It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when all feedback received from customers could be kept 100% hidden. Even if you received a barrage of complaints, there was no way for them to be published or shared with others. As such, reputation management was a much easier job.
Needless to say, this era was left well and truly dead and buried when the Internet took over. We’ve now entered a period in which online reviews, recommendations and ratings in general represent some of the most important drivers of all when it comes to consumer spending habits. The problem being that as the internet allows people to say whatever they want, true or not, that’s exactly what millions are doing every day.
On the plus side, this has also opened up a world of opportunities for enhanced reputation development and management. Online reputation management has the potential to be a fulltime job in its own right, but hit a home run in terms of online opinion and your success story is largely carved out on your behalf.
Which is precisely why it is a good idea to avoid reading into a variety of longstanding reputation management myths – including the following examples:
1 – Your Online Reputation Is Out Of Your Control
In a word, nonsense! Just because you have no control over what people decide to publish doesn’t mean you don’t have total control over its impact. Recent studies have shown that in instances where complaints voiced online have been responded to honestly, openly and appropriately, they generate equal if not more trust and encouragement than positive reviews.
2 – Once It’s Been Published, It’s There For Good
When it comes to personal opinion, it is largely impossible to have anything removed from the Internet. However, this doesn’t apply to anything that is untrue, defamatory, offensive, threatening, abusive or generally infringes on individual’s privacy or safety. In such instances, you have every right to request by law that the offending content be removed.
3 – Sharing Negative Reviews Is Counterproductive
Once again, not true at all. As we mentioned in the first entry, what matters to consumers so much more than glowing reviews is evidence of a brand or business that actually listens and responds to its customers. Not only this, but while it’s perfectly easy for any website to fabricate as many positive reviews as it can, it’s largely unheard of for negative reviews to be falsified. Long story short, extra brownie points.
4 – Everything Can Be Automated
While there are plenty of tools and advanced technological conveniences available these days to help with reputation management, the human element is still the most important element of all. The reason being that while automated programs and the like can help you determine how strong your reputation is, it will always come down to you to decide what to do with it.
5 – I Don’t Have Time For Reputation Management
Last but not least, this particular myth is comprehensively false for two very good reasons. First of all, no matter how much time and effort you invest in reputation management, it is one of the most crucially important and potentially rewarding investments you will ever make. Secondly, while bigger brands and businesses may depend on fulltime reputation management specialists, just a few hours every month can make all the difference for smaller businesses.
Quite simply, any time invested in reputation management is better than no time at all.