice. Website hosts, search engines, and online platforms often provide forms for this.
In addition, Google, Facebook, and many other sites will remove sensitive personal information, such as your social security number, and take action against bullying and hate speech on their platforms.
For more tips on how to improve your online reputation, contact us at Construction Monitor