Every company, whatever its size, is confronted today with the issue of e-Reputation. The latter is formed by all the content and information on the Internet concerning a company. Thus, all the comments, articles and publications that relate to a service, a product or a manager of this company can fall within the scope of this definition. This is where Google reviews of customers come in. Find out how to get Google reviews here.
Cleaning up your e-reputation: what’s at stake?
The importance of good online reputation management
E-reputation is a major issue for a company. Indeed, consumers rely heavily on reviews and brand awareness on the web. Consequently, a lack of reputation or worse, a tainted reputation can be an obstacle to purchase for potential customers. Thus, a company that does not take care of its online reputation will stagnate in the best case. In the worst case, it will one day face a bad buzz that could be fatal. This is the reason why setting up a reputation management system on the Internet is fundamental. This will promote and maintain a positive brand image.
The implementation of the cleaning of its e-reputation
E-reputation cleansing consists of ridding a company’s online reputation of elements that negatively influence it. First of all, an adapted strategy must be put in place. This necessarily involves effective monitoring.
This is done by monitoring everything that happens, everything that is said on the web, all the links posted, the classic social networks and the professional social networks. Everything has to be scrutinized. The first page of Google search results is one of the priorities. Among search engines, it has more than 80% of the market share. You must therefore concentrate your efforts on this famous page of Google results.
If customers searching for your company’s name in Google see negative search results, that’s a deal breaker. Monitoring will allow you to gather information. In other words, this approach allows you to take the pulse of your online reputation and especially to be able to react as soon as possible to negative elements. Generally speaking, as long as the elements that taint your reputation are minor, you can easily act on them. Negative reviews on the Internet, for example, are one of the main sources of concern for business leaders.
However, it is normal for some clients to make negative judgments from time to time. The best thing to do is to step back and be objective. Moreover, these opinions may have a basis of truth. They are therefore a source of information for your company. Thanks to them, you can improve and refine your business proposal. When it comes to unfounded negative reviews, the behavior to adopt is the same. Take the time to respond to every negative comment and review. Always remain open, courteous and empathetic. This shows professionalism and respect for the customer. Keep in mind that most situations can be defused this way.
Request the removal of content to clean up your e-reputation
The curing technique
Some comments or publications on the web are pure and simple defamation. In this case, it is possible to opt for the deletion of the content. This process is called curing.
You have the right to demand respect from others for yourself and your colleagues. Therefore, attacks on people, sexist or racist comments are unacceptable and are fully within the scope of a request for deletion. This has nothing to do with the Internet, so deleting content is perfectly legitimate in this case.
Beware of the Streisand effect
However, always keep in mind that deletion requests should be exceptional and rational. If you are seeking to have material removed from the Internet just because you don’t like it, it won’t work. Privacy is not the same as a desire for censorship. Indeed, when Internet users feel the effect of censorship, they tend to boost the visibility of an information. You will thus obtain the opposite effect and the initial damage will be multiplied. This is called the Streisand effect.
The right to be forgotten and the removal of incriminated contents
Nevertheless, once this warning has been given, you obviously have the right to request the removal of content. Review sites such as TripAdvisor or Google My Business offer removal request forms. On search engines such as Google, you can also appeal to the right to be forgotten.
However, note that a company cannot enforce its right to be forgotten. Thus, you can only use this right if one of your employees is specifically targeted. In this case, it is the latter who will have to take the action. Ask for the removal of a content that you consider as prejudicial, if it is justified and possible, by using the specific forms of each search engine.