Nothing is more important to business today than reputation and one bad review or online attack by a disgruntled customer or former employee can make or break your bottom line unchecked. A notorious worry for entrepreneurs and business owners has been falling victim to an online smear through sites like RipOff Report. Ripoff Report scams and other negative content can dramatically impact the reputation, and in turn, success, of your business. Whether a situation is taken out of context or someone is trying to smear your business, here are some steps you and your staff can take to stay ahead of the fallout.
Engage with your target audience
The first step is creating a positive online presence in order to engage with your client base and build a reputation as a company that the time to address their customers’ concerns. Encourage your customers to share their opinions on social media and your website. When a customer gives negative feedback, try to respond promptly and professionally, attempting to rectify their issue. In the event of an intentional online attack, respond with verifiable facts and examples of comments from your satisfied customer base. While not every attempt to discredit a business is transparent, a good response strategy can easily show the public the real intent of the negative content.
Make sure your company’s social media channels are active
Social media channels are critical to maintaining and improving your company’s online presence. If you are not actively posting on channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you are not using the ranking potential of these channels to full effect. If needed, assign maintaining these social media channels to a team member in-house, who will be responsible for posting on these channels and monitoring the reaction from online visitors.
Protect your brand
In the digital space, negative information travels quickest. A by-product of mass media and communication technology allows any one person to share content in real-time. Before reasonable doubt can even be considered, the public has already made up its mind and your business could suffer. Reputation management services can also help individuals in this sense. When an untrue statement sticks, the best approach can be to dive in headfirst and bury the content with accurate information about your company, its mandate, and place in the community.
Take the legal route
In severe cases, if someone is attempting to defame your business with libelous statements or reviews, there are a number of legal routes to take. A legal representative can work to have defamatory content removed from internet sites and searches as well as seek compensation from the perpetrators through IP address identification and other legal means of action.