If a potential client looks you up online, what will they see? This is an ever-increasing worry for small businesses as the internet marketplace becomes more and more dominant. Your online reputation is built and destroyed by the things you post, the websites you frequent, the comments you make publicly, and the comments that are made about you. A few bad remarks on Facebook, or a bad review on Yelp.com, and before you know it, your reputation is destroyed. These days, a disgruntled employee or an unhappy customer can leave a lasting impression for the world to see.
The worst part about it is that you don’t always get a chance for a rebuttal. The attackers get to fire the first shot at you from the comfort of their easy chairs. There are no filters to stop statements from hitting the internet simply because they may not be true. When it comes to your online reputation, you are truly guilty until you can prove yourself innocent. Having negative comments or remarks about you or your business floating around in cyberspace can have damaging results. In order to avoid this situation, adopt a more involved internet approach. Constantly search for yourself and your business on Google.com and other popular search engines. See what comes up as you click on the various entries that are available about you. If you find something that is damaging or negative, search around the site that posted it for remedies about getting it taken down. Perhaps you can send an email or a signed letter about the event that took place that led to the bad remark. There may be a place for a rebuttal to be logged, or a “contact us” function where you can levy a dispute. Regardless of the outcome, it is an excellent idea to stay on top of these things. Preventing bad publicity from spreading is usually easiest when it is caught early, so research your own online reputation and make sure you are safe.