Reputation Management is the effort to impact how and what people think about a company or individual when seen online. Reputation Management goes by many different names including clean up search results, reputation repair, reputation management and online reputation management. It is basically the same concept as Public Relations but instead of trying to create “positive” PR, it is more concerned with creating “positive” awareness or responses from potential customers that may come across your website. One of the biggest challenges in this area is explaining or justifying the positive actions or events that your business has taken, as well as defending the negative interactions that have taken place.
For many companies and brands, reputation management and social media are becoming one and the same goal. When you think about Google, for example, many companies feel that Google’s “no track record” on showing search results that include social signals have created a situation where SEO efforts are no longer useful in attracting new customers. As a result, some companies are beginning to use “clean up search results” to help “clean up” their reputation online before even trying any of their own online marketing efforts. This helps to mitigate any negative interactions that a business may have had with a specific online entity and also serves as a “red flag” if a company or brand is under investigation by any law enforcement agency for any reason. Many companies also use reputation management tools such as social media monitoring, social bookmarks and analyzing “heat maps”, which show different types of user behavior on the social media sites.
In summary, the goal of reputation management can be to mitigate damage to a company, brand or individual by addressing specific issues and correcting any inaccurate information that may exist either with a current or past customer. The most common areas for this type of service are in the areas of: cleaning up negative content on websites; creating a positive image in all areas of the social media landscape; managing negative content in response to news events; and addressing complaints or unsatisfaction with specific products or services. For many businesses, this type of service can help to protect their brands, increase overall customer satisfaction and improve customer retention. Reputations are a valuable asset to any business, and protecting them through correct management is one of the best ways in which to ensure the longevity and success of that business’ reputation.