If you do any business online, at some point you’re going to come across someone talking negatively about you or your company. Most of the time this negative publicity will come in the manner of anonymity. You won’t know who is attacking you or why and therefore have no way to redress the points in private. You’ll have to deal with it publicly.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to address the attacker’s points in any way. You most certainly should not engage him or her on websites that post his negative publicity. That will only help his cause, not yours.
If you find your adversary using third-party sites that offer a chance to respond to negative reviews then you may provide a short response – note, I said short – that attempts to invite others to discuss any issues with you in private. Don’t give ammunition to those who are against you. And you might also ask your good customers – the ones you know who will defend you – to counter with a positive review.
Beyond that, however, there are specific online tools that you can employ to wage a positive PR campaign that will combat negative publicity you find about you and your company.
Positive Reputation Management Tools You Can Use
I would recommend 5 primary online reputation management tools to help you defeat negative publicity about you online.
- A Network Of Blogs – Always start with your own properties. The more you own, the better off you are and the more secure your reputation is. One blog is good, but five blogs is better. Try to use blogs that use keywords associated with your negative publicity. You are trying to push the negative publicity pages down in the rankings. Blogs might take some time, but they can provide you with some ammunition to control the positive information flow about your company.
- Your Own Network Of Microsites – A tightly controlled group of microsites that target key phrases you want to defend can give you plenty of ammunition to combat negative propaganda about your company and defend your reputation.
- Press Releases – Press releases are good because you can submit them to third party sites. Often, those sites are authoritative websites that can get your well optimized press release some high exposure. Target the right keywords in your press release and you can gain a prominent position in the search engines for your keywords. Plus, you can drive traffic to your website.
- Social Networking – Use prominent social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Use them often. Set up a profile in your name and a Facebook page in your company’s name. Be active in your social networks. The more active you are on the networks the more they will start to rise in the search engine rankings.
- Social Bookmarking – Social bookmarking is different than social networking. You are submitting your blog, social networking profiles and website pages to well trafficked sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Sites with a high authority rating and lots of traffic will get you additional exposure and potential rankings. With many of these sites, the more positive reviews you get of your bookmarks the more chances they have of ranking well in the search engines.
You want to be careful not to spam the search engines, but you do want to defend your reputation with positive stories about you and your company. Use the tools effectively and you can win the battle over your reputation.