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Let’s talk or meet to go over your case. I always give an honest and transparent assessment of your online reputation issue.

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Online Reputation Management: 25 Free Tips

See Related Article: Calculating the Value of Online Reputation Management

Here are some of the top 25 free online reputation management tips from Recover Reputation available to help build, boost or repair a web presence for professionals such as lawyers, financial advisors, or those in the art world.

The tips range from content creation, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), monitoring, and off-site suggestions, and are roughly in order of importance. 

Most can be accomplished by dedicating time and a varying degree of effort, but some might require a little help or research such as defining effective key search terms and adding them to Title meta data of your web site.

Remember, however, that online reputation management is usually a long term process, and could take about six months or more to complete, requiring about two or four hundred hours of consistent work or two to three hours per day.

1. Create A Website

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Website

Making a website or updating a site with quality content and using your name or business as the domain name is very helpful. Be sure to add legitimate information reader or client will truly find valuable. Also, the site should be updated with new content frequently. I highly recommend WordPress and it’s thousands of free or low-cost templates.

2. Write a Blog

Hombre con laptop tomando cafe

Writing a blog is probably one of the best solutions. Posting instructive and engaging articles weekly or very frequently is crucial.  It is best to use a catchy title, have good images (don’t swipe it: purchase it or use a Creative Commons image), use headings to break the piece down into easy-to-read sections, and insert one or two links back to your site.

3. Be Active On LinkedIn

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: LinkedIn

For business connections, nothing beats LinkedIn.  As with any social media site, completely fill out the profile and make sure you include web site links in your contact information.  An additional online reputation management tip: customize your URL with your name or business.

4. Attempt to Remove Negative Links

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Delete

Removing the negative post, link, image or blog post is possible but frankly, however, it’s usually extremely difficult to delete content once something has been published.  Politely contact the author or webmaster and professionally state your case and request the item to be removed.  Be sensitive that you don’t want to open a “hornet’s nest” by reaching out to the author, however. There might be options that an online reputation management specialist might have, such as reaching out to Google too.

5. Create a Wikipedia Entry

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Wikipedia

A Wikipedia article is extremely useful and since it is highly valued by search engines, it will usually rank on the top of the first page of Google and thus is a powerful online reputation management tip.

Creating one can be problematic, however. The entry must be truly noteworthy backed-up with verifiable sources.  One approach is to focus on major recognizable accomplishments that can be documented, such as lectures giving, awards won and articles published.  Also note that your article could be taken down by administrators or other editors/readers if your achievements are not substantiated. Be aware that if negative articles just came out, you could be “adding fuel to the fire” by creating additional unwanted attention.

6. Create a YouTube Video

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Video

YouTube and videos are extremely powerful ways to repair an online reputation.  Create one that focuses on you and the positive things you do.  Keep it brief and as professional as possible, and offer useful information. Using your smartphone could be fine so long as your are authentic or provide great content.

7. Stay Clear of Negative Comments

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: No More Negative Comments

Don’t comment on negative content such as a review on because it will only push its ranking higher. Tempting as it might be to tell your side of the story, this will only make things worse so avoid it.

8. Make a Presence on Industry Platforms

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Industry Specific Sites

Follow and identify good, interesting and useful platforms specific for your industry, and add your online presence there. Be sure fill out all the profile information, including links to your site and blog, your photo, and links for key articles.

9. Write a Whitepaper

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: White Paper

You are an expert in your field—whether it be mortgage backed securities, rental properties in the Hamptons, or contemporary emerging art galleries in Chelsea.  Create a detailed whitepaper or thoroughly written informative document on a topic of your choosing, and then post it to a well regarded site.

10. Get on Relevant Blogs

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Other Blogs

Follow and good, interesting and useful blogs and online sites for your industry, and add your online presence there.

11. Join Alumni Groups

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Alumni

Add yourself to undergraduate or graduate schools alumni sites. Usually, sites with “.edu” domain extensions are ranked highly by Google.

12. Update Your Web Site with Meta Tags Title and Descriptions

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Meta Data

Be sure your web site is optimized, ideally for the negative term.  This could be complicated and might involve an SEO or ORM expert but make sure your name or your company is included in the title metatags of some of your pages.  The page’s Title is the link that Google displays when searching for you, and without it set up properly, the good information about you won’t be found.

13. Be Active On Facebook

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Facebook

Be very active on social media sites such as Facebook by posting good content.  These should not be purely promotional but should be geared to engage with your friends.  Add images, ask questions, and comment on other’s post at least once a day.

14. Tweet Daily

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Twitter

Image Courtesy of

Google is using cues from social media engagement more and more so after Facebook, Twitter is an excellent online reputation management tip.  Gain good followers, put out helpful information, and link back to your site.  Tweet consistently several times a day.

15. Add Images to Pinterest

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Pinterest

Adding visual information to Pinterest can also be very powerful. Comment on others, “like” and “Pin” compelling images.  The best times to post images are after 8pm or the weekends. Look to gain Followers too and develop Boards that are clear, colorful and have a specific niche.

16. Post Images to Instagram

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Instagram

Although slightly depending on your industry, activity on Instagram can vary, but minimally make an account and add your website in the Profile section. Comment on others, “like” and add your own images you take ranging from cityscapes, vacation photos, meetings locations, etc.

17. Complete Image Information

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Images

As mentioned above, images are more important than ever to Google, and having a properly named image file is crucial.  Be sure when adding images to blogs to make sure all additional fields are completed.

18. Write a Guest Blog

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Guest Blog

Writing an article or blog post as a guest can be a very helpful but not as much as in the past—be sure to work only with blogs and ones focused on your industry .  Start by following blogs and topics that are appealing or relate to your business and eventually pitch them an idea for a blog topic. This is a great way to get links back to your site.

19. Build Links to Your Site

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Build Links

Links pointing to your web site help drive traffic and shows search engines such as Google that you are a noteworthy, good site, thus helping your ranking. Developing a good linking strategy can be extremely time consuming but is worth it.  Never buy links: as Google continues to weed out bad links, you’ll quickly get blacklisted and ruin your reputation further.

20. Make Comments on Online Communities, Forums

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Comment on Sites

Follow and good, interesting and online sites, forums and communities specific for your industry.  Check them frequently and commit to making one comment daily to show that you are a “thought leader.”  Also be engaging.  Don’t just say, “Good article,” which sounds “spamy,” but put some thought into the comment.

21. Monitor Google Alerts

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Google Alerts

Monitor your online reputation by signing up for free Google Alerts. Note that you need a Google account, but you should have one already—if you don’t, get one immediately.  Here you simply enter the word or phrase you want to monitor and when it shows up online, you’ll get an email notification.  Usually, enter your name or your business name.  If it’s a common name, you can include an attribute about your name, such as, “Jane Smith Finance”.  You can also select how often you want alerts (select immediately) as well as other options.

22. Give a Talk or Speak at Conferences

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Give Talks

Being visible in public is a way to generate positive news about you and build an excellent reputation, so pick some topics that you are an expert in and contact a local library, club or business organization and offer to give a talk.

23. Create a Reddit Account and be Active

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Reddit

Reddit is an extremely popular site that aggregates news and comments on various topics.  It can sometimes be hard to add a comment or link because it is geared to block spam or frequent additions.

24. Google+

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Google +

Although Google Plus is on it’s way out, it still can be helpful since it’s a Google property and post and comment daily.  Follow influencers in your field and engage with them.  Since it’s a Google platform, it will be indexed very quickly making it a great online reputation management tip.

25. Create Yelp Reviews for Others

25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools: Yelp Reviews

Yelp is a very popular review site, and having a presence there is a way to boost your online reputation.  Create some legitimate reviews for places you genuinely like, and avoid the temptation to write a glowing review for yourself posing as someone else—it’s illegal and if you get caught, this could damage things further.

Bonus: Be Active in Meetups

A Meetup is a great online and “offline” reputation management tip.  It is free to  participate in a Meetup group, so join several in your area and post comments after attending a meeting.  If you’d like to create a Meetup, it costs about $79 to start a group for six months. Managing a group can be time consuming to create frequent group meetings but focus them around your expertise.  Remember to announce the Meetups on your social media platforms.

Bonus: Create Infographics

An Infographic is a clear, graphic representation of an idea, and is a very popular way to share information.  Generate an infographic based on a blog post using a tool such as


25 Free Online Reputation Management Help

Again, some of these tips can be time consuming and can require special help.

Feel free to reach out to me, Steven W. Giovinco, with any questions.

Online Reputation Management: 8 Effective Tips [Infographic]

Calculating the Value of Online Reputation Management

See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools

Proof How One Negative Review Can Result in Loss of 30 Customers

This article takes an in-depth look at the return on investment (ROI) for online reputation management.

How much does online reputation management repair cost?

Is it worth it?

Two crucial questions.

Figuring out the bottom-line investment necessary for online marketing and web presence building–whether it be for lawyers, financial advisors, executives, those in the art world, small business owners–is crucial to calculate accurately.

Since an online repair process can take thousands of dollars and mean whether a business succeeds or fails, knowing the ROI is essential.

We’ll look at three ways to calculate the ROI for repairing a damaged reputation in detail, with actual numbers.

Basically, we find some amazing figures:

Building a positive reputation can generate $32,000 or more in sales.

Each negative link or review loses thirty customers or $30,000.

The loss over the lifetime to the business can be $60,000 or more.

Calculating the value of online reputation management can be applied using three methods, and combining one or all should give a good understanding of the real benefits in actual dollars.

This matches to my experiences. I knew of one lawyer who, because of one negative review on, saw the loss of at least $150,000 in one year.

Return on Investment: The Basics

There are two sides to the return on investment (ROI) equation.

First, there is the actual benefit made from building a positive online presence and the resulting sales generated.

Second, there is the calculation of lost revenue due to negative content showing up on the first page of Google.

ROI for reputations can now be predicted using a few different approaches.

First, What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management or ORM is defined as anything online about a business or business owner and ranges from content on web sites that shows up in search engines such as Google, social media channels, or images.  This includes blog posts about the business or that were written by the business owner; comments on blog posts; web sites; Tweets or Facebook likes; comments posted on Instagram, Pinterest as well as the image added there, and just about everything else online.

Goals of ORM: Build and Repair

There are two goals of online reputation management.

The first is to build or boost a positive online presence.

Calculating the Value of Online Reputation Management and CostFor example, if a client or prospective customer searches Google for information about a company but finds little there—minimal LinkedIn presence, no Twitter activity, no blog posts or articles—the prospect probably will move on to a competitor because they are not perceived as an expert in their field.

In this case, creating content and being active and engaging on social media builds their web presence and shows that they are an authority.  As a result, this builds trust and helps convert prospects to customers.

Second, if something negative appears, especially on the first page of Google search results, the goal is to remove or suppress it. Usually, only about 10% of the time or less is it possible to actually delete something once it has been published.  For some local review sites such as Citysearch or a handful of others, it might be possible but for most, for platforms like Yelp and news sites, negative content or comments cannot be removed.

The best, most effective solution to combat a negative link is to inundate the web with good content.  This includes blog, image, and content creation and sharing this on social media platforms.

Value of Positive Online Reputation Management Repair


Businesses with a positive online reputation generate more site traffic. This converts to additional sales.  It also means more phone calls, visits, and inquires as well as more repeat transactions over the lifetime of the business.

On the other hand, a negative reputation leads to lost income.  If one or more negative link shows up on the first page of Google, the prospective client will not only move on to a competitor, and they probably will never return as a customer–ever.

The goal here is to measure both the loss of a customer due to a negative link and to determine the value that a new customer brings—only then can a business decide whether online reputation management is beneficial to them.

Formula 1: Calculating Return on Investment For Reputation Building

The first method looks at the value that each new client brings to the business.

To do this we:

  1. Calculate how much each new client spends per transaction.
  2. Estimate the average number of business transactions for that client.
  3. Determine how long a client stays with the business—is it a month, a year, several years?
  4. Then find the number of site visitors per month.
  5. Evaluate how many visitors actually become a customer: this is the conversion rate.

After reviewing these five factors, it’s possible to calculate the overall value a customer represents for a business.

For example, using real numbers for a professional law or finance consulting service:

  1. New client spend=$1,000.
  2. Number of yearly transactions=2.
  3. Client stays with the business=4 years.
  4. New visitors per month=100.
  5. Conversion rate= 2%.

From this we get the lifetime value for each new customer:

$1,000 x 2x 4=$8,000.

  1. Then we calculate that the site generates 100 new visitors and that two convert to become customers, or 2 x $8,000=$16,000.
  2. The income would be $16,000 for this project.
  3. The online reputation management repair must cost less than $16,000 to break even or ideally cost less than $2,000 per month for six months.
  4. Or, if new visitors doubles to 200, then the income doubles to $32,000.
  5. Clearly, if the online reputation management repair cost is $12,000 and generates $32,000 in sales, it is worth the investment.

Formula 2: One Negative Review Equals 30 Lost Customers

Now let’s look at the other side of online reputation management, and determine how much revenue decreases due to negative links. 

In this case, calculating how much money is lost will determine the value of online reputation management for a business.

There are two approaches. First, based a Convergys Corp. Study, one single negative online review can cost the business an average loss of 30 customers.  This can be result in a very sizable decrease of income for a business and is usually devastating.

The calculation for this would be:

  1. Determine how much the customer spends for the service.
  2. Multiply by 30.
  3. This equals total revenue lost.

For example:

  1. Customer spends=$1,000.
  2. Multiply by 30.
  3. Total revenue lost=$30,000.
In this scenario, if one customer is worth $1,000 to the business, one negative post equals a loss of $30,000.

If the repair process costs less than $30,000, the business should clearly go forward with the repair project.

Formula 3: Lifetime Customer Loss Calculation

Or, drawing inferences based on the, “Cone Consumer Influence Study,” there is another way to calculate the ROI for the repair process.

  1. Take average sale amount.
  2. Identify the number of lost customers per review.
  3. This equals total revenue lost.

For example, if the average sale is $1,000, and number of lost customers is ten, then the lost revenue would be $10,000.

However, a more accurate determination is to look at the losses over the lifetime of the business.

This would be:

  1. Take average sale amount.
  2. Determine the number of lost customers per review.
  3. Identify the number of negative reviews.
  4. Calculate number of years a client.
  5. This equals the lifetime lost revenue.

For this example:

  1. Average sale amount=$1,000
  2. Number of lost customers=10
  3. Number of negative reviews=1
  4. Number of years a client=3
  5. Lifetime lost revenue=$30,000
Here, if the average sale is $1,000, the customer remains for three years and number of lost customers is ten, then the lost revenue would be $30,000.

If the repair process costs $30,000 or less, the business should clearly move forward with the repair process.

Or take the case where there are two negative reviews:

  1. Average sale amount=$1,000
  2. Number of lost customers=10
  3. Number of negative reviews=2
  4. Number of years a client=3
  5. Lifetime lost revenue=$60,000
Here, if the average sale is $1,000, the customer remains for three years, but there are two negative posts, then number of lost customers is twenty, resulting in double the lost revenue of $60,000.

If the repair process costs $60,000 or less—most average between $10,000 and $20,000– the business should clearly move forward with the repair process.

Calculating the Value of Online Reputation Management

Note that these represent the average gains or losses and could vary based on the position of the negative item showing up in Google, the relative power of the link, how many comments or social media engagements there are, etc.


There are three ways to calculate the return on investment to see if online reputation management is worth the cost:

  1. ORM Building
  2. One Negative Review Equals 30 Lost Customers
  3. Lifetime Customer Loss Calculation

Each formula has its own benefits, but in general, if the average customer transaction is about $1,000, then:

The benefit to building a positive reputation can generate $32,000 or more in sales.

The loss can be thirty customers or $30,000 for each negative review.

The loss over the lifetime to the business can be $60,000 or more.

Obviously, the costs could be much higher.

The Bottom Line

Using a combination of all three rates of return (ROI) calculations should provide a fairly accurate monetary value for both revenue gained due to building a positive online reputation as well as money lost due to negative reviews.

Call 347-421-7598
Call 347-421-7598

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps

If You Are a CEO, Executive or Business Leader and Need to Repair Your Online Reputation, Follow These 10 Detailed Tips Daily

See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools

CEO As Face of Organization

As CEO or business owner, you are the “face” of your organization. Having a damaged online reputation can severely hurt your business, whether it be a financial group, law firm, consultancy, art gallery or ad agency.

These ten detailed steps, from reputation insiders and based on real-world experience, can help repair your web presence. It may not be easy or nor quick, but following these ten step-by-step tips will help recover your online reputation and get you back in business.

What Happens When a CEO’s Reputation is Damaged?

One of the first thing someone does–whether it be a prospect, lead, new client, partner or even colleague–is conduct a Google search for both you and your business, so having a stellar reputation is crucial.

If negative links show up on the first page of search results–or even worse, at the very top–most likely the deal, agreement or partnership could quickly evaporate; the phone stops ringing; sales disappear.

Just as damaging could be if little or no information shows up in a search, giving the impression of being inexperienced or not an industry expert.

See Related Article: Calculating the Value of Online Reputation Management

Create an Online Reputation Management Strategy

Since it’s usually impossible to delete articles once posted, the strategy is to inundate the web with targeted, well written content. This eventually pushes down the negative posts off the first page of a Google search. Since 90 to 95% of all clicks occur on page one, it effectively makes it disappear. What content? Posted where? These are key parts of an effective strategy.

The Solution: Build, Boost and Repair

The best way to repair or augment an online web presence are to:

  • Build targeted social media platforms.
  • Write excellent content and blog posts.
  • Update your web site and images with meta data or other SEO best practices.
  • Share it all on social media, identifying and engaging other key influencers.

The CEO Online Reputation Guide: 10 Detailed Steps Based on Real-World Experience

The ten steps below, based on real world experience, show you how to repair and build a strong online reputation, and following them can help solve your reputation problem.

While it is possible to some of this yourself, it is extremely time consuming. Usually, the repair process takes four and a half hours or more daily over about ten months or more. Hiring a firm could be much more efficient.


Twitter is a particularly powerful tool to help boost an online reputation, especially since Google began to include Tweets in their search index again.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Twitter

Key Elements
  • Be active daily
  • Identify and follow key influencers
  • Write newsworthy Tweets


Writing excellent and original content focused on specific issues that solve client’s or reader’s problems is extremely helpful for a CEO’s reputation. It offers both an insight to you as a person as well as shows you as an expert in your field.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Blog

Key Elements
  • Write with readers in mind–not Google
  • Be consistent
  • Share on social media


Wikipedia is considered a trusted source but can only be used if you or your business have legitimate noteworthy events, awards or published articles. Writing and publishing an article on your own can be challenging, so working with an online reputation management firm can be helpful.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Wikipedia


Key Elements

  • Stick to documented facts
  • Identify verifiable references
  • Coding the article could require additional technical help


Having a well crafted profile on LinkedIn and being active there is an extremely helpful way to build a strong reputation. It also can lead to new business connections, sales and contacts.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps LinkedIn


Key Elements

  • Join industry specific groups
  • Add excellent content
  • Engage with other connections


Joining an industry specific site or targeted social media platform is a powerful tool. There are many to choose from so additional research may be necessary. For law, try; finance: Forbes; Art: ArtInfo, and many others.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Sites


Key Elements

  • Complete the profile section, with profile image
  • Add good content
  • Engage and write comments on other’s posts


Write a whitepaper, a researched and detailed “no sales pitch” article, shows you are an expert in your industry. Create at least one or two and make available on your website.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps White Paper


Key Elements

  • Write an original, long-form article
  • Avoid sale pitches
  • Show you are an expert by answering clients’ issues and by giving away good information


Video, especially of you, generates trust and helps build, boost and repair a web reputation. It doesn’t have to be slickly produced but could be shot from a SmartPhone–if it is passionate or emphasizes honesty.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Video


Key Elements

  • Plan your message carefully
  • Be honest, truthful
  • Post on YouTube and embed on your web site or blog


Pinterest, the image sharing site, has become a powerful way to repair a damaged web presence. It may not appear obvious for a CEO to add images, but it can be very helpful.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Pinterest

Image Courtesy


Key Elements

  • Find excellent images
  • Post frequently, mostly in evenings or weekends
  • Share by re-Pining others


Updating your web site with new content and adding technical SEO information is a huge topic in itself. Google looks for well made sites, and having one can improve your online reputation. Note that most of this probably requires technical assistance from a reputation firm.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Website


Key Elements

  • Find and research key search terms, and add to the site
  • Update content by adding images and videos
  • Make sure they have correct metadata for pages and images


Add a well crafted presentation to the site SlideShare. Make the presentation easy to read, since it could be viewed on the small screen of a smart phone.

The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps Slideshare


Key Elements

  • Don’t just repost an existing presentation: write a new one geared towards the web
  • Keep it simple with one idea per slide
  • Share on social media and embed the presentation on blog posts


The CEO Online Reputation Management Guide in 10 Detailed Daily Steps

Doing each of these ten solutions daily will result in an excellent web presence.

But since it will take about four and a half hours each day or more, it gives you little time to do anything else!

You might want to hire a firm to do these tasks for you, so you can run your company.

We at Recover Reputation can help, so feel free to ask any questions.

See Related Article: Calculating the Value of Online Reputation Management

Help, Legal Options and Online Reputation Management for RipOffReport

See Related Article: “Each Negative Link or Review Loses 30 Customers or $30,000.”

A common question is how to remove RipOffReport reviews.  Can they be removed? What are the legal options? Does online reputation management help?

Recover Reputation highlights in detail what is, how reviews are created, what the dangers are if nothing is done, how it impacts a business’s web reputation, what not to do, the removal process, legal options (including suing the website or the author), online reputation management solutions, as well as a few real world examples.

Attempting to remove negative posts on is extremely challenging. What is particularly damaging is that it’s impossible to remove reviews once posted on RipOffReport. Once online, it quickly shows up on the first page of Google. This can ruin an online reputation quickly.

Victims of RipOffReport understand how harmful this can be. If clients see anything negative in a Google search, they simply move on to a competitor.  Lawyers, financial advisors, photographers, art galleries, or other professionals can be especially susceptible since their name is often their business name.  There are some options to help, including online reputation management, however.

What is RipoffOffReport?

On RipoffOffReport, posters share negative experiences with dishonest or disreputable companies anonymously.  Since no names are revealed, it can be a safe environment to describe their true experiences without fear of retribution. The RipoffOffReport is extremely popular and ranks very highly by search engines such as Google, and as a result, can be extremely damaging.

How to Create a Review

The process for adding information on RipoffOffReport is simple. Anyone with an email account can signup and write a review.  They can supply details about the person or company such as their name, address, website and phone number. A heading can be created that can include a sentence or two about the issue, which gets picked up and is indexed by Google quickly. Importantly, this heading becomes the link that is displayed and clicked on by users, so the company name shows up very prominently in searches.  Finally, there is ample room to describe the detailed experience or problem. Often, there is a long narrative explaining what happened, how the problem started, and full reason for the complaint.

Importantly, no verification or vetting is required for reviews.  The comments get published nearly immediately. Once posted, there is an opportunity for the company to offer a rebuttal, as well as a place for others to present or share their experiences.   The more updates or rebuttals, the higher it is ranked by Google, however.

The Dangers of RipoffOffReport

While it’s important to give an honest assessment about a bad experience, or express First Amendment rights, RipoffOffReport is frequently a source of untrue reviews. Misunderstandings, rumors and lies presented here often lead to ruined reputations.  The main asset became its major headache: anonymous posts.

Because literally anyone can say anything, RipoffOffReport is open to competitors who purposely write defamatory comments, is a place where disgruntled ex-employees can express anger about being fired, or where unhappy client’s can air their frustration over poor results.

For example, a freelance sales associate for a financial firm misunderstood payment terms, got angry, and decided to share it on RipoffOffReport.  A few weeks later, the dispute was resolved, the associate was happy, and apologized for “jumping the gun.”  But the damage was already done. Within about a week, the issue shot up to the top of Google search results.  Although the sales person acknowledged his mistake in the comments section of RipoffOffReport, it was impossible to delete the whole entry.  Also, very few prospects take the time to scroll down the bottom and thoroughly read all the comments.  As a result, the business lost money and the online reputation was severally damaged.

Why It’s Important to Repair

Resolving a RipoffReport review is important because it greatly impacts a business’s online reputation.  One of the first things a prospective client does is conduct a web search.  If something negative shows up, they just move on to a competitor.  A relationship with an existing client could be ruined too if they see negative comments.  Most people are too busy to investigate the details and see if the issue is true—they don’t call, they usually go and work with someone else.

Return on Investment

The return on investment for resolving a RipoffOffReport problem can be sizable. For example, a small law practice lost $150,000 due to one single review on RipoffOffReport in one year.  While this sounds extreme, it actually is average. Each damaging item results in the loss of thirty clients.  Of course, this is devastating for a practice.

What NOT to Do

While it’s tempting to jump to action, it’s important to pause.  The first feeling is probably rage and anger. “Why did they do this?,” “This is unfair and a complete misunderstanding,” “I know an ex-employee wrote this to get back at me,” or, “A competitor is purposely trying to ruin my company,” are typical responses.  But try to remain calm and create a strategy.

One thing not to do is write a rebuttal. Tempting as it may be, adding a reply on RipoffOffReport just makes things worse. It can add “fuel to the fire” causing the original poster to respond with more reviews.  Also, and more importantly, it makes the RipoffOffReport  review more visible in searches.  Google looks at activity as an indicator of where to rank a webpage, so responding to a comment just pushes the problematic link to the top of Google results.

It also might be tempting to retaliate by writing something damaging about the post’s creator—but don’t.  This also can draw more attention to the concern, making things worse.

See Related Article: 8 Proven Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation for Lawyers, Financial Executives, Professionals

How to Combat a Negative RipoffOffReport Review

There are several options when responding to an item on RiffoffReport.  They range from trying to delete the item, taking legal action or suppressing the issue.

Try to Remove

The first approach is to attempt to remove the link.  However, this is not possible for several reasons.

Simply put, RipoffOffReport’s policy is that no post is ever removed. Even if the piece is or defamatory or libelous, they will not delete it.  They state, “…by submitting a report, they [the user] are creating a permanent record,” making it impossible to redact.


“…every time a report is submitted to us, the author must read and agree to the following terms (under ‘Step 6 – Submit Report’): ‘By posting this report/rebuttal, I attest this report is valid. I am giving RipoffReport irrevocable rights to post it on this website. I acknowledge that once I post my report, it will not be removed, even at my request. Of course, I can always update my report to reflect new developments by clicking on UPDATE.’”

Actually, this is somewhat similar to other sites such as Facebook, Amazon and Twitter, who do not check the accuracy of content from its millions of users.  However, most social media sites do offer an easy way to have something removed if there is a problem or if it is offensive: RipoffOffReport does not.

If the author changes their mind and requests to retract it, it still cannot be deleted.  RipoffOffReport’s answer is that they can’t determine who is telling the truth in disputes between two parties, so it is left on the internet in perpetuity. The poster, however, can edit the post.

Write a RipoffOffReport Rebuttal

As mentioned above, writing a rebuttal is not a good option.  RipoffOffReport suggests this is an excellent opportunity to share the truth about the issue, and is “…a form of free advertising for your company!”  However, being associated with “RipoffOffReport” is clearly not a positive form of promotion. Most if not all potential clients seeing Ripoff in the link title will not take the time to read the rebuttal, and will just move on to someone else, making the “advertising” ineffectual. In fact it only draws more attention to the problem, making the negative review more visible.

Posts that Violates Terms of Service

No message is ever removed from RipoffOffReport even if it violates the Terms of Service. RipoffOffReport are not libel for any inaccuracies written by someone else.  The only exception is a post that contains specific private or personal material such as social security numbers, bank accounts, or includes mention of violent threats.

Corporate Advocacy Program Option

For a fee, the Corporate Advocacy Program will contact the poster and will try to negotiate a resolution to their complaint.  It also provides updates, presents the business’s position and helps with the resolution of the disagreement.

However, the company or practice must abide by some rules.  These include: admitting to a mistake, even if untrue; explain how to rectify the matter; fix the problem by giving a refund, replacement, or apology, and quickly resolving it in seven to fourteen days.

If the review was false to begin with, the benefit of this service is limited and even wrong.  Many balk at having to admit to a mistake, especially when there wasn’t one.  Importantly, the damaging RipoffOffReport link still shows up in Google searches, doing little to convince potential or existing clients of their innocence—especially if they are forced to confess to faults they did not commit.

V.I.P Arbitration Service Option

V.I.P. or Voluntary, Impartial, and Private could be an option. For $2,000, a neutral arbitrator can dispute the accuracy of the facts of the review.  If the arbitrator determines that a fact-based statement is false, the statement will be removed.  Additionally, the review’s title will be updated saying that the case has been submitted to arbitration, and the arbitrator’s findings will be amended or added.

However, the negative review still will not be removed.  The business name and “RipoffReport,” will still show up in searches, and as mentioned above, this is still very damaging to an online reputation.  Also, there probably is not enough room in the link to indicate that arbitration has been conducted. Additionally, the arbitration finding is lengthy and confusing.  In reality does little to convince a potential client of the business’s innocence. In fact, it looks very condemning.

Revealing Anonymous Author of Review

Since the entries are anonymous, there sometimes is the need to contact the author directly.  This can be challenging to do. The First Amendment right to free speech includes the right to remain anonymous. And just because a request is made to reveal the author’s identity doesn’t mean it will be granted.

According to McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S. 334, 341-42, 115 S.Ct. 1511, 1516, 131 L.Ed.2d 426, 436 (1995), “an author’s decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

Also, RipoffOffReport has no obligation to reveal the commentator’s identity without a court order. Requesting one is difficult.  There must be evidence of libel, proof to refute it, and why the statements are false.

If a court order has been received, a rebuttal must be posted which mentions that a proceeding has been initiated to learn the author’s identity.  A case number and name and address of the court must be included.  After waiting a reasonable amount of time to for a response, a subpoena can then be obtained.  If all these criteria are met, may or may not oppose the motion.  The court then reviews the motion, and all the requirements are followed, the site will be forced to provide the requested information.

As can be seen, this is not an easy process.  Besides being time consuming, it is very expensive.

Legal Action Against RipoffOffReport

Taking legal action might seem like an option but it is not advisable. Generally, proving libel is an extremely hard and costly process.  Also, RipoffOffReport like many other sites are immune from lawsuits because they host the information and are not the creators of it.  Because of this and free speech rights, suing is impossible.  Also, having a strongly worded or threatening letter drafted by a lawyer is completely ineffective.

The Communications Decency Act

The Communications Decency Act is a federal law, and says that when a user writes and adds material on an “interactive website,” the site itself cannot be held legally libel. Specifically, 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) states, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

Also, “Under the CDA, RipoffReport is not liable for the accuracy of statements posted by the users of the site. Therefore, we are not required to remove reports even upon demand.”

Because of the Communications Decency Act, the website has successfully defended more than twenty lawsuits in state and federal courts.

Foreign court rulings are ineffectual against as well.  Because the site is based in the United States, any foreign judgment must ask a U.S. court to honor and enforce their ruling. In 2010, the U.S. adopted a new “anti-libel tourism” law, 28 U.S.C. § 4102, which prevents all U.S. courts from honoring foreign libel or defamation judgments if they conflict with First Amendment free speech rights. The new law specifically prohibits U.S. courts from honoring foreign libel or defamation judgments against website operators if the claims would have been barred under U.S. law.

State and Federal laws generally require that a lawsuit that knowingly contains false claims, or if suit is filed without first conducting a reasonable review of the laws and facts of the case (such as determining the identity of the author), the plaintiff and attorney can be subject to serious sanctions.

Suing the poster might be an option.  But lawsuits can take years to resolve and can cost $100,000 or more.

Solution: Online Reputation Management

The best way to combat the issue is using online reputation management.  This consists of developing an overall strategy which includes search engine optimization, content creation, and social media.

Creating engaging content consistently will eventually bury the problem, pushing down the dispute off the first or second page of Google.  Effectively, it disappears.  Since about 95% of searches occur on the first page, many will never see the review if it is suppressed.

The best online reputation management strategy is to develop good, interesting and engaging information geared towards the prospective clients.  It could be a recent blog that offers solutions to a specific problem, sharing of an interesting article from a major publication, or the creation of a detailed white paper or presentation.  A good strategy might require planning and how to best implement the repair process in a spreadsheet.

Search Engine Optimization Basics

Be sure the name or business is included in all current and new web sites and social media properties. Add it to the About or Contact page of the web site as well as the meta tags and titles for each page.  Also update all social media platforms with this information.  For LinkedIn, add the name or organization to the Title and have a good headshot profile photograph.  These search engine optimization techniques and others might require working with a web developer or other professional.

Content Creation

Writing frequent and informative blogs is probably the best solution to repair a damaged online reputation due to RipOffReport.  Always think about how to engage with prospects and potential clients. Write engaging and interesting articles, white papers, blogs, and presentations monthly.  Visual material such as photos, infographics and videos uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo are also extremely helpful.

Social Media Solutions

Once the content is created, share it on social media platforms to continue the online reputation repair process.  The goal here is to provide interesting, informative and engaging posts so that others will click on links to your website and will want to distribute it to their contacts.  The more activity, the more likely the RipOffReport reviews will be pushed down.  This is because Google sees social media sharing and posting as important cues to page ranking.

Develop platforms where the clients are.  For example, a professional financial consulting practice might focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook as well as being active on industry-specific blogs.  For those in creative fields such as photographers, designers, etc., Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr might be the priority.  Additionally, depending on the business, local search platforms might be very effective.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, this is a long term process. Consistency is crucial to the repair process.

Since deleting the damaging RipOffReport reviews are not an option, focusing on online reputation management and adding good material to suppress the harmful comments is the best solution.

See Related Article: How Poor Online Reputation Management Ruined Business

The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management Pricing and How They (Should) be Calculated

The Dirty Little Secrets of Making Sense of Online Reputation Management Prices

Why it Costs What It Costs, A Definitive Guide

Prices charged for online reputation management seem to involve alchemy, chicanery, or worse, disreputable practices where some companies seem to pick a price out of thin air.  

They vary wildly from place to place. A Craigslist source may charge $200; a big firm $10,000 per month; a great consultant without all the overhead may charge a flat fee totaling $10,000, all for the same issue.

Why?  Which is the best?  Which is real? Which option is neither gouging a client outright nor praying on their insecurities and low-balling them?  How to make sense of it all?

It that panicked state, discovering with horror that a negative link suddenly shows up in a Google search and is resulting in lost clients, some may think the lowest price is the best option when searching for a solution–any solution. Charging a price that is woefully inadequate, based not on reality but on wishful thinking, can easily do more harm than good, however, so be wary.

Definitive Guide

This definitive guide aims to answer some of those questions, and pull the curtain behind the sometimes dark world of online reputation management pricing.

Pricing–both the disreputable and honest approach–will be reviewed, as well as how costs are calculated, what real factors determine pricing, a  real-world example, and questions to ask both oneself and an online reputation management firm.

The Average Costs

Generally, most solutions range from taking about 50 to 200 hours to successfully complete over several months, or about $5,000 to $20,000.  This equates to about twenty hours per month, five hours per week or about one hour per day for a good online reputation management company.  (There are of course exceptions, such as if one negative link appears on the bottom of the first page–this could be much less costly).

Disreputable Pricing

Disreputable online reputation pricing include sizing up a client and charging whatever they think they can get.  Does the client look wealthy? Are they desparate?  Some unethical firms may pounce on an unsuspecting client and raise prices dramatically.

Unrealistically Low Prices

In other cases, companies offer an unrealistically low repair price.  What’s wrong with that? Some might charge $2,000 that is really a $10,000 job, knowing full well that it never could be successfully completed.  They have the client’s money, do very little, and the consumer is left angry and still with the problem.  

Why does this happen?  A firm could be desperate to sign a client so they low-ball their repair fee to make the solution appear palatable.  In reality, success is rarely achieved, and unfortunately, the firm knows it right from the start.

Not only is it a huge waste of money, but more importantly, it means the negative item is out there hemorrhaging business and sales for many additional months (it also harms the online reputation management firm’s own reputation.  Why do they do this–this hurts reputable firms too).

Promising the Unpromisable

There are instaces where firms say they can delete links, specifically on or other sites, and do so in a few weeks.  No, this will NEVER ever happen.  Once something is published is very difficult and usually impossible to delete.  The few exceptions are links that go to “dead pages,” and some personal information published on Google properties, such as bank accounts and social security numbers.

Impossible Time Frames

Another issue is completing the repair process with unrealistic speed.  With few exceptions, it takes months to solve a case–not days or weeks.  If a firm quotes an extremely short time frame, be suspect.  (The only exception here, as mentioned above, might be deleting a deadlink).

Reputable Pricing

A reputable approach to repair pricing is transparent, honest and clear.  A proposal should include goals, step-by-step detailed solutions, a time-frame and an estimated number of hours to complete the online repair process. If they don’t or are vague, it’s probably best to look for someone else.

How Are Prices Calculated?

Each case and solution is unique and there is no cookie-cutter approach, at least when dealing with a good reputation specialist.  Generally, a web repair price is determined by the severity of the problem, where the negative link shows up in Google, and if the article has negative comments.  There are more factors but for simplicity, stick with these.

Cost Based on Effort Needed

The calculation of an online reputation management solution is simple:  the cost is based on the effort needed to solve it.  

Usually, this involves hard work, requiring around 50 to 200 hours of targeted content creation, extensive development of multiple online platforms and slogging through the problem, day by day for months.  Rarely is there an easy solution.

There are several factors that go into coming up with an online reputation management repair price, but basically it is based on research and analysis of the problem.

Severity of the Problem

A big factor in calculating online reputation management prices is to determine the severity of the issue. 

A case will take longer (and will be priced higher accordingly) if the negative link is on well regarded, trustworthy pages.  Examples include news sites such as The New York Times, CNN, ABC, the Wall Street Journal.  Additionally, niche publications that are important within a specific industry could be just as difficult, such as Artforum for the art world, or for legal-related matters.

Federal, State and local government sites are also unusually very difficult to push down. Those that end in “.gov” such as the IRS or SEC can take many months to resolve.  Others that are hard to move are and the anonymous complaint sites.  

Things that are a bit easier handle are individual blogs where an ex-employee or disgruntled client started a purposeful online smear campaign.  Google rarely ranks these sites extremely high–unless the victim has little or no online presence.

Where The Links Show Up

A problem occurring on the bottom of the first page of Google search results is easier to solve than one ranked at the very top, and is less costly.  

The very first link on the first page, generally, can require nearly ten times the effort because many more campaigns and platforms need to be crafted, developed and frequently updated.

Existing Platforms or Web Sites

If there are few or no existing platforms and web sites, the online repair process takes longer and costs more.  

Developing a quality presence is extremely time consuming, and Google looks for and rewards high quality sites. Writing original content is key, as are photos, images, videos, presentations and sound recordings.  Again, this takes time–and thus money–to develop.  

Note that putting out poor content or engaged in publishing syndicates (i.e., “link farms”, a black hat or disreputable approach to online reputation management) might result in a penalty from Google since it could be considered spam.  Beware of low cost solutions for this reason.

Negative Comments

Google sees blog post comments or social media Likes or re-Tweets as a “vote” in popularity.  If there are many negative comments on social media or in response to an article, the repair process is much more involved.

Price Calculation

So, an online repair price requires looking at the severity of the problem, where the negative link shows up in search results, how many existing current platforms are there, and what negative comments exist.  Let’s not look a sample online reputation management issue, and plug in some numbers to come up with a price.

Real World Online Reputation Repair Example

Let’s take a real-world example. In this case the problem is fairly severe, and could include several negative links towards the top of the first page.

Here are some steps necessary to repair an online reputation and some of the hours necessary to accomplish it.  

Analysis and Issue Review

Understanding the current business and developing an effective repair strategy.  
About 10 hours.

Search Engine Optimization and Key Search Terms

Analyzing and researching search terms and updating existing web sites and platforms. About 10 hours

Content Creation

Generating unique text and visual media.
About 50 to 80 hours or more.

Social Media

Determine the best platforms for the intended audience/clients and update each very frequently, sometimes several times daily.
About 50 to 100 hours.

Administrative Review and Setup

5 hours.

Monthly Maintenance Services

5 hours.

Thorough Pricing Approach

Once estimated hours are assigned to each of the repair tasks, a realistic price can be calculated.  The total in this example ranges from about 130 to 210 hours, or a few hours per day for six months.  

If the hourly cost is $100 for this example, then multiplying 100 by 130 equals $13,000.  Thus, it would take about $13,000 to successfully complete this case.

This is no “pick a number out of the air,” but a fairly accurate repair price is based thorough research and rigorous analysis.  

Questions to Ask

Since an online repair solution can be a sizable investment ($5,000 to $20,000 or more), it’s important to know what you are actually getting for the price.  Here are some questions to ask:

  • What kind of effective, targeted and original is content created?  
  • Is a robust social media campaign included where industry thought leaders are sought out as followers?  
  • Realistically, how many months will it take (yes–months: most projects take between three and seven months)?
  • Is the work customized or copy-and-pasted into some kind of form or template?  
  • Who is doing the work?  Is it farmed out to low-wage workers somewhere else such as India?  
  • Are you paying for layers of management, salespeople, project managers, and offices?
  • Is the company huge and doing what worked two years ago or is small and nimble that can react immediately to monthly changes that Google makes to their search algorithm?

Final Thoughts

While there are disreputable approaches to online reputation management pricing, a thorough analysis of the problem is best–not low-balling the client or gouging them.  When getting a quote, look carefully.  If the proposal is vague or lacks estimated hours or details on how the job will be successfully completed, look for someone else.

There is no magic button to push.  Repairing an online reputation takes time, effort and hard work, but it is possible, and it’s worth it to increase revenue, sales and clients.

The Dating App Tinder: How can it impact your online reputation?

See Related Article: Calculating the Value of Online Reputation Management

New dating and social media sites are always popping up but beware: they can sometimes unintentionally expose you to online reputation management issues.

Take Tinder, for example.

Dating Social Media Apps Popularity

Tinder is an explosively popular dating app that gained popularity—or notoriety–during the 2014 Winter Olympics.  It provides a simple, visual and anonymous way to connect with people.  

Tinder has a reputation as a “hookup” app, which is sometimes well deserved, but it is used for dating as well, depending on the age group using it.

It has made millions of connections, and its popularity is increasing exponentially, and because of it, some are even using it for business networking.

What could go wrong, since it’s, for the most part, anonymous?   Well, plenty.  It could really impact someone’s online reputation in several ways. First, lets look more closely at the app.

What is Tinder?

It’s used primarily for casual online dating for adults.  Basically, you see an image of someone in your area pop up on the screen.  If you don’t like them, swipe left; if you think they are interesting, swipe right.  If you both swipe right, you get connected, and you can text each other and take it from there; if either one swipes left, you will never see them again.  This approach is cleverly unique, because there are no hoards of “spam” messages from people that like you but you don’t fancy.

So far, so good.   But there are challenges that can impact an online reputation.  

What Can Go Wrong

If a Tinder user’s anonymity is broken, disgruntled ex-business associates, recently fired employees or anyone with an ax to grind could exploit this by taking personal information and engage in an internet smear campaign.  They could misconstrue an intention of meeting new people or making new business connections on Tinder as looking for hookup sex or wishing to have an affair.  If information like this comes out online, it could result in ruined business, lost deals or broken personal relationships.

The Facebook Connection

One of the advantages to Tinder is its ease of use and its quick setup.  No need to  answer dozens of questions or enter extensive biographical information: its all there, minimal as it is, from Facebook, which is required for usage. Conveniently, it brings in text and images, making setup a breeze.

However, here are four challenges that many are not aware of.

1. Biographical Text

Often the text about you on Facebook is (very) personal and might be intended only for friends–not for broadcast.

Some personal information could include:

  • Web sites–business, personal or both
  • Other links that mention you, such as journals or articles
  • YouTube channels or videos of you
  • Twitter, Instagram and other social media platform addresses
  • Business or job posting
  • An upcoming appointment
  • Even home phone numbers.

This all makes it extremely easy to identify the poster, and if someone is identified, then they are open to online reputation management problems.

2. Imported Images

A handful of Images are pulled directly from Facebook’s Public image folder into Tinder.

Although this makes setup easy, it could leave the user open to problems, however.

Having clearly identifiable photos can break the anonymity of the user.  Also, images with other people shouldn’t be shared, as well as photos where locations can clearly be identified, such as apartment buildings (especially with the address showing or with a prominent landmark in the background), or a clearly identified business.

3. Shared Facebook Friends

Another element to Tinder is that shared Friends are identified and listed on the profile.

This can inspire more credibility and thus instill a certain level of trust in connecting with someone else.

However, it also makes it very easy to reveal the user’s identity.  A Facebook Friend can see who they have in common and just search through their list of connections for the first name listed on the profile.  Especially with a photo of the person, this can make identification very easy.

4.  Facebook Groups

The last bit of information that is shared on Tinder are Facebook Groups, which are listed if you have any in common.

These can be a challenge because someone could see the Groups and look through them to identify the user.  Also, the Tinder user might not want others to see what group they are part of.

Again, a disgruntled ex-employee or an old client who is on Facebook can find this information and might be able to use it to their advantage by writing negative things about the person.

How to protect yourself? Here are some ways to minimize online reputation damage when using Tinder.

Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation

1. Update the Imported Text

The first way to to protect your web reputation is to change the bio text that’s imported to Tinder.

Remove anything and everything that has external websites or other links to elsewhere and replace it with a generic, general description about yourself.

2. Review and Edit Images

Next, be careful of the images that are displayed.  Selectively add images to Facebook that show only part of your and not your face, don’t show anyone else, and avoid including specific details about the location.

3. Limit Personal Information

Finally, the best way to protect your online reputation is to share little or no personal information on the web.  

I know Tinder is about connecting with others, but avoid including details and be mindful of mutual Friends, Groups or common Interests.


There will always be new social media apps or sites that come in fashion, but with them come new online reputation management challenges.

If you have any questions about Tinder or your online reputation, feel free to reach out to me or Recover Reputation.

See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools

Online Reputation Management and Social Media for Art Galleries

The Social Media Guide For Art Fairs: How Galleries, Institutions, Collectors, Artists and Visitors Can Use it To Build an Online Reputation

As the art world migrates on to the seemingly always next art fair (there are over twenty world-wide and growing), knowing how to harness social media–either as a gallery, collector, artist or visitor–has become ever more important.  Crafting the right social media message can draw in clients, and connect to an art audience.  Importantly, it builds an online reputation showing that you are the art expert on a highly visible stage.

Getting this wrong, however, can send the wrong message, and worse, can result in a negative online reputation (think of a dealer’s assistant posting an unflattering photo of them drunk at a pre-opening party, or the uploading of an image saying “Sold,” when it is just on hold.  This is more than embarrassing–it could lead to lost sales).

What is the message? What images to post on Instagram? What platforms to use to connect to which audience?

Instagram is King

Instagram is probably the way to go here.  It’s popular and has about ten times the engagement than Facebook or Twitter (i.e., more people respond to your posts).  Since its geared towards image sharing, its a natural platform for the art world.  

But don’t forget about others such as Facebook (personal pages; otherwise, skip it), Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat (the photographer Alec Soth is using SnapChat well), and Google Plus. Note that each has different approaches, advantages and limitations.

Here’s a guide to use when traversing, for example the circuit (including Art Basel-Miami Beach, Arte Fiera Bologna, NADA, Art Rotterdam, The ADAA Art Show, The Armory Show, VOLTA, Art Dubai, The AIPAD Photography Show New York, Art Cologne, Frieze Art Fair New York, Art Basel, and others).

Art Galleries

Start with a Strategy

Ask yourself a few questions weeks before the show: who are your current collectors, who are potential collectors and where are they online?  

Are they younger, interested in emerging artists and frequently posting on Instagram?  Or are they more established, and just starting using to use social media, and might be naciatent Facebook users?  

Create a strategy.  A good one could include sharing about the preparation and packing/unpacking of the show; setting up the booth; opening night images; posts on the artists and art at the fair; photos from catalogues or other materials you’ve brought along; images of the staff, to personalize things; night out at parties or other fairs, and wrap up.

Don’t Let an Intern Run the Show

It might be tempting, especially with limited staff, resources and time, to pass off social networking to someone else, but don’t.  Do it yourself, at least most of it.  You are the art expert, so share your expertise with potential buyers.  Start with sharing things that you normally do–such as comments on art, the fair, what’s in the booth, etc.

Focus on Art in the Booth

It might be obvious, but post images of your artists and art that you’ve brought along.  Its a great way to generate interest in a new or established artist.

Use Hashtags

Be sure to know the fair’s “official” hashtag and include them in each message you send.  Since hashtags act as an easy-to-find collection of messages on a topic–think of them as a readymade search–it’s extremely helpful.  Include other popular or pertinent hashtags such as the city you are in, certain artists if they are well-known, local museums, and media outlets.

The Art Fairs Themselves

Use “@:” and Hashtags to Generate Traffic and Connect to Galleries

Since there are many dozens or even hundreds of participating galleries and non-profit arts organizations, a great approach is to post images of their art and include an “@” or appropriate hashtag.  Not only will the participants love it, it will also drive traffic back to your site because the dealers will be more likely to share the post.

Monitor Social Media for Problems

People are using social media now as a “customer service” center (try emailing an airline a complaint–good luck; tweet an issue, and wait for a nearly immediate response).  So be on the look out for issues or complaints, and respond immediately.  Not doing so could lead to a damaged or negative online reputation.

More Images

Take images of (nearly) everything: booths, art, artists, curators, visitors, collectors, celebrities, and post them quickly.


Share and Build

Collectors use social media to connect with existing relationships and build or boost new ones with dealers, other collectors and curators. Share images of work you like or art you are interested in (without “tipping your hand” too much if you are on the fence about a likely purchase).


Connect to Dealers “Virtually”

Artists visiting the art fairs can use it as an opportunity to connect with dealers.  Don’t ask for a show!  But dealers appreciate and notice if you share images of their artists.  Use social media as a way to generate a connection and to start an introductory dialogue with an art dealer.

You Are an Insider

Use visiting the fairs as a way to show that they are “in the know” and are active in the art world.  Write mini-reviews and share what you like to show that you are an art expert.  Gravitate toward work in your field.

Museums or Institutions

Get Personal

Large museums, collections or other arts institutions seem to look at social media as an extension of the marketing department, and often generate posts that seem to be thinly veiled promotional messages or PR campaigns.  Well, here is an opportunity to change that: share images of artists you like, take a chance, and get personal.

Share and Connect

Share images of artists that might be in the collection or art that is part of a recent or upcoming show.  Comment on dealers or artists posts as a way to connect.


Snap Things You Like

For the art enthusiast, take images and comment on things you like, and have fun!  

Use it as an opportunity to get familiar with the art you like and who the potential players are.  Maybe there is a piece you love but have never bought before.  Why not share your question online, and see what response you get from some trusted friends?  Look also at how dealers are using their online presence to get a fuller picture of their reputation before buying.

Auction Houses

Artists Just Sold

If a piece recently sold at auction and the artist is represented at the fair, use this as an opportunity to share about it.  This builds trust and connections.

Get Personal Too

An auction house, like a large gallery or museum, can get lost behind the institutional facade.  Share images and write comments that are personal.  Don’t be afraid (within reason, of course!), to be honest about what you like.  Show the staff in action talking to clients.

Be Visible

It’s important for the auction houses (Sotheby’s, Christies, Phillips, Bonhams, Swans) to have a social media presence at the fairs.  Simply put, that is where their core clients are, so it’s a great way to generate more visibility.  The booths could be filled with existing clients, or potential ones in the form of new collectors or dealers–after all, every person who buys art might eventually want to sell it, and an auction house should use social media as a way to build trust and familiarity.

Online Reputation Management and Social Media for Art Galleries

Collectors Use Instagram to Research and Buy Art: 9 Tips to Connect with Them

See related article, “Online Reputation Management and Social Media for Art Galleries

From a recent article, “How Collectors Use Instagram to Buy Art,” by Elena Soboleva, published on Artsy–a great article.

What is the biggest online platform for contemporary art? Surprisingly, it could be Instagram.  Collectors (and dealers, galleries, curators and artists) use the app to discover, buy and track contemporary art.

Half of the collectors who are active Instagram users purchased work from artists discovered through the app, according to a recent article and survey, “How Collectors Use Instagram to Buy Art,” by Elena Soboleva, published on Artsy–a great article.  Importantly, those collectors purchased an average of five pieces by artists discovered there and a third bought work they found on Instagram, according the survey.  Wow.

The app is becoming a crucial tool for the art world.  Combined with other platforms, social media sites, blogs, and web sites, Instagram can help drive art sales.

Here are some highlights from parts of the Artsy article, as well as tips on how  galleries should be using Instagram to connect with collectors.

51.5% of collectors bought art first discovered on Instagram.

Purchasing Power

51.5% of collectors bought art first discovered on Instagram. They went on to collect about five pieces by artists found there.  This is stunning: half of active Instagram collectors buy work originally found on the app.

51.5% Collectors bought art first discovered on Instagram

Aim to Buy

27% follow accounts they want to buy from, while half (46%) follow gallery accounts they have already purchased work from.  Additionally, over half follow accounts because they are viewed as art trendsetters.  The Artsy survey reveals how powerful following an account can be: one quarter of collectors are interested buyers.

27% Follow accounts they want to buy from

46% Follow gallery accounts they have already purchased work from

50% Follow accounts because they are viewed as art trendsetters

Trend Finder

30% post works they are considering acquiring for their collection.  Collectors look towards Instagram as a discovery tool and for tracking art trends, and perhaps post works to gauge responses before they make a purchase.

30% Post works they are considering acquiring for their collection

Active Collectors

Half of the Instagram collectors have over 100 artworks and have been actively collecting for over nine years. Most (55%) collect emerging art; 45% are contemporary art collectors.  These are not one-off, casual or exclusively young collectors just jumping into the market, but are veteran buyers.

55% Collect emerging art

45% Contemporary art collectors

These are not one-off, casual or exclusively young collectors just jumping into the market, but are veteran buyers.

Artists Discovery

42% of collectors discover artists through hashtags.  This search feature is an extremely important way to find art, artists, and galleries, and collectors use them very actively.

42% Collectors discover artists through hashtags

Frequent Checking

Half (55%) check Instagram five or more times a day; 87% check twice daily or more, according to the Artsy survey.  Collectors on the app are passionate and nearly all check the app at least twice a day.

55% Check five times daily

87% Check twice daily

Collectors on the app are passionate and nearly all check the app at least twice a day.

Active Posters

Half (55%) post on Instagram more than several times a week, according the Artsy survey.

55% Post more than several times a week

See related article, “The Social Media Guide For Art Fairs: How Galleries, Institutions, Collectors, Artists and Visitors Can Use it To Build an Online Reputation

So, we see that Instagram is a collector’s online destination.  What is the best way to connect with them?

Here are nine tips for galleries (and the art world)

1. Start with a Strategy

Instagram posts should be a reflection of you and the gallery.  They could be serious, academically oriented, playful, comment on the art world (@JerrySaltz), or a mix.  Once a strategy is set, be consistent but know that it’s a work in progress which constantly evolves.  It’s tempting to relegate this task to interns–but would you let them run sales on the floor?   Lastly, have fun.

2. Post Unique Content

As a gallery, you have great “content”: fantastic images.  Upload a mix of photographs of the current roster of artists, recent art world topics, openings, events, printed media such as books or recent catalogues, and most importantly, add “behind the scenes” shots of installations and back room images.  Show that you are an art insider, and balance personal and professional posts.

3. Engage and Be Responsive

Engage with collectors and other posters on Instagram.  Like posts you genuinely find appealing, and when someone likes you, perhaps like or follow them back.  Importantly, leave comment to start a dialogue and get noticed.  If someone leaves a message on Instagram, be sure to always respond.

Leave comment to start a dialogue.

4. Include Informative Text

Add interesting information to the post.  Create a small description or narrative about a painting, for example, explaining how it was made or what it evokes to draw collectors in.  It’s okay to be personal.

Create a small description or narrative.

5. Add Appropriate Hashtags

Add hashtags for the artists and topics that you post might fit into–but be specific. “#ContemporaryArt,” or “#EmergingPainter,” are way too broad and will get lost in the literally millions of other posts with the same hashtag.  Also add “@[Collector’s Name  Here]” to target collectors so they will see the post.

See also, “Social Media and Online Reputation Management for the Artworld.”

6. Target and Get Key Influencers

Identify “key influencers,” namely, collectors, curators, other dealers and interesting Instagram posters and follow them. Don’t worry about the quantity; instead, focus on quality.  Find Instagram followers you like, look at their followers, and follow some of them.

7. Set a Daily Process

Each day:

  • Post an image, ideally in the evening or the evening timezone of your target followers.  Add work on Saturday and Sunday too.
  • Like a handful of images, checking Instagram at least twice a day.
  • Write a comment on one post that interests you.
  • Search for related topics, events and artists, and follow at least one.
  • Post Image
  • Like images
  • Write a comment
  • Search for topics

8. Things to Avoid

  • Don’t sell. Collectors are smart, so speak their language.
  • Don’t say, “Catch our latest show before it closes.” Rather, be descriptive, engaging, personal.
  • Don’t be all over the place. Stick to your basic strategy.
  • Don’t be too personal.  Over sharing could lead to problems.

9. Get Professional Help If Necessary

If this is bewildering, daunting, or seemingly out of reach,  get professional help.  Work with an online reputation builder or social media expert who knows the art world. If you don’t, you could risk alienating your collector base, making things much worse.

Collectors use Instagram to find and purchase art, and following these nine tips should help. But it’s just one tool. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (yes, Pinterest), art related blogs, online auctions, Wikipedia articles, targeted blog posts, and your website all build online trust, which leads to art sales.

See related article, “Online Reputation Management and Social Media for Art Galleries


Feel free to reach out with any questions.  We speak art. Helping galleries navigate Instagram and the online world is our specialty.

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