Last updated on February 24, 2021
Safety and precaution is a must for all businesses with an online presence. Whether you have a social media page, an online forum, a digital platform or a website, security is something that you shouldn’t take lightly. With dozens of new schemes devised by competitors and wrongdoers every single day, it can be exasperating to keep up.
That said, this blog will show you tested-and-proven methods for how to check your business online reputation and shield it against scams, fake information, and privacy breachers.
The unyielding development of internet-based communication has shifted the way people view services and businesses.
Online brand monitoring these days is everything, and being a small business or a corporate giant is no exception.
Most business transactions, advertisements, and customer feedback are now carried out through the internet. Whenever a person develops curiosity about a brand or a product, the automatic course of action is to open a browser or check social media in hopes of finding valuable information. Purchasing goods and paying bills now also have a digital counterpart as a way of highlighting user convenience. Some small brands that used to have limited user reach have now become household names across neighbouring areas thanks to a consistent and solid presence online.
It is almost entirely all that people have envisioned the future would be. But like a coin, there are also two sides to a thriving online network. It would be too risky to be too optimistic about everything on the internet. Social media used to be a platform for personal entertainment and its limitless network became an indispensable avenue for companies to find potential leads and build brand awareness. Sadly, it was also utilized by detractors to imitate legitimate business pages and harm established reputations. Individuals also took to Facebook to air their conflicts or worse, bully others.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Aside from social media, blog sites and even video streaming giants like YouTube were not safe from the spread of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and black propaganda against unsuspecting victims and brands.
Manipulating photos and videos are so easy these days, thanks to advanced video and photo editing software available. If you don’t know any better, you would fall victim to these misleading claims and put the privacy of your business and your customers in jeopardy.
How can you protect your digital reputation?
Fortunately, there are measures and steps you can take to build protection for your online brand. You can use one or more of the methods listed below:
If you already have a considerably huge amount of followers, then it is time to get your social media pages verified. To get verified means that your page will have a blue check mark beside it, indicating that your account is the real deal. It takes some photoshop skills and basic knowledge in social media management to imitate pages of existing brands and lure unsuspecting victims to follow the fake pages and believe that all inappropriate content posted there is done with the company’s full consent.
How to measure brand reputation by getting authenticated should be a no-brainer.
A verified profile or page helps your followers and potential leads to distinguish your authentic online presence from impostors. It will likewise enable your supporters to determine which page to report to the proper authorities.
Content moderation is one of the many ways on how companies manage online reputation. It is like your digital police specializing in monitoring and reviewing user-generated content on your website, forums, and pages. Employ a business reputation monitoring team with experience and knowledge in handling different forms of content on various types of platforms. This way, if your brand is available online through different channels, you are assured that your reputation and online community is fully protected.
Each content submitted or posted by your followers or community members are screened and assessed. For a moderation process to be successful, you need to implement a specific set of ground rules elaborating which posts or language are allowed on your site pages from those that are not. These rules will serve as the basis for your moderators to pinpoint which UGC must be deleted, which users need to be banned, or what submissions should be given the go signal to be made public.
Enhancing your digital protection with moderation services is cost-effective and it quickly gives you a head’s up for when someone is trying to destroy your name.
Reddit is a website designed for interacting about anything under the sun. Here, members are free to submit any topic or conversation-starter of their choice. It provides a setup for people to exchange their knowledge, start a discussion, ask for viable opinions, or meet and collaborate with other individuals who share the same interest. It can also be used purely for entertainment purposes, such as when people create subreddits dedicated to wholesome memes.
One thing it is not is a place for blatant sales and product marketing.
So what does this have to do with how to check a business reputation, you ask?
If you use it right, Reddit allows you to be one with your community. It lets you take a huge step in encouraging target users to ask exclusive questions they may have about your services. It is instrumental in sharing information about your brand that would be impossible for scammers and posers to know. The idea is to establish a friendly and amicable relationship with your customers as well as the digital audience in general to help solidify your identity as a reliable and trustworthy entity.
Be discreet about who can access your pages. Moderate who you entrust it with. Assign one or two personnel to safekeep the usernames and passwords on all your pages and platforms. Some business owners make the mistake of sharing such sensitive marketing information to all of their staff. When you share these account details to everyone, it is the same as telling your employees that they are free to do whatever they want with your pages and websites.
Quite a number of businesses have suffered from the failure to limit who can access their online accounts. Some have had incidences where employees shared inappropriate or harmful content on the business’ social media pages. Others had staff carelessly using the company’s accounts to vent about their personal problems, discredit the business itself, or pick fights with customers. Worse, valuable information such as the personal data of customers were compromised and used for personal gain.
In contrast, keeping your login details highly confidential effectively controls the possibility of misrepresentation through isolated employee behavior.
Online brand reputation monitoring is also defined by how well you can handle criticism. Maintain professionalism and do not lose your cool even when you are faced with irate and angry clients. When a person is undergoing immense stress or a heightened emotional state, they tend to post or share words and images that are unbecoming and hurtful.
Giving in to trolls instantly diminishes your integrity as a business. It drives away your customers and prevents leads from getting to know more about what you can offer. Train your support representatives to stay calm and to not get swayed by their emotions when confronted with rude customers or trolls. If needed, prepare spiels that they can use to keep a professional profile and image when handling negative comments and posts.
Here’s how to check company’s reputation online: Check their consistency and commitment to their words.
Avoid making promises to customers that you cannot fulfill. People are smart, and if a situation calls for them to gather ‘receipts’, especially if it involves helping someone get the justification they deserve, then they will do it. Dissatisfied customers can transform your company into a meme or a red-hot headline overnight.
Also, if one or more of your staff gets involved in a dispute or a scandal during business hours, show accountability by acknowledging the situation and assuring your audience that you are doing your best to gather more information about the incident and that you are willing to give them updates if needed.
Transparency signifies your sincerity and concern to your clients. If your business is often associated with shady activities, misconceptions, and even outrageous conspiracy theories, it leaves a huge dent on your digital branding as a whole. Who would want to negotiate or be associated with a company with questionable objectives and origins, or one that is frequently featured on tabloids and online gossip sites?
If your brand gets entangled with an issue, get to the bottom of it the soonest you can. Take the first step and don’t let your followers find information from other resources other than the official statements or clarifications you will produce. Transparency is also applicable to the information you present on your website and pages. It should be accurate and consistent. In the event that a vital part of your company’s public information needs to be changed, it is your responsibility to inform your customers immediately.
Truly, keeping up with all the other forms of digital reputation protection can be stressful. Your brand holds the credibility of your services and the safety of your end-users; thus, you need to always be a step ahead of online trolls and hackers.
When in doubt, seek assistance from companies that highlight client safety in implementing their services. New Media Services is a good example of this. Our online reputation monitoring services include content moderation for different types of UGCs and internet-based platforms. We also use a combination of human and AI-powered content reviewing process to ensure your brand is well-protected from derogatory and harmful user content.