How is your online reputation? It’s great when you look at your blog or Yelp and see great comments and reviews. If that’s all you have, then your reputation is sparkling. However, if you have comments that are negative, you need to address them. That kind of chatter on your site can kill your reputation quickly, and it’s not easy to get back. Here are some tips to make sure you’re thought of highly online.
Be Proactive With Your Online Reputation
One way to manage your online reputation is being careful about what happens when people search for you on Google and other search sites. In many ways, online reputation management is a basic SEO problem.
What if someone has panned your product or company in a blog post that is showing up at or near the top of Google results? Sometimes even a negative headline can turn away potential customers. Here’s what you can do to combat this: use SEO strategies to push that post down the results. First of all, locking in alternate suffixes for your domain (.net, .org, and so on), as early as you can.
In addition, make sure your business is registered on every major social network, under the full name of the business. This includes Completed.com, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. Your business should be all over the web. If you’re active on the sites, these pages will also rank well and tend to push down negative comments. Finally, make sure that you’ve claimed your Google Places account and that it is accurate.
The key to all of this is to be sure it is done before a negative review happens. Waiting until a bad review happens makes fixing it much more difficult.
Resist the Urge to Talk Back to a Reviewer with Negative Comments
Let’s say you have someone trashing you on Twitter, their blog, or an online forum. How do you respond? Online commenters can be tricky to handle. Try not to engage. Don’t respond to online complaint boards. This just increases strength of listings and invites an ongoing battle.
But what if the negativity is on your own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account? You have more control here, and if a comment is too horrible, you can delete it.
If you don’t want to delete a comment, you can move it down quickly by posting more updates. The more posts on your site, the further down the negative one will go.
Should you ever reply to a complaint? If the comment is maturely composed and isn’t just someone trying to be nasty, it is possible—and probably a good idea. It’s a good idea to try to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Let the complainer know you’ll contact them—this protects their privacy and enables you to fix the issue without an online audience.
Consider all complaints seriously and take corrective action when it’s warranted. Once you’ve fixed the problem, you can ask the commenter to remove the negative comment.
It’s most difficult to protect your reputation on third-party sites that accept reviews.
You should deal with complaints here in much the same way you would on your own site. Hostility and profanity should be ignored. People who post articulate and well-conceived comments may be engaged.
Respond to the Positive As Well
Don’t forget to respond to positive reviews as well. Reply to it with a thank-you post, which will further increase its credibility and the perception of your responsiveness.
Check out our website, barsnet.com, to see how we handle comments on our site.