Best Face Forward – The Importance of Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management is important even for companies with sterling online reputations. Study after study shows that a strong majority of folks trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. In the last few years, online reputation management has gone from something that’s nice for a business to have to an absolute necessity. It’s natural for business owners to want to spend as little as possible on online reputation management, hiring freelancers or trying to do it themselves. However, the actual act of maintaining a great online reputation is more than just leaving a couple nice online reviews. It takes committed professionals with years of experience and the most cutting-edge tools.
Online Reputation Management Requires Trust and Commitment
When a company hires someone to manage their online reputation, the company becomes very vulnerable. The company needs to know that their reputation manager can guarantee their confidentiality in all respects. It has to be someone who takes them seriously and will never sell them out or cut corners. The best reputation managers can pinpoint where the problems areas are right away and immediately know how to provide lasting, ongoing solutions.
Business Needs Someone Who’s Been There Before
Good rule in online reputation management: never trust a management company who doesn’t give an estimate in writing. This estimate shouldn’t just say how much management will cost. It should also include the services, what all is required, and how long it will take. That’s the benefit of experience. It shows a company that’s done it before and knows exactly what to do. By that same token, honesty is also critical in online reputation management. A management company that gives comforting “blue sky” lies won’t cut it. A straight talking, “just the facts” approach that can tackle the issues directly is what the job requires.
Beyond Just “Cleaning Up” Problems
Quality online reputation management uses the best tools to take off the internet anything that’s truly a lie or crosses the line into libel, even if that requires getting an attorney. However, that’s not where the duties of managing an online reputation end. “Maintenance” is a very important part of managing an online reputation, so that the company can go forward. This involves eliminating problems as they come up, or even heading them off so that the problems never arise.
Website Depot has successfully and completely restored and managed the online reputations of several companies. Some have “come back” from a low online reputation to be stronger than ever; others have reached heights that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. A good analogy for managing a company’s online reputation is to think of it like cleaning an office. Sure, the employees and workers can try to do it. But they’ll miss spots. Deep stains and grime will sink in. Professionals can come in and clean up the office for good, and then continue cleaning it on a regular basis. A great company deserves great online reputation management.
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