Does your online reputation matter and what can you do to protect it?

Does your online reputation matter and what can you do to protect it?

As a leader in your industry, does your online reputation matter? With the ever increasing popularity of social media, it has become increasingly easier for a strong reputation to be tarnished. First, be aware that your online reputation does matter.  If you do make a private mistake that becomes public, it becomes important to understand the steps that you should take in order to save your reputation and to keep your image intact.

Who should worry about their online reputation and why does your online reputation matter?

While most people may think that managing an online reputation would only be important to large businesses or companies, there are actually many types of people who should consider how they appear over the internet.

Does your online reputation matter and what can you do to protect it?
Does your online reputation matter and what can you do to protect it?

Most everyone has an online presence of some sort and we all should be cognizant of how your online reputation does matter in our everyday lives. For example, consider for a moment that you are a business owner hiring a manager at a company. If you are comparing a handful of people for a new job or a promotion, do you think you are more likely to choose the one with a positive online reputation or a negative one? Reputation matters as most companies will choose the former.

70% of U.S. recruiters and hiring managers have rejected candidates based on information found online

Currently there are very few limitations regarding potential employers and reviewing social media sites when looking to hire a new employee. In fact, many employees have even been terminated based on things that their employers have found on their social media sites. With this in mind, you should be aware that reputation matters and what you are posting online is important and be diligent to keep your online reputation intact.

What to do if your online reputation becomes tarnished

If you do find that your online reputation has become damaged, reputation management becomes necessary. Tools and companies are now available that help companies and individuals manage the things that are being said about them online.

The most important step that you can take to manage your online reputation is to make sure that you understand what others are saying about you. There are a number of tools online that will deliver this information to you or you can perform general search engine searches as well.

After you know what is being said, it will be up to you how you respond to the criticism. However, you will also need to be careful in your response as well because you will need to refrain from making the situation worse than what it already is. In most instances, it is best to rely on a professional to help you alleviate some of the damage that a tarnished reputation can have.

Take the issue offline

One of the most important things that you should do when dealing with a tarnished reputation is to respond to the comments or reviews as quickly as possible and to move the conversation from the online realm to offline as quickly as possible. However, this does not mean that you should delete comments or reviews that may have been posted. Although this may be tempting, this will only work against you and may make it appear that you are trying to hide something.

The faster that you can respond to negative criticism the better and your other customers will appreciate your response time. The longer that you take to respond to something, the more likely the person is to continue posting negative things about you online. It is also important that you stick with the promises that you make to the person.

For example, if you inform them that you will call them to discuss the issues in the morning, stick with that promise. Not following through with what you say you will do may lead to even further online damage.

How to avoid a negative reputation?

Probably one of the best ways to keep your online reputation sound is by being aware of the things that you are doing on a daily basis. If you own a business, be sure to treat your customers with respect and make sure that any issues are dealt with quickly.

It may be impossible to please everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. Have special training courses for your workers that teach them the best ways to handle customer complaints and offer them incentives for good customer feedback.

Conclusion

Does your online reputation matter?

If you have found that your online reputation has been damaged, it may be best to rely on the professional assistance of an online reputation management service. They will have the tools necessary to help repair your image quickly and efficiently.

Lets take a look at some STATISTICS. 

90% of consumers trust recommendations from others. (Forrester)

80% of adults are “very” or “somewhat” more likely to consider buying products recommended by real-world friends and family. (source: Pollara)

Let me ask the question in a different way … ‘How’ does your online reputation really matter?

87% believe the CEO’s reputation is an important part of a company’s reputation. (Hill & Knowlton)

83% of companies will face a crisis that will negatively impact their share price between 20 and 30%, during the next five years. (Oxford-Metrica)

73% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a business more.

With all of this new information and statistics does your online reputation really matter?

Perhaps, the question is why does your online reputation really matter?

The way in which people live their lives has greatly changed over recent years. Gone are the days of asking advice from your friends and family advice. In fact  to help make decisions such as to where to eat on date night. Instead, most everyone is turning to the internet to make these decisions. This increase in web activity has led many to begin looking to manage their online reputations. However, many companies and individuals are still asking whether the effort is really necessary.

The fact is, maintaining a good online reputation is important for both individuals and companies alike for a number of reasons. It is difficult to maintain a healthy reputation in a world where privacy is limited and everything can be shared with a click of a button. Learning more about the reasons you should protect your online reputation can be very helpful when learning how to protect your online reputation.

Businesses

When most people think of online reputation management and consider the question does your online reputation matter, they probably think of it as a matter pertaining to corporations only. If someone has a bad experience at a business, they may post a negative review on one of the many websites that offer consumers the ability to provide feedback to companies they have had an experience with.  If they do post a negative review the consequences can be serious and if they have no positive reviews your company will close its doors.

However, there are also other reasons a business may want to look into protecting their online reputation. For example, a disgruntled ex-employee has the ability to cause major damage to a company’s online reputation by creating many fake reviews themselves. If they are determined, they can even build websites against a company, as well as make accusations in regards to a company.

An ex-lover in a fit of anger goes on a consumer complaint site and using a fake name, having to only prove identity using an active email address from an internet cafe writes a scalding complaint about your business practices. Does your online reputation matter?

Recent surveys show that 80% of people have changed a decision they have made to make a purchase based solely on a review they have found online at least at one point or another (Cone-TrendTracker). Of those who use the Internet, it is estimated that over 75% conduct research and read product and company reviews before they make a final purchasing decision.

Other studies show that nearly half of adults use the Internet to find service-related goods and companies such as plumbers, doctors and lawyers. It is also estimated that about half of all Internet users have left an online review at one point or another. These numbers alone show how important it is for businesses to keep track of their online reputations.

Individuals

While it is important for all businesses to keep an eye on their online reputation, it is also important that everyone protects his or her online reputation as well. The Internet is not the place to be if you are looking for privacy, and there are many ways that an online reputation can affect a person negatively.

For example, many employers are now turning to the Internet in order to make a final decision when it comes to hiring a new employee. These employers may end up choosing one applicant over another simply based on items that have been posted online. These could be items found on social media sites or from general Web searches. 78% of executive recruiters routinely use search engines to learn more about candidates, and 35% have eliminated candidates based on the information they found. (ExecuNet)

Does your online reputation matter? Even if you do not post these items yourself, others can post them from their social media accounts, and they will appear when your name is searched and tagged. If you are in the market for a job, this is definitely something that you should consider while you are pursuing an open position.

Your online reputation may also be important if you are a member of a service industry where you rely on new clients as part of your job. Not only do people post reviews regarding companies they have shopped with, but they may also mention a particular salesperson or employee they dealt with within the company. These reviews may show up later when you are looking to be promoted or applying for a position at another company.

Does your online reputation really matter?

  • Looking to get into the best college
  • Wanting that great job
  • Meeting the perfect person

Conclusion: Does your online reputation matter

The answer to the question, Does your online reputation really matter seems rather pointless. Your online reputation can be extremely important for both individuals and businesses, but it is something that is difficult to manage because most items are not able to be removed from the Internet. However, some items are able to be suppressed past page two so fewer people are likely to find them.

Whether you are a business or an individual, is important that you know how you appear online and what others are saying about you on the Internet. Knowing this information is the first step in ensuring that your online reputation is healthy and secure.

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