Managing Your Online Reputation

Too many people are wishing they could erase embarrassing school photos from their Facebook page. Or else get rid of a series of poor reviews concerning their small business posted by a paranoid and bitter former customer.

Lots of people worry about prospective employers who just might see a young photo, taken in jest, that makes you look ridiculous and that can’t ever be removed from Google results first page. It’s a common problem and one that is growing larger as more and more people turn to social media and review platforms to dig up information about you as a potential employee or as a possible purchase center.

Living online has become the norm, not the exception, and thus quite a few people discover to their dismay that some of the light-hearted things they thought were clever and shared with everyone are now coming back to bite them in their career path or business plan. “It’s hard to control your image on the internet, even if you were personally injured and your attorney helped clean up the mess,” said top Bellingham personal injury attorneys. Damage control is an old craft, but how effective can it be in the cyber age? It’s so easy to tarnish a good reputation with just one indiscretion that goes viral.

Lucky for you, if you are experiencing an embarrassing blast from the past that threatens your livelihood and/or career you can now use some tried and tested strategies that professional reputation restorers use for their clients. It might take some work and concentration, and, always, a bit of good luck — but it can be accomplished.

Crowd out the bad stuff

First and foremost it’s crucial to identify the unfortunate photo or poisonous review of your business and then start posting the exact opposite of it. For example, if some loser bashes your restaurant business by posting about the slow service, the logical step to take is to begin flooding the same platform(s) with positive comments about the speedy service your customers enjoy. When enough of these positive comments have posted, the algorithms that rule social media will automatically bury the negative review so far down the list of keywords and SEO searches that only an archeologist will be able to find them.

The same goes for embarrassing photographs. The minute you discover a compromising picture, go to work to post the kind of photograph you actually want people to be looking at. Not just a dozen times, or several dozen times — but at least a hundred times. Get your family and friends to help out. If necessary HIRE someone to post these positive photos, until the inundation succeeds in burying the naughty or politically incorrect photo so far below the internet horizon that it won’t surface again for a century.

Of course, this isn’t the case for celebrities when their past cyber indiscretions go viral. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. For that kind of thing, a professional reputation management firm needs to be hired to minimize the damage and put a positive spin on things.

One last point. If your business is constantly being dissed for the same reason over and over again, forget the knee-jerk reaction and take a closer look at the business itself. Are the disgruntled customers RIGHT about poor customer service, shoddy merchandise, or slow delivery? If so, then it’s a case of fixing the real problem rather than trying to cover things up on social media. And be your own spin doctor by admitting the problem(s) online and then publicizing how your company is fixing them in real time. This strategy lets consumers know you’re sincere and determined to win their business back.