Common Myths About Online Reputation Management – And Why They’re Not Even Remotely True

Before the practice of reviewing businesses on the Internet became commonplace, a bad review was typically an isolated thing. A person might have a bad experience with a business, tell one or two of their friends, and that would be the end of it. Unless a company established a widespread repeated pattern of bad customer service, one bad experience was unlikely to outweigh years of high-calibre service. However, there are many myths about the life of bad reviews, and there is plenty that you can do to fix it.

The potential viral nature of a well-crafted bad review on the Internet has changed all that. Businesses now have to be proactive about making sure an image stays squeaky clean online, which has created the new field of online reputation management. Individuals and companies employ the strategies that fall under online reputation management in order to ensure that their name remains untouched by scandal or negative perception in the online realm.

While online reputation management is certainly important, it is wildly misunderstood. There are commonly held perceptions about the field that are completely out of touch with reality. We’re here today to try and dispel some of the prevailing notions about online reputation management that might be misleading you in regards to how to best manage your image online.

Myth #1: Online Reputation Management Takes a Huge Amount of Time

The reason this myth appears true to so many people is because it makes a certain amount of sense. The Internet is so immense it is almost impossible to conceptualize, and it certainly never sleeps. Yes, for a global corporation it might take a lot of man-hours to monitor every corner of the Internet where their reputation might take a beating, but for the average individual or small business, this task is not nearly so daunting.

The old adage about working smarter, not harder, certainly applies here. You need to find some high quality monitoring tools and take consistent, regular action towards building a solid and positive online image. Ultimately, this is a task that you should only have to dedicate a few hours each month towards.

Myth #2: My Online Reputation Is Out of My Hands

Here is what you can’t control: what anyone else writes about you or your organization on the Internet. Here’s what you can: what impact those statements have on the well-being of your image. Your reaction to a negative review or comment can often be far more impactful than the original comment. Learning to reply with grace, to tactfully discuss issues, and even to apologize when necessary is totally within your control, and plays a massive part in how you or your organization is perceived on the Internet.

Myth #3: Removing Bad Reviews Should be Your First Priority

This is something that some people get fixated on to the point of tunnel vision, and it isn’t even grounded in reality. Yes, bad reviews are frustrating, and can cause some damage. But spending all your time, money and effort trying to remove them isn’t going to pay dividends.

Instead, you need to go back to basics and address the causes of those negative reviews. What is your organization doing that is causing a trend of negative feedback to appear? Changing those things is well within your control, and over the long term will have a much bigger impact on your online reputation.

Myth #4: The Internet is Forever

People TalkDespite not being close to the complex reality, many people hold this myth to be a truism. They think that once something is published online it is there forever. While it is true that it can be difficult to remove things from the Internet, to say it is impossible is certainly inaccurate.

If information published about your or your company is either incorrect or illegal, then it is a definite possibility that the content can be removed from the active web. Although this is an involved process, if you reach out to the publisher of the material or the managers of the website that published the material, it may be possible to get the offending material removed. Remember though, that you need to have a real reason for doing so. A bad review that is based in reality will certainly not get removed just because you don’t like the picture it paints of your service.

Online reputation management is a complex, but not impossible task. Often times, a digital marketing company can help clean bad reviews about your business. As long as you consistently dedicate time to both learning about best practices in the field and implementing the strategies that you’ve acquired, you should be able to maintain a positive and truthful representation of your business online. Each of the above myths is tied to the notion that online reputation management is more difficult than it really is. Start working on it today, consult experts when needed, and you should find your reputation slowly and steadily improving over the months ahead.

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