Online Reputation Management: What Is It?

You’ve likely heard of Olivia Pope – the fictional character who fixes everything on the top-rated TV show Scandal. Something embarrassing is threatened to come out and she does what needs to be done to cover it up or spin and change the story to something more positive and flattering.

Online reputation management might not be as dramatic, but it’s very much the same type of thing. There is information about you and/or your business out there that you’d rather not be made public, but it shows up on search engines and now you need to bury it.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to be as diabolical as Olivia Pope’s “family” to bury negative information online. There are ethical ways to manage your online reputation. Not only that – these are things you should do anyway if you want to be run a successful business today. Let’s talk about the different types of information that can be found online about you that you want covered up or buried.

Images You or a Friend Posted
Sometimes when we are young, or drunk, we do things that are regretful. If you have posted the image you can remove it, but more than likely someone downloaded it and saved it. You’re essentially out of luck. You can email anyone you know who has the image and ask them to delete it. Then, ask your friends and family not to post certain types of images of you in the future.

Comments You Made That Showed a Dark Side
A customer spouted off to you in a rude way and you just lost it and made some derogatory or defensive comments that do not show your best side or put your business in the best light. If you have the ability to delete your comments that’s a good start, but an apology also goes a long way. If you can humble yourself and tell the person you’re sorry as well as any readers, before deleting, that might be a better course of action due to the fact that you really cannot delete something like that without it causing a stir too. You can bet someone took a screen shot.

Erroneous Information Posted by a Competitor
When you see a concerted effort by your competitor to lie about you, and maybe even slander you, you’ll need to choose a course of action that works. In some cases things will blow over if you ignore it. In others, especially when it comes to online slander and bullying, you’re going to need to take legal action. That might at first blow up the situation though, so you need to be sure the law is really on your side before acting.

You May Need Your Own Olivia Pope
Ok, hopefully you won’t hire someone who is adept at torture and slashing people’s throats, but in serious cases you may need to hire a firm that specializes in online reputation management and let them take control of managing your online reputation. A firm will help you figure out how you can actually remove things from the net, and how you can bury it in the fastest manner possible while also being ethical.

Online reputation management can not only be used to manage negative aspects of the net, but it can also help boost the positive aspects of the net. Keeping your reputation intact is really only part of the issue. It’s also important to use the internet to its fullest potential for your business needs. Practicing online reputation management can do all that and more.

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