5 Tips to Triage a Negative Online Reputation Until Help Arrives.
See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools
A comment pops up on RipoffReport.com or on Yelp, and the business is hemorrhaging, however, it’s not possible to hire help at the moment. There are options for those with a limited initial budget but who need to start doing something immediately until the “online repair cavalry” can be called in.
And let’s be honest: repairing an online reputation is an expensive proposition. And usually, it’s the only option–the other being going out of business–so it can be a cost effective solution.
(Repairing an online reputation usually ranges from, $5,000-$10,000-$15,000 because there is no “magic delete button.” Rather, it takes thoughtful, time consuming work, averaging about one hundred hours. Doing the math: 100 hours x $150 per hour=$15,000.)
See related article: Pulling the Curtain Behind Online Reputation Management Pricing
Here are five tips that can help:
1. Lock Down Mode
Review all the online properties (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.), and lock them down to prevent comments from showing up. Stopping online comments is important because Google sees them as an indicator of interest, and could rank the damaging link higher in search results.
Additionally, edit profiles, removing certain negative references, such as a person’s name or specific business. In some cases, it might be necessary to deactivate a site completely, but only as a last resort (since those online properties might be helpful and could be used later).
2. Selectively Build Online Infrastructure For Later
Create an online infrastructure by building a few or more online platforms as to be used down the road until a full plan can be fleshed out. Again, care needs to be made about what to add to avoid being too visible and “fanning the flame” of negativity.
However, since Google prefers established sites of several months rather than brand new ones, which it might consider as “spam,” it could be a useful to create these assets now for use later . Don’t be an active social media user until a full plan is made or help can be hired, though–again, because we don’t want to make things worse by drawing unwanted attention to the problem.
3. Delete the Negative
Naturally, the best approach is to delete the negative link. In reality, this is only possible about ten percent of the time or less. Remember, comments on Yelp, RipoffReport.com and many other sites are IMPOSSIBLE to remove.
That said, review the issue on a case-by-case-basis, and if there is a chance, it’s possible to hire a firm on an “a la carte” basis to try to remove the comment or article (Recover Reputation has this option, for example, and have been successful in removing images, a negative post on Yahoo forums, and media sites).
4. Do Nothing: Don’t Comment on Comments
One thing not to do is to write a comment on an existing negative comment. It might be tempting to offer a rebuttal or to further explain the situation, but in reality, this often makes things worse, mostly because Google sees this as further interest in the post and could rank it higher in search results (not a good thing).
5. DIY is Not an Option
Note that going completely DIY, however, is probably not a good option. The reason? Beyond the time required (100 hours necessary for the repair job could easily balloon to three times that amount for a first timer) and lack of experience, it’s important to tread carefully so as to avoid bringing on more negative comments, blogs, reviews or articles.
Taking these steps helps to neutralize the situation until the full reputation process starts. So, instead of immediately spending $10,000, it might be possible to start the repair process for $500 to $2,000 in order to triage the problem until a full blown repair solution can be put in place.
We at Recover Reputation are here to answer them and to lend a hand, if possible, and try to offer flexible online reputation management solutions.
See Related Article: Each Negative Link or Review Loses Thirty Customers or $30,000