Topic: Reputation

Reputation tips and tricks

Online Reputation Management for Direct Selling Companies 0

Here’s something that comes up in executive meetings all the time: “Why are people saying bad things about us on the Internet, and what can we do about it?”

This can be especially troubling to the CEO who founded the company and who has spent long years working hard to build the brand. He wakes up one day and finds defamatory remarks online about his company—not constructive criticism, but outrageous accusations and almost slanderous comments.

Worse, the negative reviews are on websites that rank high on search engine results pages, so that anyone doing a search on the company will see them. And it’s not just one negative review website, but several, causing the company’s online reputation to suffer.

As an executive, you need to be aware of your online reputation and know that you can take steps to manage it. You shouldn’t just leave it up to fate, or simply hope that people won’t post negative comments about your company. Your online reputation can have a dramatic effect on not only your brand perception, but also your company’s revenues.

A couple of years ago I met with a company that had a severe online reputation problem. When potential customers searched their company name, seven out of the top 10 Google rankings were negative. After a careful review of their rankings, and prior-year revenues, I determined that they were probably losing more than $1.5 million a year in sales due to negative search engine results. The company confirmed the fact that my estimates were indeed accurate—but low.

Direct selling companies face a unique challenge in protecting their online reputation. And because your success or failure depends on how potential customers perceive you, I want to cover the basics of managing and improving your online reputation.

1) What we mean by “online reputation”

Your online reputation is determined by the top Google rankings a prospect sees when they do a search on your company name. A prospect can quickly glance down the page of results and look for anything of interest that pops out at them. If a lot of those websites have negative reviews and complaints about your company, it will automatically diminish your reputation in their eyes. But if they see a list of websites with positive comments and testimonials, they’re more likely to sign up without further hesitation.

Because most people rarely look past the first page or two of search engine results, your online reputation is determined by the top 10 or 20 search results.

2) Where negative postings come from

Some websites specialize in letting anyone post a complaint. That makes it extremely easy for a dissatisfied customer to go online and share his or her experience with the world. And the complaint will still appear years later, even if it was a customer service issue that was quickly handled.

Websites like scam.com, ripoffreport.com and complaintsboard.com will pretty much accept postings from anyone. However, they rarely check for accuracy and are not likely to remove a posting if you request it.

These websites also tend to rank high in the search engines, so if your company is named in a complaint on one of these websites, expect it to show up on a search about you.

3) How a few complaints can hurt your online reputation

You might think that if you have thousands of happy customers and distributors, a few online complaints shouldn’t matter. But the math doesn’t work out that way.

Consider that a Google search returns 10 results on the first page. If just three of those are websites with complaints or criticisms, it means nearly a third of the search results are for negative websites. They may still be in the minority, but when a curious prospect sees a link that promises to reveal the “dirt” on a company, it’s hard to resist clicking through. After all, isn’t that what you’d do?

Even one review on a website like scam.com can have an impact if it shows up near the top of the page. Sometimes a single complaint, valid or not, is enough to scare away a prospect.

I know this sounds dire, but basic human psychology is at work here. All it takes is one negative review to give them a reason to say no to the opportunity.

4) What it takes to have a good online reputation

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to manage your online reputation so you are not at the mercy of your company’s critics. Start out right by following these three steps:

Step No. 1: Accept the fact of online reviews.

Short of outright slander or libel by the reviewers online, you really don’t have much legal recourse to make the negative postings go away. People have a right to complain, and these days it’s all too easy for unhappy customers to vent their frustrations and share their opinions with the whole world.

When you see a negative review about your company the instinctive reaction is to post a response to set the record straight. I understand the human need to respond, but you have to consider Google’s point of view. Here’s why.
Search engines rank various websites high for a few reasons, one of which is relevant content, especially when that content is updated on a regular basis.

When you post a comment on a website, you are in effect giving it new content. And if you get into a back-and-forth discussion with someone on a review website about your company, Google thinks “Ah, there’s a lot about this company here, so we’ll rank this website high for searches on their company name.”

Now when someone does a search on your company, they are even more likely to see the negative review. You want to avoid that. In fact, you want the websites with negative comments to slip further down the Google rankings so they don’t appear on the first page or two of a search. The next two steps help you with that.

Step No. 2: Focus on getting positive content.

A major part of online reputation management involves pushing the negative websites off of the first page or two of a Google search. How? By posting positive content and getting those pages to rank higher than the negative websites.

You need to direct your marketing or PR department to make online reputation management part of their regular duties. That means they should always be looking for, gathering or creating positive content that can be used to continually update your websites. Don’t put everything onto one corporate website. Instead, set up different websites for different purposes.

For example, you can have a website for new distributors, a website about your charitable giving, a website about conferences and meetings, a website for photos and perhaps individual product line websites. This gives you a nice stable of websites that you have control over.

Step No. 3: Push positive websites higher.

In the online world, your reputation is all about who owns the top-ranking results in a search for your company name. You want that space to belong to you—or at least be shared only with websites that have good things to say about you.

If you can do that, then the negative websites will be pushed off the first page of a Google search. And since very few people look past the first page of a search, those negative websites may as well not exist.

The best way to accomplish this is by performing search engine optimization on the positive websites to make them rank higher. Carefully review your websites’ content and the meta title tags to be sure they contain your company name. And most important, you’ll need to create plenty of back links to your positive websites so they are seen as more popular by Google. The magic of ranking higher in Google is relevant content and gathering a substantial number of links from other websites that point to your websites. These links are anchored by your company name.

The goal of getting all the positive websites to rank higher than the negative websites can be a hard one to reach. But considering how important your online reputation is, achieving this goal is well worth the effort. This is not always easy, and it can take many months of steady effort to achieve. Still, consider that the alternative is to let the complaints and negative reviews dominate the search results and trash your online reputation.

Of course, there are even more details to managing your online reputation, but the above steps give you the basic outline of what needs to be done. Just keep in mind that these days your company’s online reputation is one of the most important factors in determining its success.

Contact Me Today

If you’d like a free review of your company’s online reputation please send an email to: don@bigbluerobot.com or call 917-727-5756

The post Online Reputation Management for Direct Selling Companies appeared first on Big Blue Robot – Online Reputation Management.


Source: Big Blue Robot

Hubsters Makin’ Moves: Olivia Brown, Sales Recruiting Coordinator 0

When Sales Recruiting Coordinator Olivia Brown joined the Main Street Hub Team two years ago, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to help local business owners on a large scale after years of working in mom-and-pop shops.

She first joined our ATX Sales Office as a Sales Rep, and in April 2017, she transitioned to being the Recruiting Coordinator for our ATX Sales Team.

Get to know Olivia:

Tell us about yourself!

“My name is Olivia, and I was born in England! I lived in England for seven years and then moved to South Florida. After living there for 10 years, I moved to Middleburg, Virginia. I attended Furman University in South Carolina and graduated with a degree in sociology. I moved to Austin on a whim and have loved every minute of my two years here! I love trying new restaurants, and my favorite place to be in Austin is Barton Springs Pool!

What drew you to Main Street Hub?

“Every summer job I had in college was with small, local businesses, and I was always the one in charge of social media. I loved watching people engage with the businesses pages I was managing and watching our social engagement grow online.

“I read about Main Street Hub online, and I got so excited at the thought of impacting more than one small business every summer. That’s what drew me in: the opportunity to make a difference for a lot of small businesses and so more people in the local community could support them.”

https://medium.com/media/f79a04518ad29855fdd304b18f17c66b/href

What was your favorite thing about each role you’ve had here?

“As a Sales Rep, my favorite thing was learning about different businesses and how they could use social media to grow their business. I loved explaining to business owners how we could help them grow their business in the direction they wanted it to go. I thrived on knowing I was able to have a business owner trust his entire online image with me.

“In the Recruiting Coordinator role, I have enjoyed bringing my sales experience to the Recruiting Team!”

What’s one thing you’ve learned that’s applied to all of your roles?

“Be resilient.”

Is there anything that surprised you when you transitioned into a different role?

“I was surprised at how easy my transition was! The Recruiting Team and People Team did such an amazing job of bringing me in and making me feel comfortable in my new role.”

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to transfer internally?

Speak Up! The best way to explore new opportunity at Main Street Hub is to Speak Up to the people and team you want to be on. Ask to meet with managers in departments that you are interested in — don’t be afraid!”

What is your favorite small business and why?

“Lick Ice Cream. Hands down, it is the most delicious and unique ice cream I have ever had in my life. I love how they source their ingredients from local Texas farmers. I recommend a scoop of the Goat Cheese, Thyme, and Honey with a scoop of the Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt!”

Want to take the next step in your career? Check out our current job openings, and apply!

We love helping Hubsters grow their careers! Get to know Will Harrington and learn how he transitioned from being a Platform Specialist to an Account Manager here.

Don’t miss Main Street Hub’s next move — follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!



Hubsters Makin’ Moves: Olivia Brown, Sales Recruiting Coordinator was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub

How to Remove Court Records from the Internet 0

Privacy protection and reputation management have become major challenges for both individuals and businesses in the digital world. Among the greatest threats to one’s personal or professional reputation are old court records. Previously, anyone who wanted to find public court records would have to physically go to a local office and request a clerk to […]

The post How to Remove Court Records from the Internet appeared first on Reputation Resolutions.


Source: Reputation Resolutions

Is it fair for employers to set rules for your personal social media posts? 0

Posting nasty comments about a client or advertiser on a company’s social media channel is a fast click to the unemployment line. But what if you posted the same nasty comment on your own personal Twitter account? Is that grounds for dismissal?

If you work for the Washington Post or dozens of other media outlets, it could be.

According to The Washingtonian, the Post’s new social media policy prohibits employees from posting any social media content that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners.” Doing so could lead to disciplinary action “up to and including termination of employment”.

This may sound unfair, harsh and in conflict with freedom of speech but there are a few angles we must consider. In the present day (where we’re all living), the dividing line between our business life and our personal life is mighty thin. And when you’re talking about reporters, teachers and freelancers, that line is non-existent.

Have you ever read the bios people put on their social media account? Even though they’re personal accounts, a large number of people include the name of their employer in their bio.

“I’m an avid bike rider and a journalist at the Anytown Bugle.”

 “Mother, wife, dog breeder, developer @CoolVideoGameCo”

It’s nice to see people who are proud of their work, but when they include this information on a public channel, the employee and the employer become socially and often awkwardly intertwined.

Let’s set aside those horrendous, ‘what were they thinking’ posts and talk about average, everyday venting. Suppose Steve, the bike rider from the Bugle, gets sick after eating lunch at Anytown Buffet, then posts an angry rant on Instagram including video from the hospital. Think the Buffet is going to run their full-page ad in the Bugle after that?

I’d like to think that people aren’t this vindictive but when we’re wounded, we tend to fight back using the biggest club we can find. In this case, rather than challenge journalist Steve directly, the Buffet puts the pressure on Steve’s employer, hoping they’ll meddle in Steve’s business and make the offending post go away.

I know that sounds a bit Machiavellian, but imagine how you’d feel if an employee of one of your clients or customers posted unkind words about you on social media? Would you give the employer a pass?

What’s hard about implementing such a harshly worded social media policy is that it could backfire. Especially when you include a clause imploring employees to point fingers if their co-workers break the rules. (Yes, really.) Is there a better way? Yes. Ask, don’t tell.

Most employees don’t set out to destroy your company’s reputation. They lose their temper or have something important to say and they don’t even consider the ramifications. So, instead of stringently forbidding your employees from posting what they want, ask them to kindly think twice before posting any content that might embarrass the company.

You can also ask employees to post a social media disclaimer (views are mine. . . sort of thing). Though this won’t save you if they go way off the rails, it’s a good, first line of defense.

As you build out your social media policy for employees, don’t forget to mention the good along with the bad. A VP might be excited by soaring sales, but posting financial information could get you all in trouble with the SEC.

Bottom line: in the last five years, social media has been a swift and vicious reputation killer. In a few cases, the poster set out to stir up trouble and there’s nothing you could have done to stop it. But in most cases, the offending post was a careless thought, a joke or taken out of context. Those are the incidents that could have been squashed with a little social media training.

Here’s your homework for the week: dig up your social media policy (or write one if you don’t have one) and send it out to all of your employees. Then, if possible, hold a staff meeting to review the policy so you know everyone – literally – got the memo.

And while you’re on the social media wagon, change the passwords on the company accounts because I can bet that most of you have never changed them since you set them up, years ago.

I know you’re busy, but spending a few hours getting your social media house in order now, beats spending weeks digging out from under social media blunder.


Source: Reputation Refinery

Why Your Online Reputation is so Important for Business Success 0

It’s okay if you are still not sure that your online reputation has anything to do with the success of your business. Plenty of people thought that telephones weren’t very…

The post Why Your Online Reputation is so Important for Business Success appeared first on Massive Brand PR.


Source: Massive Alliance