Why your company needs reputation management to be competitive
When anyone is starting up a business they never really think of online reputation management right at the beginning because usually it isn't needed. Your business needs reputation management because you will always want to be on top of what people are saying about you or your business. One bad review online can kill any type of company so if you're already spreading positive content about yourself you're already fighting the inevitable bad reviews you might get later on. Below I will get into detail about why you need online reputation management and all the ways you can create a positive image online by yourself or with a team.
When you're working online you'll want to create a buzz about your website in order to pull in traffic. To do this you'll need to be on forums, blogs, social networks, etc. and talking about this great new website you found which is actually your own lol. You can't claim to be affiliated with this website and you'll need to use different pen names on every platform, blog or website along with different emails linked to each one in order to stay anonymous.
Be sure to create a list of all your new emails and where you used them just so you can go back and keep a conversation going if someone was to respond to your post. Keeping a conversation active with a pen named account will increase your authority on that website, blog or forum and possibly increase your sales in the long run. Not only will you be keeping a conversation going and have the page active, you will be increasing the chances of getting those pages ranked in the search engines which is great for reputation management People will look up your business and see this extremely positive conversation going on about you or your product and be more inclined to open up their wallet
When posting positive content about yourself you'll always inspire the negative people come out of their caves and troll. By setting up Google alerts you can log into any website, after registering, and comment right after the trolls to put out any small fires before they turn into a raging inferno of negative content aimed at your business.
By putting out these small fires right when they start you're stopping any negative content that will definitely harm your website. If someone does stumble upon this negative content they will see your pen named account talking highly of your business or product and they will think "Huh, maybe it's just this one guy that had a bad experience since this other guy is saying how good the business is".
Stay on top of your Google alerts so that you can stay on top of anyone talking about you, good or bad
Hiring An Assistant
Now if you're like me you don't have much free time to go into a full blown online reputation management campaign by yourself for a new website and you need a little help. This is the time I would hire a virtual assistant, or VA for short, and have them do everything I talked about earlier in this discussion.
Having a VA do all the work will free you up to focus more on the business side of things and not necessarily the marketing or reputation management part. Usually you can get a decent VA for around $300 to $500 a month. Some of you are saying "That's a ton of money!" but what you're not factoring in is that they'll be working 8 hours a day to defend your honor online lol. If you hire out to India or the Philippines you can usually get someone that knows what they're doing and it's much cheaper than hiring someone in the US (where I live). Minimum wage in my state is around $9.00 I think, it could be a little more or less but I'm not exactly sure because I haven't worked for anyone else besides myself in almost 15 years Now if you factor in 40 hours a week for an entire year (52 weeks) that comes out to $18,720 a year to have someone do what you need done. Or you can hire someone in India or the Philippines for $3,600 to $6,000 a year and they will do the same thing... Yeah, a good VA is a great thing to have when you're trying to save time