Reputation Management Myths

Reputation management is exceedingly important, especially for businesses or public figures. Yelp and Google reviews dictate every decision consumers make nowadays and are always consulted before consumers are willing to try a new business or service. Job seekers, too, are subject to scrutiny, as prospective employers scour the internet for any hints of damaging reputation that might spill over into their business practice. Too much negative information online can damage not only your professional relationships, but your personal ones as well. Managing your reputation is crucial to keeping your business thriving with professional relationships as well as keeping your personal life free from scandal. Have you ever wanted to remove something off of Google? Here’s what you need to know about the myths that everybody should know when it comes to reputation management.

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MYTH: Online reputations only matters online.

With the advent of the Digital Age, people are attached to their smartphones which can connect any consumer to the internet within seconds. That kind of accessibility means that anything online is going to be equally relevant offline.

MYTH: Removing negative opinions or reviews will fix your reputation.

Contrary to popular opinion, removing negative reviews or opinions will only hurt you. When word gets out that you’re censoring the truth, your reputation will only plummet. It’s better to fix what is causing the negative reviews or opinions than remove the reviews themselves.

MYTH: Unless you’re looking for a job or sponsorship, you don’t need to worry about your reputation.

Online reputations are important for a number of reasons. If you run a business, you want to earn money, and clients and partners won’t want to work with you if you have an exceedingly negative reputation. Personal relationships can also be affected by negative online reviews or opinions.

MYTH: Only a perfect online reputation is valuable.

Actually, having a few negative reviews or opinions about you or your business will validate the positive reviews. Consumers are wary of purely positive reviews online. While of course perfection is something to strive for, it is comforting for consumers to know that more often than not, an experience with your or business will be positive.

MYTH: There’s nothing you can do about libelous information.

Libel is a serious legal matter. In most cases, however, the damage done by an untrue negative review is negligible, or at least not enough to be worth opening a lawsuit. It is better to provide such overwhelmingly positive experiences to people you know that an untrue statement is disbelieved.

MYTH: No news is better than bad news when it comes to reputation.

A business with no reviews online will lack the legitimacy of a business with a few reviews, even if most of those are bad. Modern consumers are exceedingly wary of scams, and businesses or personnel with no previous recorded interactions with consumers are suspicious.

MYTH: It is okay to publish false positive information to balance out false negative information.

It is never okay to lie or publish false information. Eventually, the truth will come out and your reputation will be worse than ever. Recovering from being caught in dishonesty will take far longer than repairing any other issues with your reputation.

MYTH: You need to have a strong and positive online reputation to be relevant.

Many people think they need to be internet famous in order to be relevant or drive traffic to their social media or marketing content. That is not true. Even one or two positive reviews can get things going on your journey for a strong online presence.

MYTH: Managing your online reputation is a full-time job.

Unless you run a major corporation or you are very famous, reputation management should only take a few hours a month. There are services you can employ to track your mentions online and they can alert you when there is a downward trend either in the quantity or quality of your reputation.

MYTH: You can erase negative information from the internet.

Unfortunately, once something is put on the internet, it is there forever. Sure, you could delete a post or have a negative review taken down, but with caches and nifty internet tools such as the WayBack Machine, you can never completely remove something from the Web.

MYTH: Flooding the internet with social media or repetitive content will drown out negative information.

Nobody likes spam, and if you flood the internet with repetitive content or irrelevant social media posts, people will start to ignore you. Not only that, but repetitive content can get you penalized by search engines because you’re trying to game the system. It’s better to create relevant, high-quality content and let the positive reviews come naturally.