Ever wish you could remove embarrassing pics from Facebook? Or a barrage of negative reviews about your small business from a bitter customer?
Tarnishing a name or brand online is easy – very easy.
Tools like social media (Facebook and Twitter), review sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews and Product Reviews) make easy work of getting distribution of both positive and negative reviews on a brand.
In fact, the obstacles are so easy that you can now register a domain name for $3.99, enable privacy on it for another $12 annually and literally publish damaging content on an individual or business in a matter of hours with site builder tools such as Wix!
To put the importance of online reputation management in context, over 80% of potential employers and recruiters will carry out online search on applicants and a staggering 92% of customers will make a purchase decision based on first page results on Google.
Your online reputation can create significant opportunities or potentially be your biggest liability
In my personal case, I carried out weeks of research on customer reviews on two potential builders in Melbourne before proceeding with one which had 4.6 stars over 600 reviews compared to the other which had 4.4 starts over 450 reviews. It was a close call but online reputation was critical in this $500,000 decision. On the other end of the spectrum, my wife is religious about ProductReview.com – anything from cat litter to Harmon Kardon’s Aura Wireless Speakers, she done her research!
So what exactly does a reputation management entail?
Online Reputation Managers are part search engine optimisation (SEO) experts, part PR gurus.
At 5th Law, we help clients optimise the online reputation so that attention goes the positive and not the negative.
Using powerful search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques and our proprietery and proven strategies, we are able to influence search results.
We can even co-ordinate with Google for removals of images or personal information which are in violate of Google Policies.
The Power of One Negative Review
According to a 2013 survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.
Based on this logic, one negative review about your brand (product or service) showing up on first page will therefore have at leat 90% of the buyers attention immediately, before the buyer moves on to second page results – which is less than 6% of the time.
Here’s an example of one scathing negative review about a hotel from a disgruntled guest which literally closed the business down in 24 hours thanks to the incredible power of social media.
The key is to pay attention to negative reviews when they happen and to react quickly by putting in reputation management measures in place to styme others from following suit with negative reviews and by off-setting it with genuine positive reviews which show up higher in search results.
The Power of Social Media
Social media chatter is often under-estimated by business since they don’t engage in real-time reporting of brand mentions.
There is no doubt that social media can be great for businesses. However, it’s also a double edged sword which need to be handled with caution in spades.
A classic example from 2012 is when Chick-fil-A owner, Dan Cathy, made a seemingly innocent statement that he supports traditional family values. It turned into one of the biggest hornet’s nests of the summer in 2012. Gay rights activists held “kiss days” at restaurants and political supporters turned out in droves to support the chain!
There are over 50 ways in which social media can destroy businesses and brands in days if not hours. Here’s another great read from Kissmetrics.
Not a all publicity is good publicity and business owners need to tread carefully on social media. Words carelessly used can turn into a gun-fight which can destroy your credibility very quickly.
It is critical to keep a pulse on social media chatter. We helps clients automate this process with real-time monitoring and reporting. This enables them to acknowledge and manage negative brand mentions as soon as they happen.
Read more tips on how to deal with disgruntled customers in our post here.
Google Policy Violations and Removal of Personal Information
Oversharing of personal information, cyber-bullying and publication of malicious content are everyday risks of the internet age.
A harmless photo from high school can have detrimental impact on your career or personal life years later.
Our team can assist you with removal of personal information, post, images, or videos which breach Google Policies.
Talk to us today and find out what options you have for online reputation management in Australia.