Thanks to the internet, people can access any information, from anywhere. The meaning of “word of mouth” has changed completely, as people are now always online, always able to communicate. For a business, this means there has to be an increased focus on online reputation management. So much so, in fact, that most now choose to enlist the services of a reputation management company to make sure that what is being said about you on the internet highway is positive. People talking about you can be the best thing that could happen to you, but it could equally be the worst.
Should You Work with a Reputation Management Company?
Once upon a time, the magic word was “marketing”. However, because online reputation, and what people say about you, is now so important, content writing is actually more important. Indeed, it is an integral part of reputation management as a whole. Just a few years ago, it was revealed that 70% of people trusted online reviews as much as what they would trust their friends. Today, this stands at 80%. What this means is that, if you have a business, you must control your reputation or you may as well go out of business. And to do that, you need professional help from a reputation management company.
What they will do, firstly, is monitor new things that are said about you. If they are positive, then these will be promoted so that they come up when someone looks you up. If they are negative, they will get to work on suppressing this information, for instance, through reverse SEO. This means that they flood the internet with positive content about your business, thereby pushing the negative back to the third page of Google and beyond, where it is effectively invisible.
You may think that the easiest thing to do is to remove negative information, but this isn’t true, nor is it the best course of action. Yes, if someone posts something negative directly to your website or your social media page, you can simply take it off. However, this is likely to only further infuriate the person who originally posted it, meaning that they will only take their anger elsewhere, where you no longer have that control. It is far better to personally but professionally address their concern. In so doing, you turn the negative into a positive because other clients can see that you take complaints seriously and do all you can to improve things.
Of course, this is just a very simplistic example. A professional reputation management company will do far more than simply monitor your review. This is also why they are quite expensive, which is their main disadvantage. If you find a company that is surprisingly cheap, you may need to question whether they work ethically or not. As always when bringing in a third party provider, you need to do your research and be careful about who you allow to work on your behalf.