There is one thing that is certain: humans love a good underdog story. This doesn’t just apply to sports teams and professional athletes, but also to businesses. If you are a small business owner trying to get your company up and running – even if you’re a large corporation seeing some tough times – there is hope for you, especially when you invest time, money, and effort into reputation repair.
If investing in reputation repair – or even reputation building and management – there are certain steps to follow. To do it properly, you can either follow these steps on your own or hire professionals to take the matter into their own hands.
Step 1: Have an Online Audit Performed
When we say “audit” we’re not talking about gathering all your tax-related documents for the IRS to look over. In this case, an audit refers to an in-depth look at your website. If you want to do just a brief audit on your own, try Google searching your company name in incognito mode. This will give you a clear picture of what is being said about your brand, who is saying, and why they’re saying these things.
For a more professional audit, like the ones performed by all the major SEO companies, you’ll get some valuable information on more than just Google search results. We recommend that you do an in-depth audit of your entire website, which will show things like overall traffic, how people are finding you, and how you can boost your ranking on search results.
Step 2: Set Up a Monitoring Program
The best way to stay on top of your online reputation is to actually stay on top it. This is best done by setting up a monitoring program by adding alerts that notify you whenever there is any online talk about your company. This won’t just tell you when and what is being said, but it also gives you a chance to respond fast to negative comments.
Step 3: Develop a Strategy
Now that you have a better understanding of the public perception towards your brand, it is time to create a plan and start strategizing. Before doing this, though, it is important to determine your reputation-related goals. What are you hoping to happen from your reputation repair efforts? Do you hope to see your social media following skyrocket, or are you more keen on the idea of cleaning up negative reviews found throughout the internet.
Step 4: Start Working – or Hire a Pro
If you’ve already got a lot on your plate, don’t overload yourself with this task. Reputation repair is a full-time job in itself, so try not to underestimate the time and effort that must go into it. The cost of hiring a professional agency might be a huge deterrent for you, but research shows that the ROI on reputation repair investment is extremely high. Of course you’ll need to do your research first and find an agency or professional that has a decent track record.