Your goal is to build a positive reputation online. After all, 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase. You want to ensure these people see as much positive information about your business as possible.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Negative reviews, social media campaigns, and disparaging articles can all get served up to people when they use search engines to research your business. In the worst-case scenario, this negativity impacts your brand and dissuades potential customers.

The solution is not to wait for your online reputation to get damaged before you do anything about it. Instead, companies and individuals who want to build a positive presence online should engage in active reputation management to ensure they’re seen in the best light.

Your Reputation Matters
It only takes one negative post or review to damage a brand’s online reputation.

Through reputation management, you’re able to mitigate that damage while actively working to promote your business. Reputation management matters because it allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of online sentiment. When harnessed well, it enables you to alter marketing campaigns and respond quickly to feedback while enhancing your visibility online.

Here’s an example below of how your reputation matters, one mishap can cause negative effects, and how having a reputation manager can quickly provide a solution.

Motrin’s Reputation Blunder
In the late 2000s, the company behind the Motrin brand released a video to the web.

On the surface, it was a simple video that aimed to strike a chord with young mothers who struggled with back pain. For a little over a month, the video went practically unnoticed, with nobody raising issues with it.

However, some mothers felt like the tone was a little off.

Eventually, some prominent “mommy bloggers” discovered the video and weren’t especially happy with its contents. Criticism started on a Saturday and mounted up over the weekend. By the time Motrin’s digital marketing team was back in the office, they had a concerted online campaign against their video to handle.

This story shows just how fragile an online reputation can be. A single false step can draw the ire of the people you’re trying to appeal to. Combine this with negative reviews and, for individuals, people engaging in slander and you have a recipe for a damaged reputation.

Motrin’s story provides one compelling reason for having a good reputation management. If their online team had the ability to actively monitor the situation surrounding their video, they’d have been able to respond quickly to the negative feedback.

Your response to negativity is key in the online world, as you saw in the Motrin example. It only takes a few minutes for a customer or influencer to post something negative about you. If left unchecked, that negative post can climb search rankings and influence potential customers. Reputation management allows you to quickly respond and help dissipate negativity.

Nevertheless, there are several more reasons why engaging in reputation management is so important.

Reason #1 – Increasing Visibility
The Motrin story demonstrates how damaging negative feedback for a marketing campaign can be. In that case, reputation management would allow the company to nip this feedback in the bud through a quick response.

Also, by focusing on designing positive content intended for search engines, you’re able to increase brand visibility. Through reputation management, you generate a consistent stream of fresh content that search engines will rank in the results for searches made about you or your business. A good reputation management company can optimize every piece of content that you control, from your blog posts and website to the profiles you post online. This content may then dominate the first page of results for searches related to you and your brand. And if it’s especially well done, it will also appear in searches that are related to what you do.

Reason #2 – Managing Negative Reviews
With an active internet reputation management solution, you’re able to track negative reviews and posts as they appear. This allows you to respond quickly. But perhaps most importantly, it also allows you to respond in a manner that dispels any negativity that the post aims to spread. A well-handled negative review can have a positive influence on potential new customers.

Reason #3 – Reputation Management Helps You Attract Talent
People often assume that reputation management relates only to how potential customers see your business.

According to a 2016 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 64% of job seekers will check out a business online after finding a job opening for that company. If they encounter negativity or, worse yet, find no information about your company, they’re less likely to apply. As a result, you may miss out on attracting talented people who could help you to grow your organization.

Finally, having an online reputation management solution can help you get new customer reviews, monitor all reviews and bring them together so you can manage, respond and report on them with ease.