There are billions online today? Did you know that a very high percentage of people trust the opinion of strangers when shopping online? Billions of strangers giving advice. It’s unlikely that you will be surprised at the power of the internet in today’s world, but you might be surprised at how easy it is for someone to inflict damage on your online reputation when just one of those billions posts something negative about your brand.
Why would someone want to do damage to you? You’re a nice company right? If you are a company that has figured out a way to do more business than an opponent, the answer is very easy: competition. Even though you won your market share fair and square, it can be taken back in nefarious, underhanded and virtually demonic ways.
The smartest way to proceed in the modern business climate is to have a way to protect an online reputation from the beginning. While your brand is making its way into the public consciousness, you will able to refine your message and clearly state your goals. It’s a process called online perception management. You can and should influence the way your company is seen in the world. You do it by building relevant sites, keeping content fresh, claiming every social media profile you can, and using SEO to boost the inbound link popularity of the media properties you control online.
The other way to protect an online reputation is to know how to respond to an attack that has already been leveled against you. Most likely slander will be delivered cold by a dark and unnamed waiter in the night. They’ll be impossible to locate, and the bill will be tremendous. The problem impossible to fix. In this case, the answer is to request that the site hosting the comment remove it; since they probably won’t, your next step is ‘negative suppression’. The practice of pushing a negative search term off the first pages of search results.