Not every online business can afford the kind of funding necessary to afford the costs of Search Engine optimization. Unfortunately, search engine rankings form the front line of the online corporate battle, and if you can’t step up to the plate, then you have to settle for second best. Getting to the front page of any search engine requires you to set apart a substantial amount of you company’s budget on marketing strategies, the kind that stands out, and draws lots of traffic your way. That’s where smear campaigns come in.
Many companies still struggle to prop themselves up the ladder, and into more favorable search engine rankings; so they have to improvise. The plan is usually to throw you off your game by raking in some negative publicity. They can’t afford the expenses required to get up the rankings, so they bring you down instead. They get a bunch of misleading information, with the sole intent of damaging your reputation. This is where your company has the daunting task of damage limitation. Smear campaigns put doubt in your consumers’ minds, and the damage is often irreparable.
Online Reputation Management is your top class defense plan; it’s your company’s ammo against entities that seek to destroy your company’s image. The more people see negative publicity, the more they believe it; that is why a quick response can be the only way to prevent your company from falling into total obscurity. Online reputation management works on two main levels; the first is geared towards protection from such campaigns on an anticipatory capacity, and, the second level, involves repairing the damage caused.
So What’s The Strategy?
It is always advisable to actively invest in muffling the smoke before it becomes a forest fire. What this means, in principle, is that once negative publicity goes viral online, then it becomes impossible to contain, and then you have your work cut out. That is why you need to take steps that anticipate problem areas that people may use to harm your reputation. It is also equally important to ensure that you pay a lot of extra attention to the kind of content that you float out. Many people tend to shoot themselves in the foot with suggestive photos, comments and stories – especially on social media sights. It is important to stick to content that is within the realm of your expertise; it will do a lot to help your ranking. Last, and most importantly, tone down on full disclosure – publishing personal information is equivalent to digging your own grave. Keep your cards close to your chest.
How Can I Repair My Reputation?
All you need is honesty, humility, self respect and common sense; that’s the best way to do it. Don’t try to make the other guy look bad – that won’t do you any good. Online reputation management is all about maintaining your company in good light. Focus on your achievements and post them regularly. This will help push the negative publicity off the front page. If some of the information is true, then be the first to put it out there – honesty is your best online reputation defense, and finally, never pass up an opportunity to apologize.