What’s your vote? Is this World Wide Web thing here to stay, or is it just a passing phase – just a fad? Okay, okay, silly question. But what more and more people are realizing is that with each passing year, the vastness, the hugeness, the massiveness of the way that word spreads (both good and bad word) is just getting wider and bigger. If a “friend” or a customer or a passerby has something negative to say about you or your business, it is there to stay.
Well, kind of.
Read on to find out how people are managing (translation: burying) the negative commentary connected to their names and businesses.
More and more online reputation management tools and businesses are popping up. While some of them are free, others are much more expensive. Depending upon your personal or professional needs, there is a tool or system out there for everyone.
You may have made a mistake or two,
but that doesn’t mean you want the entire world to know about it, right?
Banish the Naysayers: Maybe there was a disgruntled employee; maybe there was a negative review, or worse yet, a “troll” – or maybe there was even an honest-to-goodness mistake made. But that certainly doesn’t mean that we want the world to know about it or read about it for…ever, right?
These negative-talkers might rationalize that it’s easier (albeit less classy) for them to blurt something out online instead of, say, renting a billboard and putting it up on the side of your local highway. What’s the best way to handle this? To put it candidly: Bury it.
Free Is Such a Pretty Little Price Tag: Google has a free service called Google Reader and Google Alerts. It’s a feed reader that searches for key words or names. Whos Talking is also another great freebie. BoardTracker.com is yet another source that scans, searches, and finds your business or name when it is mentioned on a discussion board.
Take a look into these and others, and take advantage of the free service. They all work, and yes, “free” really is such a pretty little price tag, isn’t it?
Hey, there doesn’t have to be the big elephant in the room.
Let the good stuff – and your great reputation – soar. Leave the elephant behind!
Or, You Can Spend Some Money – and Go for the Big-time: Reputation.com is probably the most well known and reliable online monitoring system. Alterian is one of the stronger ones, as well, especially for larger companies, and you can investigate what people are saying about your specific brand – throughout the world. Rankur, on the other hand, is great for smaller businesses. This one helps you to monitor both online reviews and it also allows you to follow your competition and to find out what others are saying about them, as well.
This is just a sampling of the many online reputation tools that are out there. If you have a business or a reputation that needs to be protected, it’s a truly wise business move to protect it. It’s far too easy for one or two negative comments to impact the bottom line.
Of course, the goal is to keep all the customers happy all the time. But is that always possible? It’s a lofty goal, and it’s great to shoot for that goal. But it’s also wise to be fully prepared to protect your image, investment, and business, as well. Go for it. Find the online reputation management tool that will best keep you protected. Cheers to that!
Photo Credit: plindberg
Photo Credit: dadblunders
Valerie J. Wilson is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about startups, business, marketing, education, and health and wellness.