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Did someone run a smear campaign against you? Here are some things you can do to make it better!
If you're noticing negative things sprouting up about your business, as soon as you start getting noticed more, it's likely a smear campaign from some competitor you've scared online or offline. This is a common practice by competitors, no matter the niche, and it's used in order to funnel people to their own website that does similar things you do.
Smear campaigns are a way of making you look bad, through negative PR and content marketing, but it doesn't have to be something you look at as a bad thing. Remember the saying "Any news is good news" and that's the same with a smear campaign because you can twist it in a way that entices people to come and purchase from you even though they've just read something that says you're the devil or you have the worst possible product or service in the world
Do your research and figure out who is posting about you
Usually, there are some footprints out there that will lead you back to the company or business that is publishing this content. There are the rare occasions when a business doing the smear campaign will not recommend their own companies, but that's rare because everyone is money hungry and wants to send traffic to the "Better Services" so these footprints likely stand out.
Find the person or website that is posting about you, then go to the next step in this discussion
Take screenshots of who is posting and link it back
You need to be screenshotting everything negative being said about you in a smear campaign because you never know what is going to be edited or deleted. You could bring a post to light within your own community, then the person running the smear campaign could just edit it to make you look dumb, but if you have screenshots then people will trust you more after they see the edited version.
Screenshots aren't difficult to do, you just hold CTRL+PRT SCR and it will capture what's on screen. There are also pieces of software out there that will let you select a specific section of the page, then screenshot it, and save it to your computer if you choose. You can use these and highlight certain parts of the post to show your readers if you want.
Offer discounts because of this negative PR
After you've done all the research and know who is posting about you, and you've also taken all the screenshots possible, you need to offer some discounts to your visitors in order to entice them to purchase.
People will see the negative comments or articles about your website, do some research about you and land on your homepage, then they'll see your discount offered to everyone You can even say something like "We recently found a competitor trying to run a smear campaign against us, because they don't have products and services as good as ours, so we're offering a sitewide discount to show you we truly are the best!"
If you can do this, you will convert the people who thought you were horrible, and that's extra money in your pocket You've turned a negative into a positive, and at the end of the day you'll be on top still
Never talk to the person or company doing the smear campaign
Think of this like an ugly divorce, you just want your lawyers to talk to them and you stay out of it unless your lawyer brings you in. It doesn't matter if you're on an open forum or blog, you will need to avoid them as much as possible. If you do this, you will anger them, and that will show everyone you're the bigger man. If it gets to the point where you need to start posting those screenshots, then start showing the world what they said (and edited) in order to prove them wrong.
Don't call them, email them, send out smoke signals, or train carrier pigeons to bring them small letters. Talk to your visitors and if you really have to then you can talk to the person running the smear campaign or the blogs and forums with negative comments about you.
If you're pissing someone off when it comes to business, you're doing something right, because you're essentially taking profits from them that they will fight for. Normally, a business won't start a smear campaign because it's a childish way to go about things, but they do happen and I hope you're ready for them.
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