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How to Fix Your Businesses Online Reputation

By BlogNo Comments

Has your business or your brand recently received negative reviews that have caused your reputation to plummet? Look no further. This article is a great guide if you find yourself in this situation.

Everyone knows that one of the most important things for your business-and your brand-is your reputation. In addition to your reputation, it is also imperative that you have a positive response when faced with negative feedback and controversy online.

Even large, well-established corporations face obstacles while trying to maintain a positive reputation. During this age of social media, where posting takes seconds and negative reviews spread like wildfire, it is important to understand that one social media post has the opportunity to change the perspective of your brand within minutes.

While it is true that reputation will plummet faster than it takes to be fixed, it is important to take your time while planning out your next steps and consulting the right company if you find yourself in this situation.

Constantly Monitor your Brand

It is important to stay on top of monitoring the feedback that your brand receives. Even if your reputation is a good one, you should actively be taking steps to minimize the possibility of a negative review adversely affecting your reputation.

This may be accomplished through the hiring of a reputation management company like Repute PR.  Our reputation management professionals are able to monitor the mentions of your name or your company online and alert you and your company to any negative press you may receive.

One of the best ways to monitor your brand is to look at the search engine results pages (SERP) and utilize Google Autocomplete. This service helps you look out for negative stories and reviews and take a more proactive approach to maintain your brand’s reputation. If you discover negative reviews, you can use Google Analytics to look at your site’s traffic.  This data may guide you to the possible issues.

Address Complaints As Quickly As Possible

When looking through your reviews, it is important that you address complaints in a timely manner.

Some social media users expect a response in under an hour, and most expect a response in under 24 hours. Statistics also show that unhappy customers will share their experience with up to 15 people. These statistics demonstrate how extremely important it is to respond quickly and effectively–working with customers to help solve the issues at hand.

A negative post on social media has the opportunity to reach a large population in a small amount of time, so your response must address the complaint, show sympathy,  and effectively try to change the person’s perception of your company.

While these comments have the power to hurt your reputation, you should never delete the complaints. If you delete someone’s complaint or question, you are at risk of tarnishing your brand’s reputation.

A useful tip is to make sure that you are regularly checking your customer support email. If you have an influx of messages from angry customers, you should have your support team analyze the comments and save them to a document or spreadsheet.

This will allow you to organize the comments and reviews and will help you identify the common traits among the complaints. You must reply to these customers during this process. Communication should be your number one priority.

Plan Your Strategy for Social Media

It is important to brainstorm ideas and strategies to address any negative situations the comments identify. Often, a company will respond immediately before giving thought to its message.  This may do more harm than good. Sometimes, it is more beneficial to post a statement immediately after a situation, but it really depends on the particular case.

Often, it is better to wait to really think about what you want to say and to let the public cool down a bit. You should work with your team to assess the damage that may be caused by the statement and identify the outcome you are looking for from your response.

According to Entrepreneur, the hardest part of this process is understanding the pre-work and after-effects of communicating with the media.

If you find yourself in this type of situation, you should work on improving your image through your actions rather than with just words.  Hiring a reputation management company can help you gain insight and perspective into the situation.

One technique that some reputation management companies may utilize is hiring a trusted journalist to tell the story to the public in the way that you want it to be portrayed.

Think About Your Company Values

What is one of the most important values that people look for in a company? Trust! Your customers’ trust is imperative to being a successful company. So, regaining your customers trust has to be a priority.

Responding to your customers in the most appropriate way is necessary to regain their trust and fix your reputation as a business and as a brand. Even if you are able to regain customers’ trust after your crisis, it is not the time to relax.

After experiencing relief from a crisis, it is essential that your company exemplifies the core beliefs that are stated in its mission. Your company should be especially focusing on the feedback from the past and becoming the best possible version of your brand.

This is a great moment to share with your customers all the progress your company has made over the years and your commitment to the issues and beliefs your company stands for. Repute PR is a great resource when it comes to managing your company and thinking about its reputation and our professionals are available to help you manage your online reputation.

Think About the Future of the Company

Now that you have successfully gotten past the crisis, what should you do?

In order to maintain the future of your brand, you need to plan and think about the reputation you want to uphold and how you are going to sustain it. It is necessary to evaluate the crisis and see what you can do differently.

Establish a plan with your reputation management company to address future issues.  That way, you and your company are ready if another issue were to comes along. Another important step is to have a concrete plan in place to ensure that something like that does not happen again.

Social Media Tips for Businesses

By BlogNo Comments

Social media has become a crucial part of society. And, as a result, a successful company should have a concrete grasp of social media. This will be your comprehensive guide to social media: which platform you should use and how to use it. 

What Are the Advantages of Social Media Marketing?

The Internet is quickly becoming the best place for marketing. With websites like Amazon boosting online shopping over in-person shopping, products are able to reach much wider audiences than they would locally. In order to reach those audiences, you need social media. 

It also forms a kind of network. With in-person or traditional online ad marketing, people are likely to skim the content of the ad and neglect it. They may even find it bothersome. But if you use social media to build a platform for your product, your followers see you as more than somebody trying to take their money. It forms a personal connection that’s more likely to be long-lasting. 

Finally, social media is ubiquitous. The chances of somebody scrolling through your post, even if they don’t follow you, are high. Through the app’s analytics, your target audience will be filtered through to you. Somebody, at least, is going to see and pay attention to your content. 

Goldilocks: Which Fits Best?

To be successful in social media marketing, a key idea is understanding who is most likely to see your content. Each platform has a targeted audience, divided by factors like age and socioeconomic standing. You should define your target demographic and then choose the platform that houses the most people in that demographic. 

The second factor when choosing a platform to use is content. What kind of content can you commit to creating? Various social media platforms have different content styles, from short videos to blog posts, and it may be easier for you to make one than the other. Remember, social media should be a tool for you, not a hindrance. 

If you need help keeping up and creating content, then contact Repute PR, and their team of professionals will be able to help.

The final factor is what you plan to do on social media: whether you decide to use paid advertisements or grow a following from scratch. This choice depends largely on your demographic. For example, elderly people are more likely to click on ads that are welltailored to them—teenagers often aren’t interested. 

Once you’ve defined your demographic, your commitment to content, and your plan, it’s time to choose a platform. There are three major ones that this guide will cover: Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. 

Your Guide to Facebook Marketing

Facebook, the grandparent of social media. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s demographic tends to be parents. As of April 2021, 56.4% of its users were over 35, and the largest chunk of its user base was between 25- and 34-year-olds. 

Keep in mind, the elderly tend to steer clear from social media, to begin with. It’s an enormous commitment to make and get used to so late in life, and the learning curve to be able to effectively use it is intense. However, if your demographic targets older people, your best chance of finding them is on Facebook. 

Facebook also tends to cater slightly more to women. In the same April 2021 study as above, every designated age group had a higher percentage of women than men—except 25 to 34, in which the percentages were equal. 

Now, we have established who tends towards Facebook. But what kind of content should you put out? 

If you have decided to go the grow-a-following route, regular Facebook posts are the way to go. Include an image of what you’re writing about, and keep your post short but informative. If you have a lot of information to share, it helps to break up text into small paragraphs—people are more likely to read material that looks easily digestible. 

For example, if your smoothie company is launching a new collection of vegan smoothies, your content might be a short description of the flavors, or what inspired you to create this new line. Facebook is where people want to get to know you, so give them something to learn. 

Update your page often, and consider implementing some kind of scheduled weekly post. This helps keep your following base interested, as well as ensure your Facebook page is a reliable and up-to-date source. Also, try to interact with companies similar to yours—their fans will more easily find their way over to you. 

Finally, if you have a concrete website, be sure to create a firm link between that and your Facebook page. Include your website link in your page bio, and add a Social Media tab on your official site. This will help boost traffic to your site. It also allows you to keep your page more entertaining. You can post important points there, but your viewers can look to your website for more information if they’re interested. 

If you don’t have a concrete site (and definitely consider getting one!), then treat this Facebook page as your site. Frequent updates, visually interesting posts and good organization will all help grow your following base. Facebook is the most information-wealthy of the three main social media platforms, so treating your page as a website is more viable here than elsewhere. 

If you’ve decided to go the paid advertisement route, however, Facebook is probably the best place to be. Their Ads Manager is sleek, easy to use, and quite effective at getting your product to the eyes of your market. Not to mention, Facebook’s user base is scientifically more likely to click on ads presented to them, due to their age grouping. 

If you’re just starting out, Facebook Ads could give you a decent foundation of people familiar with your product, from which you could build your own following. However, if your product is already fairly well-known, ads might not be the way to go—simply because they aren’t worth the trouble. 

Your Guide to Instagram Marketing 

The middle child of the big three platforms, Instagram is all about aesthetics. Its age group ranges from 13 to 30, with no trend in the gender of its users—so to use it, you must focus on aesthetics as well. 

Successful Instagram pages keep things visually interesting and unique and manage to maintain a theme throughout their posts. The best way to do this is to manipulate patterns while keeping color consistent. When looking at an overall feed, the patterns tend not to jump out, but a good color scheme ties the whole piece together. In individual posts, however, patterns are allowed to stand out. 

A good example of this is Pura Vida®’s page. Their posts are organized in subtle groupings by color: beige, light blue, green, a different shade of light blue, etc., as you continue to scroll.

While simply looking over their feed, it looks cohesive. However, they change up the patterns in their posts by choosing what to photograph: cloth bag, girl surfing, dreamcatcher, denim jacket. Scrolling through these individually keeps each post visually interesting, but the overall color scheme remains the same. 

Not sure how to create a cohesive feed? Not to worry! Websites like Colorkuler take the most prevalent color in each of your posts and create a palette of your Instagram feed. From here, you can see which colors you should include more of or what you might want to rein in. 

We know that Facebook is the best platform for consistently sharing lots of information, but Instagram can handle that occasionally, too! However, you still have to keep things visually interesting. The solution? Infographics. 

Infographics are a great way to get your audience to look at the important points of your post, which will hopefully spark their interest enough to warrant further research. Most Instagram users will refrain from reading excessively long captions because they’re on this platform to be entertained—infographics maintain that. 

Love to All Project, a nonprofit aimed at educating and funding LGBTQ+ students, does a fantastic job of Instagram infographics. Not only is their color presentation consistent, but they vary their style enough to keep the information engaging. The information is presented in concise sentences, with statistics if necessary, and its abruptness is balanced by the artistry of the graphic itself.

Another thing Instagram is well-known for is hashtags. Hashtags, when used properly, can boost your posts onto the Explore page, where people interested in your product or service will more easily see them. 

However, hashtags can be hard to get a hold of, and popular ones fall in and out of usage. So, it’s best to start off with a hashtag guide, like this one. Once you’ve found a pattern of what tags work well for you, you can stick to those. 

Your Guide to TikTok Marketing

TikTok, the last of the big three, is more difficult to manage. It’s addictive in nature because it’s almost exclusively entertainment, divided into 15-second videos for a short attention span. Ads on TikTok look completely out of place. To be successful here, you have to dive entirely into entertainment. 

First, their user base: 25% of their users are between 10 and 19, and another 22.4% are between 20 and 29. As with Instagram, there doesn’t seem to be a gender preference amongst their users. TikTok is very much a youthful app—to make it work for you, you have to work for them. 

Second, how their content works: TikTok users create 15-second-long videos (though they can range up to a minute if need be) by using pre-recorded sounds. That might be a popular song, audio from somebody else’s video, or even just a funny collection of sounds. They can then add stickers and text to their videos. 

There are two routes of content you could take: comedy or aesthetic. Both of these follow the fast-paced trends of the app, and both require the use of popular sounds. However, one may be easier to create than the other, depending on your product. 

For example, if your company sells make-up, it would be easier to do aesthetics—a chicken nugget company would probably resort to comedy, and a surfing company could be in-between. If your product can be marketed for its look, over its function, aesthetic would be the way to go. 

An example of an aesthetic-style company that does well is Shekou, a clothing company. Their content focuses on their product, and they use trending sounds and hashtags to get on the For You page. But their content is about displaying the clothing, the details in the fabric, and how they can be styled. Their sounds also tend to be music instead of vocal, which comedic content often uses. 

In contrast, Ryanair does a fantastic job with comedy. The European airline has greatly boosted their image by making TikToks that are both funny and follow trends. They cater their content to the product, the airplane itself, and market their low prices through comedy. 

A common trap that businesses fall into on social media is the guilt trip: instead of keeping the focus of their content on the product, they shift it to the people instead. Nuggs, a vegan chicken nugget company, is struggling with this. Their content focuses largely on the person who runs the account and not exclusively on their product. If you simply ask people to follow you, the odds are that they won’t—content is key. 

TikTok marketing is about building a relationship between your company and your followers, so it’s key to respond to comments. By interacting with your viewers, you show them that you’re paying attention. It also helps to answer frequently asked questions in the comments, and a higher number of comments boosts your general engagement. 

If you don’t know where to start, however, you can turn to a guide. TikTok trends move quickly. Some have even gone in and out over the span of a day. So, naturally, it gets difficult to keep up with the trends enough to create good content around them. You could use a trend watch service, like this one, to stay up-to-date. Or, consider hiring somebody as a social media manager. 

Can Somebody Else Do It?

Social media marketing seems easy, but keeping up with demographics and consistently creating content is a tedious process. That’s why it can help to hire somebody else to do it. Reputation management companies, like Repute PR, often have a team devoted to boosting your company on social media. 

They do this in various ways. Facebook posts, for instance, are written and tailored to bring the most engagement possible to your company. They can also find and work with social media experts to create visual content for Instagram or entertaining content for TikTok. 

The benefit of this is more free time for you! Growing your business should be your first priority, and you can leave social media growth to people trained to do it efficiently.

Repute PR’s team is comprised of professional writers, research analysts, and digital marketing experts, among others—they have backgrounds in campaign management, journalism, and branding. They’ll be able to help you define your target audience, determine which platform works best for you, and subsequently guide your growth on that platform. Fret not—your company is in good hands with Repute PR. 

How have social media tips helped you? 

How to Manage and Repair Your Business’s Online Reputation

By BlogNo Comments

The internet is a vast network of positive and negative information. We use it every day, but we tend to brush over how enormous it has actually become, and in a place with more than 1 billion sites, making an impression can be difficult. So let’s go over how you, as a business owner, can get your foot in the door. 

Developing an Online Presence 

Developing an online presence requires techniques from digital marketing. It happens largely through three things: a website, social media, and content creation

Step One: A Website 

The first step towards a concrete online presence is a website. Having a website gives you a home base to reach out to sponsors, draw in customers, and show your product to the eyes of the world. Of course, you are free to customize, but there are a couple of principles of good web design that you should keep in mind.

A good website will have a clean design that reflects your company’s product. For example, if you sell hiking gear, it’s probably best not to design your site around images of Los Angeles. Stick to a scheme that reflects the kind of service you offer, and if you have a logo, build off of it. 

A simple design also ensures that your website is easy to navigate. Too often, customers open a site, only to find that the button they’re looking for is hidden somewhere deep in the pages. Your website’s home page should give easy access to the basics of what people want to know: 

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • How to contact you

The homepage of your website is like an elevator pitch to the visitor, but you have around 2 seconds to catch their interest. You don’t need to include all of your information on the first page, but make it easily accessible from there. Make those 2 seconds count. 

Creating a visually appealing and intuitive website that can catch the attention of your viewers may seem overwhelming, and if you feel like you don’t know where to start, then Repute PR might be able to help you with your website building needs.

Step Two: Social Media 

Once you have a website, it’s time to publicize it through social media. Places like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok have become increasingly popular marketing tools among companies.

The usual route is to take out paid advertisements through places like Google Ads, but more recently, businesses have taken to creating social media accounts themselves—this option is great because it comes at no additional cost to you. 

When using social media as a platform for self-promotion, it’s important to consider your target market. Facebook tends to draw older users, perhaps with families and established jobs already. Instagram is largely used by people between 15 and 35; TikTok usually indulges younger generations, up through college students. 

Social media is a great way to bulk up your website’s following, so it’s important not to include too many details when using it. People scroll through social media as a way to relax—providing an excess of information can feel overwhelming and actually drive them away from your page. Instead, stick to the basics of what you can provide, use visually interesting images, and link your website (either in a post or in your profile) so people can find out more information for themselves. 

Step Three: Content Creation 

Good work! You’ve established a website and a social media page. Now, you need to fill them with something. That’s where content creation comes in. 

Website Content: On a website, your best option is blogging. Besides being a way for you to show your product, websites let you keep in touch with your customers and tell them about your progress. You can also use a blog to provide information about your field to your customers. 

You have a wide variety of options here: you could answer commonly asked questions or stick to a list-style article. For example, if you sell hiking gear, your website could host a blog with posts like, “What should you never bring on a hike?” or “The 10 Best Hidden Trails in the US.”

Blogging is also a great option because it increases traffic to your website. Instead of just being a business, you’ve now become a source of information and entertainment to your visitors, and this will help boost your ranking on a search engine result page. 

Social Media Content: On social media, you’re almost required to have more fun. People turn to social media for fast-paced entertainment, so your content needs to conform to that. A great way to do this is to follow trends but with your product in mind. And it’s okay if things get humorous here. 

A company that’s done a great job with social media is Ryanair, an Irish airline. Though getting bad press in Europe because of their low-cost style, Ryanair’s image has soared online due to their TikTok profile. They follow popular trends but do everything with airplanes—and the comedy that creates has garnered them millions of views on their videos. 

If you don’t consider yourself particularly social-media-savvy, it could help to start with a trend watch, and you’ll begin to get a feel for what kind of content your business can create. 

Maintaining an Online Presence 

Though creating a website or social media platform may be a one-time thing, you need to consistently update your content and marketing strategy to maintain your online presence. There are three main ways to do this: customer engagement, revisiting content, and getting in the news

Method One: Customer Engagement

On the bottom of Dunkin’ receipts, there’s often a QR code. If you scan it, it brings you to a survey about your customer experience at that particular Dunkin’ store. It gives you the opportunity to voice any complaints, but it also allows you to say you enjoyed your experience. That’s what customer engagement is all about. 

Customer engagement is particularly important online due to the fast-paced style of the internet. Consistently getting traffic to your website will help you stay afloat in the long run, especially as you’re continuing to build your brand. 

It also helps to build rapport between you and your customers. People like to feel in control of their experiences, and if you provide them with the option to give you feedback, they’ll be grateful for the trust they can build with your business. 

But the satisfaction survey is not the only way you can give your customers a say. Many small businesses turn to raffles and giving away some of their products as a way to hold publicity and make their customers share their content. Let’s go back to our hiking gear business to see how this might play out. 

You’ve noticed that a particular water bottle you sell is a customer favorite. So, on social media, you advertise that you are doing a giveaway of five water bottles! Of course, your company is able to afford not getting profits from those 5 bottles—otherwise, this deal would not work in your favor. But you say that to enter the giveaway, one must like the post and tag two friends. 

People who want the bottle will do these two things because they’re simple enough to do, and it garners traction for your site. You choose five lucky winners from those that participated, your company gets boosted online, and your customers are happy that you’ve engaged them. It’s a win on all sides. 

Method Two: Revisiting Content

You’ve spent a lot of time developing content to establish yourself on the web, so it’s not surprising that you need to keep doing it to keep your place. Of course, fresh topics, like your newest product launch, or a new sustainability initiative your company is taking, are great things to write about. But there’s no harm in revisiting topics you’ve already discussed (and it’s less work, too!). 

Editing and republishing old articles on a blog is a great way to boost your rankings in the eyes of the internet algorithms. Fresh traffic to an older yet revised page tells search engines that your content is consistently needed by readers. This is what’s called evergreen content, and it’s a resource you can continually use. 

Revisiting old posts is also a good way to do site maintenance. Sometimes links or images get removed, in which case your article is left with its most important source leading to an error page. Or perhaps, you might find a post that is no longer true, in which case revision is welcome. 

Finally, it sends a message to your customers. It is correcting data, updating links, and revising sentences that show you pay attention to how this website is presented to them. It’s all about the customer experience, and doing this shows them you care about it. 

Method Three: Get in the News

Easier said than done; it would seem. But it might be the solution both you and a journalist are looking for. 

Like business blog writers, personal blog writers and journalists are always looking for topics to cover, although their content tends to be more topical than evergreen. So if you reach out to them and say you have a topic, they’ll often be more than willing to hear you out. 

Good times to contact the media are when you’re doing something completely new. Things that are big changes for your business, like releasing a new line of products, starting a new political initiative, or hiring a new group of people, will be fresh stories that they are more likely to pick up on. 

Start by looking for local or online-based writers, and get a feel for their style of content. It would be difficult to pitch a story about new hiking boot technology to a journalist who writes about French politics. It will also help you, once you do contact them, to be familiar with their work because this establishes rapport. 

Whether you call or email, there are five basic steps to follow when contacting a journalist

  1. Who and what: establish why you’re contacting them. 
  2. If you’re on the phone, ask if it’s a good time: journalists have a lot on their plates, so respecting what time they’re able to meet is a good first step in. 
  3. Why them: tell them you know their work, and that is why you think they’d be a good fit for your story. 
  4. The story itself: pitch your idea! What’s so special about your new product line or initiative?
  5. Ask if they’re interested: if they are, great! If not, don’t take it personally, thank them for their time, and move on to the next one. 

Contacting the media is an interesting process because you often don’t know whether you’ve been successful until the words “yes” or “no” come out of their mouth, but getting in touch with journalists is a crucial way to expand your customer base. 

Sounds like a lot? An incredible amount of work goes into growing and maintaining a business reputation. So much so, in fact, that there are companies who can do it for you

The Benefits of a PR Company 

Working with a PR company allows you to focus on actually building your business. They have teams that can more intricately follow these techniques and even used more advanced ones, like whisper campaigns and SEO writing. But they can be expensive when you’re just starting out—so when do you know you’re ready to work with a PR company? Is it worth getting one?

Repute PR states that their three-step process of reputation management is to tidy it up, broadcast it, and then protect it. For these three steps to work, they mostly need to build off of a reputation you’ve already created. So it’s best to follow the steps outlined above to give yourself a reputation to work on until you feel that it’s concrete enough to be improved. 

But once you reach that point, it is absolutely worth investing in a PR company. The third step of Repute PR’s “Formula” is to protect your reputation—that isn’t something you can easily do on your own. Reputations are built over long periods of time, but they can be damaged by an unseen event in a matter of days. 

Working with a company like Repute PR ensures that you don’t have to worry about that. We specifically have a crisis management team that can take matters into their own hands if you run into unexpected trouble. The relief of being able to focus on what you’re putting out, instead of what everyone on the internet thinks about you, is definitely worth exploring as a business owner. 

What methods have you used to grow an online reputation?

How to Increase the Number of Google Searches your Business Gets

By BlogNo Comments

Improving your business’s position on the Google search engine takes optimization, time, and strategy. It helps in finding new customers, attracting local businesses, boosting your online reputation, and ultimately increases leads and sales.

A dedicated team like the professional reputation managers at Repute PR can help you accomplish these goals.  It is up to you and your PR team to put the effort into driving more traffic to your website by targeting the following key areas:


The words and phrases that are typed into your Google search box are the words associated with the websites that come up after you press “enter.” These websites are ranked based on the relevance to the keywords, the reliability of their content, and their structure.

With that said, you need to include the right keywords in the right places within your business content that target what your potential customers are searching for. Using commonly searched words on your website will make your business more likely to rank higher on Google.

You can use a keyword rank checker to learn about your site’s usage and gauge your audience’s search patterns to know where to improve. Looking at social media conversations is also a helpful way to gather personas and see what language your customers use to talk about your business.

Using these target words and phrases will additionally help build trust between you and your customers, which also plays a role in Google ranking. Optimizing informational keywords in a language your audience understands makes your customers realize that your website is there to educate them rather than to show off, which will increase visits back to your site. 


Getting a high authority and trusted website to link your business is essential in placing high in Google rankings because it exposes your content to a new audience, increases your site’s credibility, and brings in traffic.

In order to achieve this factor, you need to focus on building your network and creating mutually benefitting relationships with local or similar businesses, in addition to newspapers, blogs, and directories.

Contact Repute PR to get your success in the news. The more eyes you can get on your site, the more likely other writers will link it in theirs. 

Quality Content

Giving searchers the most relevant and useful information is the most obvious yet important step in maintaining a high Google ranking. Not only is it about stuffing your site with keywords, but proving yourself worthy of that keyword over time.

The relevance to certain keywords, as well as the reliability of that content, is how your site can gain value and have users stay on your site longer. Build your site over time and keep it fresh with new and in-depth content. In other words, don’t let your site get stale.

Continually improving your content and growing the number of resources your site provides will help you get to the top of Google search results, and Repute PR can help your company achieve this through our digital marketing services.     

Local Search

Setting up local listings for your business through Google My Business helps obtain more backlists that will rank your business higher in local results and bring more customers to you.

As a local business, using geographic keywords in page titles, links, and your content strategy is essential to let Google know that you are prominent in that location.

It is not only important to generate a local listing in the first place but to keep your listing up to date, accurate, and active to get a higher ranking business. Concentrating on niche topics is also a good way for your business to stand out of the crowd, not because you meet more needs but because you meet a special need. 

Mobile Responsiveness

In today’s digital world, nearly 60% of searches are from mobile devices. With that in mind, Google now factors mobile responsiveness into its ranking criteria. If your website doesn’t comply with mobile use, a large section of your audience will be missed.

Ensuring that your customers can perform any task on the mobile version that they could on their desktop is key to maximizing Google searches, considering the majority of people who surf the internet on their mobile devices.

To go along with optimizing mobile use, it is important for your site to optimize speed as well. Having a slow site can jeopardize your Google ranking and drive customers away, which is why you should continuously try to improve your site’s performance by making image files smaller and streamline your web content

Positive Reviews

Getting your site featured in top Google reviews is helpful to establish trust between potential customers who are reading about your business.

85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, which goes to show that your company’s best marketers are your existing customers.

Glowing reviews of your site can help in boosting your online reputation and ranking higher on Google searches for reliability, so it is important to ask your loyal customers to put in a good word.

Repute PR can also help you and your business foster these customer relations and gather essential reviews to feature on your website.

This way, Google searchers can come across your name with a pre-existing notion that your website is relevant enough for them to want to search up again. Keeping Google reviews positive is essential for your business, and you can find out more on how to get rid of the negative here. 

What to Do When Ex-Employees Damage Your Reputation

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Everybody likes positive feedback. It’s just the way humans work. So, naturally, negative feedback can be a bit nerve-wracking. Especially if you’re a business owner, and it’s coming from an ex-employee. But fret not: there are ways to save your reputation, and here is a step-by-step guide to help you.

How Does It Happen?

Threats to your reputation can come in a variety of ways, but mainly they happen online. After all, that’s the quickest way for your ex-employee to get their opinion heard. 

So on what kind of sites might they put their thoughts? 

The easiest option is to leave bad reviews of your business on websites like Yelp. Before trying new restaurants, for example, people often flock to the Yelp page of their place of choice to determine whether it’s worth going. A bad review here will immediately push away potential customers.

If your business isn’t on Yelp, they might simply resort to Google reviews instead. The first thing that comes up when searching a business on Google is the location, the hours, and two to three reviews.

Often, Google will select two good reviews and one bad or mediocre one, just to highlight all opinions—if your ex-employee’s review is displayed on the front page of your business’s Google search, you’re already two steps behind. 

Another place ex-employees might turn to is social media. Twitter, especially, is known for getting information around as quickly as possible—should your ex-employee put their opinion there, it will instantaneously be circled around to your potential clients. 

A subtle advantage of social media is the people behind the usernames. While a Google review is seen by many, social media allows other people to circulate your ex-employee’s post and even respond to it.

Word gets around quickly here, and many people take sides immediately whenever there seems to be an argument forming. Because of this, social media is dangerous territory for negative opinions to be floating about. 

Both of these methods of damaging your reputation pertain mostly to your customers, but ex-employees can try to dent your corporate reputation, too.

Bad reviews on websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor will deter potential new employees, preventing you from growing your company. These posts damage your personal reputation more than that of your company from the customer’s perspective, so they require a different kind of solution. 

The final kind of reputation damage an ex-employee can do is taking matters into their own hands. Leaving bad reviews and social media posts helps them voice their concerns, but they rely on other people taking their points at face value to detract from your company. These kinds of damages, you can seek out and repair. But if employees are angry enough, they might hit your company directly. 

Take, for example, the case of AshleyMadison. This Canadian dating app is marketed specifically towards people in committed relationships looking to have affairs. Naturally, then, information secrecy is essential. But one former employee, disgruntled, hacked the company’s database and put the profiles of nearly 37 million people at risk of exposure. Such a direct hit to the company’s core value of secrecy is far more damaging than a bad review. 

However, none of these examples are intended to frighten you—there are ways for you to prepare and protect yourself against these reputation scandals and ways to repair them if they do happen. 

Preventative Measures

In order to make things easier for yourself, it’s best to input some preventative measures before and while letting employees go. 

  1. Pay attention to their concerns. If employees continually voice their concerns about a particular aspect of your business, consider addressing it or finding a way to compromise with them. Any bone they pick with your company now could turn into reputation damage if they are fired. 
  2. Give them notice. Catching somebody by surprise, especially with their termination, is never a good way to leave on good terms. Take the time to sit down with them and explain the situation, and give them ample time to put their future plans together. 
  3. Be firm, but be kind. Hearing about one’s termination is never an easy thing to bear, so it’s best that you do it in good standing. Be kind to your (now ex-) employee, even if you don’t think they deserve it. From a legal standpoint, the less you say, the less can be held against you if it escalates. 
  4. Be generous with severance. A reasonable severance package, combined with a kind notice, could be enough to prevent future damage to your reputation. However, if you feel the need, including a nondisclosure agreement as part of the severance package is smart. This prevents the ex-employee from saying anything you don’t want, and they get a generous sum of money for their trouble. 
  5. Always keep yourself covered. Consider talking to your legal counsel, or consulting a reputation management company like Repute PR, to ensure you’re covered if anything does arise from the termination. It will make any necessary legal troubles far easier to deal with in the future. 

Even with these preventative measures, however, some damage might slip through the cracks. What do you do if a bad review is already out there or an ex-employee’s claim is making its way through Twitter? Don’t worry—you still have options. 

Two Types of Bad Press

Figuring out how to deal with negative backlash to your reputation online is an intricate process, but the basic first steps are deciding what kind of backlash it is. 

There are two main kinds of backlash, and the first comes purely from anger. Largely an extrapolation of fact, this kind of ‘bad press’ is the ex-employee letting off steam. They aren’t voicing any legitimate concerns. Their comments are mainly filled with upset words, not upsetting feedback. So, these are easier to deal with. 

The second kind, however, holds some value. Such reviews might come from ex-employees who have mentioned these concerns in the past but feel that not enough has been done about them. For instance, if they’ve discussed wanting to decrease the company’s carbon emissions, that could become a topic of review. 

Though the ex-employee might be angry, that is not their driving force. These opinions, then, are more difficult to scrub off the internet because they hold some weight. Especially in social media circles, opinions that want you to change your company’s model somehow will circulate more. 

What Can I Do? 

Your most likely first option in both cases is to get the review or post removed. If it does not voice a legitimate issue that you can respond to, there’s no reason for it to continue making its rounds through the channels of the Internet. Posts on social media can be reported as harassment—if its language goes far enough, you could even argue that the post is defamatory. 

Reviews are slightly more difficult to remove because most reviewing platforms value showcasing all opinions. However, you can report the review and ask for it to be taken down. This guide to removing Google reviews can help you figure out the steps. 

If the review or post contains the second kind of backlash outlined above, however, deleting it may not be in your best interest. This could be read as the company trying to cover up a legitimate viewpoint.

Instead, try responding to the comments and see if they hold any weight. Make sure to keep it professional when writing your responses—again, anything you say can be used against you.

Express thanks that they’ve brought their concern to your attention, and then outline what your company is doing about it. If you’ve decided not to follow through with their concern, give them a legitimate reason as to why not. This will help boost your image of caring about your clients’ and employees’ concerns. 

If you cannot respond to the review or get it removed, your third option is to flood your company with positive reviews instead. With more and more positive reviews of your service online, people are less likely to pay attention to the one drastic negative comment.

You can do this by implementing a short survey as a part of your service to your customers—if they genuinely enjoy their experience with you, they won’t mind filling out a quick form to give you that feedback. 

If you need additional help controlling and mitigating the damage to you and your business’s reputation, Repute PR may be able to help.

In the Long Term

Of course, continue to keep an eye out for new negative reviews and deal with them as we’ve outlined above. But it’s important to check in with those you’ve decided to respond to as well.

Let us take the example of decreasing carbon emissions again. Make a point of periodically updating your client base with your progress in this vein, for instance, when you’ve installed solar panels as your main energy source.

Be sure to also respond to the comment that brought it to your attention to let them know you’ve taken their concern seriously. 

Too Much to Handle?

Keeping up with every review on the Internet is exhausting, especially if you have other pressing matters to handle within your business. It could be worth hiring a reputation management company like Repute PR to handle the bad press for you. 

Our team consists of professional writers, attorneys, and consultants, all of whom can help you respond to bad reviews. While our attorneys and consultants can keep you legally covered, our writers will help you draft responses to any reviews you wish to take seriously. Our services can be completely tailored to what you need. 

And it’s never too late to reach out for help. Even if you’ve suffered a crisis at the hands of an ex-employee, Repute PR can put your reputation back together. Our crisis management programs will help you remove bad reviews and build back your confidence through whisper campaigns and friendly media. No matter how bad things seem to have gotten, you’ll be in good hands. 

What feedback from employees and customers have you used to improve?