In the physical world, when someone has a complaint about your business, they usually come to you and express the problem in person; giving you the opportunity to apologize, find a solution and make it right. No one else needs to be involved, and other customers don’t have to know about the problem.

But when someone complains about your product or services online, they usually post it to one of the social media websites, to a blog or a review site, and the negative information can remain there indefinitely for everyone to see. This is why so many businesses are turning to business reputation management help.

Why Is This So Important?

Online marketing statistics demonstrate that most consumers first review a product or service online to see how effective a product or service is. When there is even just one defamatory comment and no positive reviews on a product or service, then this can cause a consumer to change his mind in regard to the purchase. Additionally, negative information placed on the web can remain there indefinitely; meaning it could affect your sales over the long-term and substantially affect your profit.

The Solution

To prevent this from happening, businesses are becoming proactive and implementing online reputation management processes. These processes can be performed by you or your employees. However, the processes involved in creating a positive online business image require many hours of consistent work; time which company leaders just don’t have. That’s why hiring a reputable ORM firm to help improve your corporate or business image can be in your best interest.

The Process

The first thing you have to do to start managing your online reputation is research the search engines to see what is being said. Use Google to search for your company and use all variations and misspellings of your company name. Do the same on other search engines to look for defamatory information on your company.

Notice the number of positive reviews, comments and information in contrast to the negative. If there is more negative information than positive you should look for professional help to change your online reputation. Monitoring your online reputation needs to be an ongoing process and can be made easier when you use the following tools:

– Google Alerts – configure Google alerts so that any new information posted to the Internet relating to your business name keywords is emailed to you. This way you can perform damage control before the information affects you.

– Kurrently – This is a free search engine that examines social media websites like Twitter and Facebook for special keywords. By inputting your business keywords you can find out what is posted about your business.

Managing your online reputation can be a time consuming process. All you have to do is make sure more positive information is listed than negative, but this requires many of the same tasks that are involved in Search Engine Optimization. Because most business owners don’t have time to implement these tasks, it can be more cost efficient to contract the services of a reliable Online Reputation Management firm to complete the process for you.