Online Reputation Repair: Strategies to Rebuild Your Image

Just how important is your reputation in the fast-paced digital world that we’re currently living in? To put it mildly: very.

According to one recent study, 60% of customers say that they will not buy from a brand if there are negative reviews of the company online. Not the products or services, mind you — but the company itself. Not only that, but 84% of people say they value online reviews just as much as personal recommendations if not more.

If your reputation is inherently strong, it’s a great asset to have. If your image has seen better days, however, it can quickly become a liability if the situation isn’t adequately addressed. That’s where online reputation repair enters into the conversation.

The Power of Online Reputation Repair

Generally speaking, online reputation repair services are employed to address issues with a person or business’s reputation. That’s something imperative to understand; depending on the situation in question, reputation damage can be done to your personal reputation, your professional reputation, or in severe cases, both.

Reputational damage can come from many sources. Negative reviews are often a chief culprit, as are public relations-related problems where a challenge presents itself and you may have responded in a way many people found unsatisfactory.

Nevertheless, your reputation isn’t going to repair itself — which is why you need to put together a forward-thinking strategy if you’re going to correct the issue.

Rebuilding Your Reputation, One Brick at a Time

For example, let’s say that your primary issue is that negative results come up whenever you type your name into a search engine like Google. The experts at Status Labs recommend that you create social media accounts on sites that are relevant to your personal and professional life if you haven’t already done so.

Most people probably already have a Facebook page, but you may not have as much of a presence on Pinterest or Instagram. Likewise, never underestimate what an impact professionally driven content — like what’s typically posted on LinkedIn — can have. All of this represents another chance to put yourself out there in a way that reflects the ideal vision of yourself and the brand that you’re trying to create.

Even something as seemingly straightforward as registering your name as a domain and starting a blog can make a big impression on what comes up when people type your name into Google. The more content you post, the more chances you have to rank highly for whatever keyword you’re targeting — in this case, your name. Not only that, but as people find and read that content, you also get to capitalize on an opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

If you’re in charge of a business and are dealing with a perception that you have poor customer service, you would want to pay particular attention to things like online reviews and comments left on various social media channels or on your website. If you’re not already moderating comments whenever possible, you should absolutely do so. Delete any unwarranted comments that could hurt your reputation before they have too much of an impact.

But if a customer leaves a legitimate concern, don’t hide from it. Don’t react in anger — use it as a chance to start a conversation. More importantly, do so publicly. If someone creates a negative post or comment on Facebook, address the situation in the same way so that everyone can see. Over time, this will help reverse your reputation and cement the impression that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make sure people walk away satisfied.

Ultimately, understand that your online reputation is nothing if not fragile. While it can be tarnished quickly (especially in the social media age), it will take time to build it back up again. This is why successful reputation repair is less the product of any one major move and is more about a series of smaller and more strategic ones. Over time, they add up to something meaningful and if executed properly, your reputation will come out all the better for it. 

Interesting Related Article: “Fostering Community Engagement Through Local Business Reviews