Articles Posted in Reputation Management

For any company, reputation management is a key aspect of online brand development and marketing. Through this process, a company will be able to show the quality of their services or products and be able to properly deal with negative comments and reviews posted online.

The Truth about Bad Reviews

Often, many companies see reputation management as a scramble to react to negative online content concerning the brand. Many will try to get negative reviews removed and cover up such activities as quickly as possible in order to “preserve” the appearance of the company. However, it is important to remember a few important factors.

  1. You cannot simply remove a bad review because you do not like it.
  2. Not everyone will like your company and its products.
  3. Good reviews are the best defense against bad ones.

Crafting a Well-Rounded Online Reputation

Your overall online reputation is the result of each review that has been posted, with a greater number of reviews leading to a more complete view of your company. However, the fewer the number of reviews, the more each one will stand out, with bad reviews being especially noticeable.
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When a person in need of legal aid is searching for an attorney to fiercely defend their rights in the face of injustice, the first place he or she will likely visit is the Internet to research and find more information about the legal experts in their area.reputation_management.jpg

As such, bad reviews and an unfavorable online reputation may be the deciding factor in whether or not a potential client calls you. A bad lawyer online review can cause loss of current and prospective clients, and unfortunately, negative information can linger in cyber space for months (or years!) if proper action isn’t taken.

In order to preserve your positive reputation and ensure you do not lose any business due to negative reviews or other reputation teasers, an attorney must proactively maintain his or her online persona.
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Preserving your ‘rep’ in the digital age. It seems simple enough, but is it really?Lawyer Crisis Management

Among other technological marvels, the colossal Internet allows a user to connect with fellow online aficionados across the globe and empowers users to voice their opinion about everything from local businesses to consumer products in a fairly anonymous setting.

Though this may be excellent news for Internet users, it can be daunting for businesses, such as law firms, who can be haunted by a negative review for an eternity in cyberspace. On the other hand, positive reviews can add up and go a long way for helping to spread positive word of mouth.
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Let’s clear something up. There seems to be a misconception that blog posts, Facebook wall posts, and Tweets are “secret.” Contrary to what they say about Las Vegas, what happens on the Internet, does not just stay on the Internet. It doesn’t even always stay in one place!

Most of us hope that people will share our content online – it’s a way to help spread valuable information while also helping establish yourself and/or your company as an authority in a particular field. But you have to be careful about what you publish online in your name or your company’s name.
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What makes you trust a company? There are a variety of acceptable answers for this question, but one of the most important answers, particularly from a marketing standpoint, is WORD OF MOUTH. In today’s age of instant access to information, positive feedback from customers can quickly find its way to the friends of those satisfied customers…and their friends…and their friends (the same goes for negative feedback, but this shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a bad thing). In short, customer reviews can give a potential customer a good idea of what a company and its products are really like from the less biased opinion of a fellow consumer.

In the world of legal Internet marketing, word of mouth is most often associated with customer reviews. These reviews can be found on local listings sites, such as Google Places, professional networking sites, such as Linkedin, or social networking sites, such as Facebook. Regardless of where these reviews are located, they’re important, and for a variety of reasons.
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For a law firm or any type of business, the Internet can be a treacherous place where your competition may jump at the chance to destroy you. A recent blog post of ours addressed online business reputation ransoming in which moving companies were being given false negative reviews on Google Places by reputation management companies who later contacted them for business. Now, people are not only spamming the Google Places profiles of their local competitors with fake, negative reviews, they are also reporting their competitors’ businesses as CLOSED.

Google-Places.jpgA Search Engine Guide article discusses these recent and upsetting events occurring on Google Places. About 97% of consumers use the Internet to find a local business, which is why the majority of businesses create and manage a Google Places account. If business is that slow that a person needs to falsely report their competitor’s business as closed, then this creates a big problem in an already struggling economy. An even bigger problem, however, is why Google has allowed such deceptive practices to take place. Why aren’t Google Places owners notified through a confirmation email that their business has been reported as closed? Wouldn’t this provide an effective and reasonable way for accounts that reported the business closed to be manually reviewed so they can be banned? Sure, you could say that spammers will always find new ways of slipping through the cracks of the system, but shouldn’t every possible precaution be taken, especially when a businesses’ reputation and profits are on the line? We all know how hard it is to get a good Google Places ranking and the hoops Google puts you through to get it… so why is it so easy to get your listing shut down???
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A recent article featured on Search Engine News (“Businesses Sabotaged by Negative Reviews”) discussed some online tactics that are unfortunately becoming more common, and may become more prevalent should Google not take action soon.

The article summarized the problem a moving company in New York recently faced, after a lot of negative 1-star reviews began to pop up on the Place Page for the company. The business owner repeatedly flagged the reviews as inappropriate to have the reviews removed by Google. Then, the owner contacted others within his industry and learned they were having the same problem with reviews, many of which were quite similar. After a Google search targeting a specific phrase from several reviews was conducted (“NOBODY DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY”), the owner and his industry friends found that over a hundred moving companies across the U.S. had been hit with similar reviews. Soon after, many of them were contacted by reputation management companies that claimed they could remove the negative reviews, and even add positive reviews about the company for a fee while promising they have a special relationship with Google, which they of course do not have.
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